from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tourist from elsewhere in the country


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

A very old word of uncertain origin common for centuries in the New Forest area of Hampshire for people from outside it. In more recent times it has spread to other parts of the south coast and indeed elsewhere, including the former colonies of Northern and Southern Rhodesia as a term for a foreigner. The term is widely used in Devon where it refers to tourists or people recently relocated from elsewhere. The word was imported to the Isle of Man in 1970 by Capt McKenzie who had learned the word in Plymouth. Commonly referred to tourists in cars who can be easily identified because all Manx number plates have either MN or MAN in them.


  • In fact anything off the beaten track in Venice is worth investigating; avoid the obvious grockle-traps designed to rip off foreigners and you'll have a splendid time.

    FSSP Venice

  • He discovered that grockle was the local term for a tourist.

    IOL: News

  • Garth Beresford, a retired telecommunications man, tells me he was once offered a "grockle lunch" in Devon.

    IOL: News

  • I chose to explore the rising High Street rather than the windswept sandy beachfront, maybe a sightseeing error, but it gave me a flavour of what it's like to live here through a grockle-free winter (yeah, retail-ly bearable). tunnel beneath the town, it was easy to believe that the next station might be Swiss Cottage or St John's Wood.

    diamond geezer


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "Major General James Wolfe repels all incomers (aliens, grockles)."

    London Orbital by Iain Sinclair, p 393 of the Penguin paperback edition

    February 9, 2012

  • You know, yarb, I lived in Cornwall for a year and tho' from Kent I soon learned to call outsiders grockles! 'Tis a compelling name for people that just come and go. Nothing wrong with just coming and going, but be prepared to be held in contempt! In Devon they use the word emmet for the same.

    April 30, 2008

  • Dialect word used in the South-West of England to refer, usually contemptuously, to a holiday-maker or other "out-of-towner".

    E.g. "I wouldn't go in that pub if you paid me - full of grockles, it is."

    October 23, 2007