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Regional Accents

702 of 1157 nominations


Regional Accents

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Regional Accents

In England, your accent is one of the things you’ll be judged on, for better or worse. To the listener, it will define where you were brought up, give an idea of your class, and even give you added kudos – or not. And we have far more than our fair share of them, something that is attributed to the long history of our language.

The differences go back to the Middle Ages when English was spoken in many different forms – Northern came from Northumbrian Old English, Midlands from Mercian Old English, South Western from West Saxon, and South Eastern from Kentish. As travel and globalisation have their effect, it’s said the numbers of accents and the differences between them are declining, but the regional accent is far from dying out.

Startlingly, recent studies have also found evidence of regional accents in ducks and dogs, so we’re in good company. According to Dr Victoria De Rijke at Middlesex University, “The Cockney quack is more like a shout and a laugh, whereas the Cornish ducks sound more like they are giggling”.


Your comments

I think it's amazing how accents and dialects can differ within a very small distance. Consider driving from Liverpool to Hull and the number of variations you'll come across. The stronger accents (London, Liverpool, Geordie, Birmingham and Cornwall) are often used give an image of England.

Lee White

There is nothing quite like a pure broad Dorset accent. It is unmistakable and a peice of English heratige. This is what defines the Westcountry,

You might as well say a Welsh or Scottish person accent is an English icon if you include Cornish. We just ain't English!

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I think the National Gallery is part of the heritage of England