Thursday, September 25, 2014

British accent? What British accent?

As the hillbilly said, they ain’t no sech of a thang as a British accent.

The hillbilly would be, um, right.

There are at least 17 British accents.

If you don’t believe me, watch this (5:19).

Actually, I lied. I ain’t never knowed nary a hillbilly to say no sech of a thang. I wuz jest a-joshin’ ya.


  1. True. And also true of the Amurrican accent(s).
    Here in Oz, ours are more homogenous (I think). Some words will identify the state you grew up in but the basic (ugly) accent is much the same.

  2. Bob, I suspect you could multiply 17 by 10. There are some that I struggle to understand.

  3. That was highly amusing to me, and she did pretty well I'd say, though the variations overflow mightily. Within a radius of ten miles I know lots of people who are all from Manchester, yet all have different Manchester accents. Mine own, (as you may have heard), is....a real treat for the ears *laughs a lot. In my head and my writing I have a very different accent to the one that comes tumbling out of my mouth.
    I enjoy hearing my far flung friends accents a great deal, Dana and Snow's have both been lovely to hear.

  4. Brilliant ! I love listening to all these different accents but I think people who can copy them are very clever 'cos I can't at all. As EC says our Aussie accent is fairly similar where ever you go and the regional differences tend to be more in the actual words and phrases we use and (dare I say it ) education !
    When my Texan cousin visits the phrase "Y'all" features high in the family's conversation for quite some time after she departs!

  5. When I went to college in England I had a hard time understanding the cockney accent. I like the soft southern accent in the US but not the Massachusetts accent. I, by the way, don’t like my French accent and wished I could get rid of it. I like the accent African Francophones have when speaking French – I have a friend from Ivory Coast and I could listen to him for hours. In France there are many accents, some are hard to understand. Once we had trainees at work from Canada – and I could not understand them, then realized that they were speaking French … with a strong Quebec accent from the back country!

  6. Thank you all for your comments -- two from the U.K., two from Australia, and one from France! I never cease to be amazed at the way blogging helps to erase international boundaries.

  7. Dear Bobbykins,

    In Yorkshire alone there are more than seventeen distinct English accents. The Sheffield accent is so different from the Barnsley accent and the East Riding accent is so different from Hull. Similarly there are different Yorkshire accents in the Dales, at York, Middlesbrough, Scaraborough, Northallerton, Huddersfield and Holmfirth. And when you listen very carefully you will hear gradations of accents between places. Of course geographical mobility has caused a lot of blurring of accents in recent decades.
    Best wishes,
    Professor Pudding

  8. Dearest Mr R,

    Thank you so much for the entertaining post of British accents.

    We've all enjoyed it immensely here on our hilltop.

    Hope all is well with you and the missus.

    Cordially yours,