Tag Archives: Estuary English

“Orphan Black’s” House of Dialect Mirrors

I’ve recently been watching Orphan Black, BBC America’s sci-fi mystery about human clones. For reference, here is the guns-sex-and-intrigue-laden preview: The show admittedly has its silly moments, but its lead actor makes up for these. Not only does one woman (Tatiana Maslany) … Continue reading


Posted in American English | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments


While doing some channel surfing the other day, I stumbled upon the reality show Made in Chelsea. I’d describe the program to Americans as akin to The Hills or Laguna Beach (although I don’t recall Lauren Conrad cracking jokes about “phonological … Continue reading


Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Bidder Budder Badder: The Extent of T-tapping

Americans like myself ‘tap’ the ‘t’ in between vowels.  This means that the ‘t’ in ‘butter’ is pronounced not with a /t/ sound, but rather with the ‘r’ consonant in Spanish ‘pero.’  The common impression, though, is that ‘t’ becomes … Continue reading


Posted in English Phonetics | Tagged , , , | 32 Comments

Anovver Fing About Th-Fronting

In our discussions of dialect evolution in the UK, a common denominator is th-fronting. To review: th-fronters turn ‘th‘ words into ‘f’ or ‘v’ words: ‘thing’ becomes ‘fing,’ ‘bother’ becomes ‘bovver,’ and ‘both’ becomes ‘bof.’ It’s a feature common in … Continue reading


Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

The Most Controversial Thing I Said on this Site

Writing about dialects (or anything language-related), it’s hard to avoid disagreement.  Yet of all the things I’ve said here, my most controversial statement, it seems, is something fairly trivial. That would be my assertion that comedian Ricky Gervais speaks with an … Continue reading


Posted in British English | Tagged | 31 Comments

Is the Glasgow Accent Being “Cockneyfied?”

I’ve often discussed Estuary English, the London-influenced accent spreading throughout England. One piece of evidence?  Young people in Glasgow seem to be adopting ‘Cockney’ pronunciations. If the Glasgow accent is indeed becoming more ‘Southeastern,’ this would be a powerful indicator of London’s … Continue reading


Posted in British English | Tagged , , , | 35 Comments

Estuary English in the 21st Century

I’ve used the term  Estuary English quite a bit on this site.  For the dialect novices out there, I’d like to explain what this phrase means, and my personal take on it. Estuary English is a hard concept to define.  Sometimes … Continue reading


Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 28 Comments

On a Lighter Note …

Martin Chilton of The Telegraph wrote a piece yesterday about Mel Gibson‘s accent in the upcoming film, The Beaver, in which Mel adopts a Cockney accent.  Here’s the trailer: Chilton, perturbed by Gibson’s accent, had this to say about it: … Continue reading


Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Sign of the Times: William and Kate’s Accents

Yes, even a blog about accents needs to touch on the Royal Wedding a little bit. I won’t spill more digital ink about the wedding, nor the wedding-mania that swept America this past week. I am, however, fascinated by the … Continue reading


Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 36 Comments

“New Joysey” and “Oirish:” 6 Accent Myths

As per yesterday’s post about the mythological Canadian aboot, I’ve thought of some other myths people harbor about accents and dialects of English. Here are a few common misconceptions: 1.) Myth: People in Shakespeare’s day talked more like Americans than … Continue reading


Posted in Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments