Tag Archives: Northern English accents

Subtitled For American Consumption

I’ve recently discussed the work of filmmaker Ken Loach with longtime commenter Ed. Loach is one of the few filmmakers I recall who commits to featuring local accents in all his films. He often casts non-actors in his movies, resulting in … Continue reading

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Posted in Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

The Accents of Transplants 2: Adolescents

Recently, the Daily Show‘s fearless Aasif Mandvi made headlines when a satirical interview he conducted with Republican precinct chairman Don Yelton led to the man resigning from his post. I get the sense, from watching the cringe-inducing video of the … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , | 14 Comments

The Teesside Controversy

Some British school administrators recently sought to “improve” their students’ Teesside dialect by urging parents to correct their children’ speech. The letter prompted outcry, for reasons well-summarized by Stan Carey of Sentence First. This photo of the note in question has … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged | 36 Comments

Different Kinds of “Ah”

In linguist Tom Roeper’s excellent book on language acquisition, The Prism of Grammar, he makes this observation about Boston accents: In Boston, there are two forms of r-lessness, heard in two ways of saying ‘Harvard:’ ‘Hahvid’ and ‘Haavid.’ The first … Continue reading

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Posted in Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Has North Wales “Gone Scouse?”

Many feel that accents in North Wales have begun to resemble those of Liverpool. Unlike similar notions, this one has evidence behind it, as I’ll discuss later. But first, let’s hear for ourselves. Below is a snippet of the speech … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Whatever Happened to the Northumbrian /r/?

As I’ve previously discussed, English accents exhibit various types of /r/ sounds. Yet few are as peculiar as the /r/ once typical of an accent known as the Northumbrian burr, spoken in rural areas of Northeast England. The burr was notorious … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , | 9 Comments

The Englishness of H-Dropping

Longtime readers may notice that I rarely discuss h-dropping. Novices might remember this accent feature from some unfortunate community theatre production of ‘My Fair Lady‘ in which the actress playing Eliza Doolittle bleats ”enry ‘iggins!’ Systematic h-droppers drop the letter ‘h’ at … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , , , | 37 Comments

The Accents in Downton Abbey

I am apparently the last person in the English-speaking world to watch Downton Abbey, but got a chance to see the first series over the past two evenings.  For the unfamiliar, the show takes place in an English country estate … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , , , , | 100 Comments

Leeds or Manchester?

Turning back to the world of accent minutiae, a reader emailed me with a conundrum regarding the difference between Leeds and Manchester accents. This concerns ‘punk poet’ John Cooper Clarke, from Salford in Greater Manchester: I like to think of … Continue reading

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Posted in British English, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 30 Comments

Why Geordie is Hard to Understand

Of the many wonderful sections of the British Library site, one of my favorites is this fabulous dissection of the Geordie dialect of English (i.e. the dialect spoken in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne).  It presents, in immaculate detail, all of the salient phonological … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , | 26 Comments