What are England's most distinctive regional accents

The British accents: Cockney, Scouse, and more

On the subject British English most likely think of the Queen or Harry Potter. In fact, the majority of Britons speak - surprise! - Not like the queen. Your accent, Received Pronunciation, is completely made up and its ominous beginnings are a different story. Much more Britons speak Scouse, Cockney, Geordie, or even Wenglish - there is an incredible variety of British dialects. Each accent reflects the history of the area it comes from and is firmly associated with regional pride. Adding a bit of regional color to your school English is a great way to not come across so much as a tourist while traveling and to impress your English friends! Why should you good say if you look at yourself instead gert lush (West Country) or canny (Geordie) can operate? In this article, we want to bring you closer to seven English accents. And since we all like British families - royal families as well as fictional and linguistic families - let's imagine the accents native to this small island as members of a large family ...

Scottish and Welsh - a Celtic marriage

Speak Scottish English if you want to sound like: Sean Connery

Speak Welsh English if you want to sound like: Tom Jones

Scottish and Welsh English were influenced by the Celtic languages ​​Welsh, Gaelic, and Scottish. Many phonological and lexical properties of the Celtic languages ​​are retained in the Welsh and Scottish accents, for example the slight trilling of the [r] sound - a property that British standard English does not have.

Lexically, however, Welsh and Scottish have some differences. So it looks like Scottish and Welsh had a happy Celtic marriage some time ago, but then became estranged from each other - perhaps due to geography and the constant influence of surrounding accents.

West Country Accent

Speak West Country English if you want to sound like, A pirate! The actor Robert Newton, who like in pirate films Treasure Island (1950) gained fame, exaggerated his native accent a little in his roles and thus gave birth to the stereotypical pirate accent.

As West country refers to a large region in the south-west of England that borders Wales. Due to geographical proximity and a social exchange between Wales and the West Country, the accents have strongly influenced each other. This can be seen in the language melody, for example: In Welsh English, all syllables of the word are stressed equally, and this is also true of West Country English, albeit to a lesser extent. So if we stick to our family metaphor, Welsh has remarried, and that is West Country. And: surprise! They have one child together: Scouse!


Speak Scouse if you want to sound like: The Beatles

The child of West Country and Welsh is the accent from Liverpool, a famous industrial port city in north-west England. Wales is relatively close to Liverpool, but if you look at the map, how did the West Country accent in the south influence the Scouse accent in the north? Well: In the 19th century, all kinds of European sailors went in and out of Liverpool - and it was at this time that the Scouse accent was formed. Many of these sailors were from the West Country, which has a strong tradition of sailing and fishing. So imagine the West Country accent as Scouse's exotic sailor father - often gone for a long time, but when he's back at home port and greeted Mama in Welsh, he tells little Scouse sailor yarn about adventures and strange worlds.

Yorkshire accent

Speak the Yorkshire accent if you want to sound like: Sean Bean and Patrick Steward

So we already know that Welsh remarried after their divorce. But what about Scottish? Well, Scottish has found its luck again: with Yorkshire! Although there is a long way between Yorkshire and Scotland, there are some phonetic similarities between the two because of the linguistic contact between Scottish and Standard English in the Lowlands near the Scottish-English border. There is an [a] sound in both accents, which is pronounced much shorter than in southern England.

Geordie accent

Speak Geordie if you want to sound like: Brian Johnson (from ACDC, previously a fittingly founding member of the band Geordie)

In our Accent Royal Family, Scottish and Yorkshire have a kid too: Geordie! Geordie is spoken in Newcastle in north-east England, exactly between the areas where the Yorkshire accent and the Scottish accent can be found. Geordie is a bit older and has therefore still noticed a lot from his grandparents, who clearly influenced him: The Angles - the early settlers of the Danish peninsula who were responsible for fishing rod in Anglo-Saxon are responsible. Thanks to the fishing rods, many Geordie words can be associated with modern Danish words: this is the name of a “barn” in standard English barn and in Geordie and Danish bairn.

Incidentally, the term is Geordie relatively modern despite venerable ancestors. Coal mining was the main industry in the northeast, and Newcastle miners were known for their special accents. There George By far the most popular male given name in the area, Geordie was named after the men who spoke it.


Speak Cockney if you want to sound like: Michael Cain and Jason Statham

To recap, Welsh and Scottish were married and then separated. Welsh married West Country and they had one child, Scouse. Scottish found happiness in Yorkshire and they too had a child, Geordie. Now we come to the accent family's uncle: Cockney. Cockney works as a traveling salesman, visits every Christmas, is unavailable the rest of the year and is actually not a biological uncle at all. Somehow he was always there and that's why the children call him "Uncle".

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Cockney dialect, Cockney rhyming slang, is more like a Art to speak as a dialect or accent. It was originally developed as a secret language and for confusion: the word to be expressed is replaced by a multi-part phrase that rhymes with the original word. In many cases only the first part of the rhyme term is used (the actual rhyme is dropped), making it difficult for the uninitiated to guess the meaning. That sounds complicated, but it quickly becomes clearer with an example. When a cockney tells you: "Use yer loaf!", then that means: “Use your head!” - because head ("Head") rhymes loaf of bread ("a loaf of bread"). Instead of Use yer head one rhymes Use yer loaf of bread. Of Use yer loaf of bread the actual rhyme is dropped and what remains is: "Use yer loaf!" Granted, you have to use your head (or loaf of bread) a bit to get behind this slang.

Although it has developed a bit detached from the other accents, Cockney has become synonymous with the people from East London and a special symbol of their togetherness. He is therefore gladly accepted as an honorable uncle of the accent family!

So remember: The Queen's English is just one of the wonderfully diverse accents found in the British Isles! Why not learn a few words from the different dialects - maybe on your next visit to England you can convince someone that you are from Scotland!

Speak languages ​​like you've always wanted to - and like the locals do!