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English dialect

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Ady116/04/2018 00:55:10
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people would rather work at Cadburys than the car plant.

My folks worked for Cadburys in the 50s and apparently they were really good to their workforce

It was their Quaker origins and principles which put them head and shoulders above other places

Geoff Theasby16/04/2018 01:21:51
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I live near Pismire Hill in Sheffield. Yes, it's ants.

Geoff

Neil Wyatt16/04/2018 08:08:32
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Posted by Gordon A on 15/04/2018 23:07:39:

A Black Country expression I have heard regarding something poorly assembled is "Near enough for a fowl pen" (chicken coop).

I have only recently seen the Black Country word fode in print. I remember as a young lad constructing a "trolley" ( wooden plank with old pram wheels attached) at a friends house. His father suddenly appeared and said, "Dow ommer theer yowl crack the bl**dy fode!" I understand that it may derive from a Roman word.

My wife comes from Old Hill in the Black Country where the older generation stiil use words like "thee", "thine" "woost" and "bist" Having grown up only about 3 miles from the place, I found understanding very difficult at first. My son-in-law from Kidderminster has almost had to learn a new language!

It has been said that the dialects from Upper Gornal and Lower Gornal are different, and the places are only about a mile apart and not separated by a river or anything! Are there other places in the world with such a variety of dialect in such a small area, or are we unique?

At the moment there is opposition and some hostility to include the region in "Greater Birmingham". Black Country people are known as "Yam-yams" by people from Birmingham. The way to irritate a Black Country person is to call them a "Brummie".

Gordon.

Black Country dialects are supposed to be the closest we have to mediaeval English. It's almost unique as a major settlement with no major centre (especially if you exclude Wolverhampton) and certainly unique in the UK in lying on a watershed rather than along a major river.

Neil

Neil Wyatt16/04/2018 08:14:25
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My late father in law was a caretaker or similar at Cadburys in the 60s.

Bournville is an exceptionally well laid out settlement.

The position of Longbridge in the far south of Brum means it is further away from much of the city than some of the Black Country, and the traffic/roads were much less inviting for cyclists in those days.

Mick B116/04/2018 09:15:25
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Posted by Gordon A on 15/04/2018 23:07:39:

...

My wife comes from Old Hill in the Black Country where the older generation stiil use words like "thee", "thine" "woost" and "bist" Having grown up only about 3 miles from the place, I found understanding very difficult at first. My son-in-law from Kidderminster has almost had to learn a new language!

...

Gordon.

"Bist" is very obviously Saxon. Compare to German 'bist du' = 'are you' (singular/familiar) = 'art tha''

David Colwill16/04/2018 09:20:32
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For those that are not aware of it, here is a link to some German recordings of British dialects. Apparently when the Germans had won the war they were going to run the British empire themselves and thought that being able to speak like Britishers would help in that endeavour. To this end in 1915 they started recording British prisoners of war, Thus creating a rather unusual archive smiley.

**LINK**

Regards.

David.

Geoff Theasby16/04/2018 11:21:37
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That was a good 'link', David.

I tried Skipton, OK. I tried Selby, OK. I tried RIchmond, North Yorkshire, near where where my family originated, and Wow! Almost unintelligible, with strong Geordie overtones!

Geoff

Mike16/04/2018 11:51:23
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Isn't it amazing how quickly children pick up regional accents? When I lived in Lincolnshire, some friends moved to Gateshead. When they called in to see me after three months, their kids were speaking Geordie so thick I couldn't understand them. But when I moved to North-east Scotland over 20 years ago I had to learn Doric. I'd only been here a couple of days when a neighbour called, wanting to speak to my step-daughter. "Far's the quiney?", she asked. "Far" is where. and a woman is a quine, so a young woman is a quiney. I'm a loon rather than a man. Fit is what, and so it goes on.....

KWIL16/04/2018 12:02:56
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I knew of one person who had made a life's study of these things and he could place a person within 25 miles of where they came fom.

Alistair Robertson 116/04/2018 12:37:42
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I am from North-east Scotland and it is still possible to tell where a local born person was brought up.

A resident of Peterhead has a different dialect and words than someone who was Boddam born/raised. A distance of 3 miles! Fraserburg (The Broch) is very differnt from a resident of Cairnbulg (Bulger) about 2 miles apart.

The most outstanding dialect is probably from New Pitsligo (Kyack) which was originall populated by people displaced by the Highland Clearances. It is still possible to pick out a "Kyacker" if listening in a hub-bub of conversation.

These dialects are disappearing but not all that quickly. It is quite common for parents who moved to the area from the south of the country to find that after a few months they cannot understand what their children are saying as they seem to love to use the local Doric tongue picked up at school. Doric is closely related to Danish/Dutch/Flemish and my Dutch friends can understand what is being said quite easily!

John Alexander Stewart16/04/2018 13:11:16
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Sure - having strong Scots ancestry (and spending a lot of time there as a kid, and having Scots grandparents with me in the same house over here in Canada) certainly helped me learn Dutch, which became my working tongue after a while.

What was surprising (to me) was that I could speak Dutch to some Norwegian relatives (close to the west coast of Norway) and we'd get along just fine. (however some words, such as Norwegian "barn" and Scots "bairn" were different from the Dutch "kind", but you get the idea)

Fun stuff!

Martin Kyte16/04/2018 13:52:22
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Posted by KWIL on 16/04/2018 12:02:56:

I knew of one person who had made a life's study of these things and he could place a person within 25 miles of where they came fom.

I had a satnav like that !

Mike16/04/2018 14:31:44
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Alistair's observations are interesting. Even my unpractised English ear can detect differences between the way in which the older generation speaks in communities along the Moray Firth coast only a few miles apart. When I became editor of the Banffshire Journal in 2000 I noticed that the Doric in Banff was different to that spoken in my home village of Portgordon 23 miles away. Presumably there were differences in all of the coastal communities in between. There are even differences in place names. Alistair points out that Fraserburgh is always referred to as "The Broch" in these parts. Also, there's a village near here named as Findochty is you look at the Ordnance Survey, but everybody around here calls it Finechty. Someone suggested to me, with what accuracy I don't know, that the original makers of the Ordnance Survey, being English and therefore not able to understand the locals, made plenty of similar errors with place names throughout Scotland.

duncan webster16/04/2018 18:02:59
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Posted by Alistair Robertson 1 on 16/04/2018 12:37:42:

I am from North-east Scotland and it is still possible to tell where a local born person was brought up.

A resident of Peterhead has a different dialect and words than someone who was Boddam born/raised. A distance of 3 miles! Fraserburg (The Broch) is very differnt from a resident of Cairnbulg (Bulger) about 2 miles apart.

The most outstanding dialect is probably from New Pitsligo (Kyack) which was originall populated by people displaced by the Highland Clearances. It is still possible to pick out a "Kyacker" if listening in a hub-bub of conversation.

These dialects are disappearing but not all that quickly. It is quite common for parents who moved to the area from the south of the country to find that after a few months they cannot understand what their children are saying as they seem to love to use the local Doric tongue picked up at school. Doric is closely related to Danish/Dutch/Flemish and my Dutch friends can understand what is being said quite easily!

I spent many childhood holidays with my aunt who lived in St Combs, next village east from Cairnbulg. It didn't take me long to pick up the foreign languager, but then I was only young. It's a pity if local dialects are dying out, but when southerners ask for subtitles on anything that isn't estuary English what do you expect.

Muzzer17/04/2018 09:51:43
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I lived in N Ireland for 5 years during the early 70s. It really wasn't in any way cool to be English there, despite being a "proddy" in a non-catholic school. If you thought Unionists would be welcoming to Brits you'd be wrong - a sort of resentment born of insecurity and dependence on the union with the UK saw to that.

In the circumstances I obviously tempered (suppressed) my English accent and of course the Belfast accent is very strong and infectious. Sure enough, when we returned to Yorkshire in the mid eighties I was reunited with some of my former (primary) school mates who were perplexed by my new accent. Not surprisingly it didn't last for long and I was soon able to revert to normal operation.

There probably aren't many people from the mainland who can speak French and German with a thick Belfast accent but I am one of them! I am a bit of a mimic, with mixed results but that's one accent that comes pretty easily to me now.

Murray

Phil Stevenson17/04/2018 10:15:34
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Posted by Muzzer on 17/04/2018 09:51:43:

I lived in N Ireland for 5 years during the early 70s. It really wasn't in any way cool to be English there, despite being a "proddy" in a non-catholic school. If you thought Unionists would be welcoming to Brits you'd be wrong - a sort of resentment born of insecurity and dependence on the union with the UK saw to that.

In the circumstances I obviously tempered (suppressed) my English accent and of course the Belfast accent is very strong and infectious. Sure enough, when we returned to Yorkshire in the mid eighties I was reunited with some of my former (primary) school mates who were perplexed by my new accent. Not surprisingly it didn't last for long and I was soon able to revert to normal operation.

There probably aren't many people from the mainland who can speak French and German with a thick Belfast accent but I am one of them! I am a bit of a mimic, with mixed results but that's one accent that comes pretty easily to me now.

Murray

Interesting. I lived just outside Belfast until I was 18 in1972 when I left to go to Liverpool Uni to study French. All our lectures, tutorials etc were in French so we had to adjust pretty quickly to speaking French as second nature. My professor contended that as an Ulsterman, I found making the correct vowel sound in French easier than many English as my native vowels were "purer" and I had an enhanced ability to adjust sounds. Think "Ay-o, hellay-o" diphthong type thing as opposed to the Belfast equivalent of short closed vowels - an exaggeration I know but true to a point. And of course there are many more than one Belfast accent ....

Edited By Phil Stevenson on 17/04/2018 10:16:44

Neil Wyatt17/04/2018 13:47:58
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I greatly enjoy hearing people speak in the accents of my childhood.

Neil

Harry Wilkes17/04/2018 14:39:33
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Neil know what you mean about people from Upper Gornal and Lower Gornal back in the 60s/70s I worked at Bilston Steel work on the shift I was on there were several of the blast furnace crew from 'Gornal' at times I had difficulty when being told of a problem understanding what they were saying due to accent and noise wink

H

richardandtracy17/04/2018 15:20:41
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When I hear 'Devon' & 'Zummezet' I feel as if I've come home, but rarely speak with any residual accent 31 years after moving to Kent, and now I've lost most of the dialect words too. Blank looks from 'Men of Kent' or 'Kentish Men' tend to reduce the dialect injection rapidly.

And what a trivial distinction, if there ever was one, it is between 'Men of Kent' or 'Kentish Men', especially when you have to consider they furriners on 'tother side of Tamar and how different they are from the English. I'd just like to say, afore things get nasty, 50% of my ancestors prior to 1900 never set foot on the English side of the Tamar.

Regards,

Richard.

Mike17/04/2018 17:46:12
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I do wish I'd kept my Lincolnshire accent, but I lost it in several ways. Firstly, I had a "posh" aunt who thought it was vulgar, and lectured me endlessly when I went to stay with her. But it was worthwhile putting up with the lectures, because my uncle had access to some brilliant sea trout fishing. Then, in 1961, I went to Rhodesia for two years, and picked up a bit of a South African twang. Now, I've lived in North-east Scotland for over 20 years. I've no Scots accent, but when I go south I am told that I've picked up Scots phraseology. But, like Richard, I love to hear the accent of my home county.

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