Regional Accents In England Why Do We All Sound Different?
The English language started in a small village in England and has spread around the world. It is the most widely known language in most countries today. The main countries that speak it as a first language are England or Britain, America, Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
English is spoken as a second language in many countries, and comes third in the ranking of most spoken as a first language after Spanish and Mandarin.
The strange thing about the English language in its native land of England, is that there are so many different accents that span the whole of the Country.
Many of these different accents or dialects, are the leftover signs of other countries that have invaded or settled here.
So whether you are from the North of England, or the sunny South here are a few of our lovely, but very different accents and how they came to be.
A Bit Of History About The First Languages of Britain.
P - Celtic And Q - Celtic languages.
The two Celtic letters above are an abbreviation of the Celtic spoken across Britain back in history around the time of the Iron Age. There are various different types of Celtic all depending on the area of England and Britain.
The four 'living languages' of Celtic that still have a few native speakers today, are:
- Goidelic Irish.
- Scottish Gaelic which is a descendant of Old Irish. This is spoken is Scotland.
- Brythonic Welsh.
- Breton taken from the British language.
The original idea of England being taken over by many other races and languages has been disproved. (source BBC History) The gene pool of England is still going strong thousands of years on and in fact the 'invaders' such as the French and Viking actually tended to keep to their own.
But this is not to say that we, including Scotland, Ireland and Wales are actually what we call Celts.
Did You Know?
The word Celt was actually introduced into Britain in the 18th Century! The actual Gauls or Celts were from the continent, mainly France. Evidently it was noticed that the local languages including England Scotland Ireland and Wales sounded similar to foreign languages.
Somehow over the last few hundred years the word Celtic has taken on its own meaning. But in essence, the actual languages that were spoken back then in Britain were either all 'Celtic' (similar to European) or nothing to do with them.
In plain English, 'scuse the pun! Whether you are Scots, English, Welsh or Irish, we were all the original people that came here to settle. So,that means we are all Celtic, or we are all not Celtic. Take your pick!
Therefore even if you live in the South of England you can still, in theory, be called Celtic. Well, Boadicca the Iron Age Celtic Queen from England knew that already!
Lets Move On! Cornwall and the Cornish Language
I know it's a bit of a cheat, but I have to start with the actual old Celtic language of Cornwall itself. Cornish is the descendant of the ancient British language that was prevalent all over England before our modern English.
It is classed as a Brythonic Celtic language, and has more or less disappeared over the centuries.
Well, now its back. The local Cornish people have over the last few decades, decided to revive the language. And I can see why. Its a fascinating language, and many people are beginning to really embrace it once again.
Let's Learn Scouse!
Scousers come from Liverpool and the surrounding areas. This is in the North West of England.
What the heck is Scouse? You may well ask. Well, the word Scouse is derived from 'Lobscouce'
Which in turn is derived from the Norwegian word 'Lapskaus' .Which actually means meat stew.
The reason behind this was because the sailors ate a lot of the stew, and the locals who didn't have much money ate tons of the stuff. Hence the name stuck for the locals.
Liverpool was originally a fishing village, but soon started to trade with Ireland. Soon the language became a melting pot of Irish, Welsh and other accents.
The Geordie accent comes from Newcastle Upon Tyne, which is in the North East of England.
The area that has adopted the word Geordie can be classed as the whole are of the North East, or locally as just the Tyneside area, all depending on who you ask!
This is an interesting dialect, because its a continuation of the language spoken by the Anglo Saxon settlers, who came to England from mainly Germany, or Germanic regions of Europe around the time of the 5th Century AD.
Their language developed into what we now know as 'Old English'. And in fact some of their old poems are easier to translate into Geordie, than into modern English.
There are various arguments about how the name Geordie came into being. Some have said that it was taken from the word George, a common name among pit workers. Others have said that it started with the Jacobite Rebellion in 1745. In a nutshell, the Geordies were supposedly on the English Kings side, George of Hanover (German origin). And the Northumbrian's, who were on the side of the Scots, called them 'Geordie Whelps' (George the Guelph).
The main reason for the name Geordie, however, was probably taken from the lamps that the local miners used. These were called Geordie Safety Lamps! Yes, that makes sense!
Anyway, here's to the great, and very difficult to understand,
The Cockney accent and dialect words are associated with the area around Bow Bells in London, or the East End of London.
The actual word, Cockney, originated in 1362, and was used to explain a small round egg. Taken from the Middle English, cocken, or Cockerel, and ey meaning egg.
In 'The Reeve's Tale' written by Geoffrey Chaucer (1386) the word appears as cockenay. This was a derogatory term meaning, milksop, or an effeminate fellow.
The term was changed in 1600, to a 'Bowe Bell Cockney'.
But this may not be true. There is another version of the term cockney. Its said it was probably taken from the word Cockaignemean 'mythical and luxurious Country'.
This was a tongue in cheek meaning of the word by people at the time. The actual word 'cocker' means to spoil a child. Or at least it did back then. These days people are still heard asking 'You alright cocker?' It seems that the meaning has changed over the years, but at least we still get to call them Cockney. And I, for one, love the language.
I can't talk about the Cockney accent without mentioning the Pearly Kings and Queens.
These are a group of people who wear clothes covered in pearl buttons. The tradition started back in the 19th Century when Henry Croft, an orphan street cleaner began collecting money for charity.
At the time, costermongers, or street traders used to wear pearl buttons on their trousers which had been found by the market traders.
Henry Croft decided to adopt the look, and add to it, to attract attention for his charity collection. Since then, an organised Pearly society was started in Finchley London. And the tradition still carries on today.
The Pearly Kings and Queens Cockney Night
Buckinghamshire and Hampshire.
Middle England, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and surrounding counties tends to have a rather boring 'posh' accent. Yes I can say that as I live here! lol! Just think of the Queen and tone it down a bit!
Originally my county was similar to other 'countryside' accents. Such as Cornwall and Somerset. But over the years it has developed into a much more refined way of speaking. Saying that, in the town where I live, we tend to speak very much like London or cockney.
The influence of different cultures, people moving down from London and the rich taking up residence seems to have toned down our old country accent so that its turned into something that strikes up a middle ground.
In the video we see a girl who lives in Portsmouth Hampshire. This is similar to my accent but slightly posher! lol!
HOPE YOU ENJOYED MY REGIONAL ACCENTS.
WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVORITE?
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