Wednesday 27 September 2006

And he don't even have to say 'owt...

This morning, as I always do, I stopped at the coffee counter on my way to my desk. Because I’m a well brought up lad, I thanked the nice lady politely as she handed over my cup of coffee. It wasn’t until I’d started to walk away that I realised what I’d said:

“Thanks very much”

Not so strange, except that I pronounced the last word as “mutch”.

Mutch? Mutch? Dear God, have I become northern?

Maybe I should explain. I was born in Northampton, grew up in Buckinghamshire and was mainly schooled in Warwickshire. All are comfortably south of the Watford Gap, the supposed dividing line between the North and South of England. My parents couldn’t get much more southern either, as my mum is from Essex and my dad is from Devon. As a result, I say “barth” not “bath”, I go “up” not “oop”, I eat my lunch (and not my “dinner”) in the middle of the day and I have my dinner (not my “tea”) after dark.

I’ve lived in Nottingham now for 9 years, and I lived in York for 2 years before that. I think I’m finally picking up the damn accent.

What d’ye mek of that, eh me dooks?


  1. Well, north or south, your post seems to be working now because I received my CD. (Review soon to follow). Yours is in the mail, let me know when you receive it!

  2. You've done well, with my wandering accent syndrome it would have only taken me a couple of hours before I was talking like a native!

    We eat lunch and dinner here too...

  3. Crikey, Watford? North of Cockfosters and I start feeling cold.

    Oddly, I am from Guildford and we say both tea and dinner.

  4. I'm from Birmingham so I pronounce everything poperly.

    "Up" not "Oop"
    "Bath" not "baarth" There's no sodding r in bath or grass for that matter.

    Notice the Brummie versions are the way the words are spelt.

    Just don't get me to say "all right" though as it'll come out "orlrooit" ;-)

  5. "There's no sodding r in bath or grass for that matter"
    Bugger. There is an r in grass but you know what I mean.

  6. watford gap yoko - it's even further north!


  7. you can also determine whether you are turning into a Northerner (a good thing) by whether you say "us" like "uzz" or "us" like "us".

    Breakfast, dinner, tea.

    bath, path, laugh. All with no "r" sound in.

    mad f'rit, me.

  8. All I have to say is "aye oop me'duck"

  9. Stef - I think it's pronounced "Grarse" not "grass".

    I found this when I was looking up the nottingham dialect, and as I'm on something of a golf vibe at the moment....


    Severiano Ballesteros, the famous Spanish golfer had come to Nottinghamshire to play in a charity golf match. He had been paired with the club professional, a Nottingham lad.

    At the first hole, the club golfer had the honour and drove first. He hit a wonderful tee-shot down the middle of the fairway, got a favourable bounce and his ball rolled on to the green, coming to rest within inches of the hole.

    "That's a fabulous tee-shot." said Sevvy graciously

    "Ta very much," said the club pro, "Burrittint a tee-shot, it's a pullova!"


    tee hee.

    I sympathise with your wandering accent syndrome too Cat - I once went to a scout camp in towcester when I was about 11. I was quite young for a scout, and I ended up the same tent as a load of americans. My accent morphed into something hideous from the mid-atlantic over the course of about a day. I sort of knew I was doing it, but I couldn't stop myself. Gosh - I haven't thought about that in 20 years.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off for a cob.


  10. well ya see, i talk like dis. I'm frum da area sout of da city of chicawga. We gots deez tings called accents too.

  11. Hmm...I'm still trying to read this post out loud. I've got a hint of the NY accent, so even though I say "Bath" instead of "barth," my "bath" is more like "Baath." Perhaps an audiopost would have been in order!



  12. oh heavens - you don't want an audiopost from me. I have a terribly nasal monotone. I'm sure you wouldn't like it. I'm not sure I do. I sound like a constipated smart-arse.

    oh. hang on.....


  13. Do it Tone. All your US readership will adore you for it.

    When I did one in my LJ, I got accused of being posh. Bah rumpfh, What utter rot!

  14. I had an audio thing recorded for another site a while back and messed it up, so it never got aired. In the meantime, Radiohumper did an audioblog involving her speaking both English and Italian, and she sounded so impossibly sexy and wonderful in audio form that I just couldn't get the urge to do my own again. Nobody finds their own speaking voice listenable, do they? (or do they?)

    Short answer: do it, Swiss. Your public has decreed it.

  15. I've sometimes been told that my accent is Canadian, but it's just Minnesotan (rent Fargo, if you need a reference).

  16. i can't stand listening to my own voice, Lizzy, so you are reet there.

    an audiopost?

    *overtaken by pace of change in world*

  17. My question is this:

    What other way is there of pronouncing much?

    I grew up in Wisconsin. My family ate breakfast, lunch and supper, in that order. Dinner was a large, formal-ish meal, replacing either lunch or supper. So we could have breakfast, dinner & supper, or breakfast, lunch & dinner. Except for my grandmother. She referred to mealtimes as breakfast dinner & supper. Lunch was a snack between meals, as in, would you like to lunch on some cookies?

    I've now lived in Texas for over 17 years (nearly half my life). I've picked up a slight twang, but it's usually only noticeable when I'm back home in Wisconsin. I do say y'all but refuse to say any form of fixin' (i.e. I'm fixin'ta go to the mall or I'm fixin'ta make dinner.