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Encyclopedia > East Midlands English

Traditionally, "East Midlands English" was spoken in those parts of Mercia lying East of Watling Street (the A5 London - Shrewsbury Road). Today this area is represented by the counties of the East Midlands of England, (Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire (and Northamptonshire, see below). The general location of Mercia, along with the other peoples of Britain around the year 600. ... The modern Watling Street crossing the Medway at Rochester near the Roman and Celt crossings Watling Street is the name given to a British ancient trackway which was first used by the Celts mainly between the modern cities of Canterbury and St Albans. ... The East Midlands is one of the regions of England and consists of most of the eastern half of the traditional region of the Midlands. ... Derbyshire is a county in the East Midlands of England. ... Leicestershire (IPA: , abbreviated Leics) is a landlocked county in central England. ... Lincolnshire (abbreviated Lincs) is a county in the east of England. ... Nottinghamshire (abbreviated Notts) is an English county in the East Midlands, which borders South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire. ... Northamptonshire (abbreviated Northants or Nhants) is a landlocked county in central England with a population of 629,676 (2001 census). ...

Like that of Yorkshire, the East Midlands dialect owes much of its grammar and vocabulary to Nordic influences, the region having been incorporated in the Norse controlled Danelaw in the late 9th century. For example, the East Midlands word scraight ('to cry') is thought to be derived from the Norse, skrike in modern Scandinavian, also meaning to cry.[1] Look up Yorkshire in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Green: Danelaw The Danelaw (from the Old English Dena lagu, Danish: Danelagen ) is an 11th century name for an area of northern and eastern England under the administrative control of the Vikings (or Danes, or Norsemen) from the late 9th century. ...

Though spoken less commonly today, the dialect of the East Midlands has been investigated in notable texts such as the affectionately titled Ey Up Mi Duck[2] series of books (and an LP) by Richard Scollins and John Titford. "Ey Up" is a greeting of uncertain origin used widely throughout the North Midlands and South Yorkshire, and "Mi Duck" is thought to be derived from a respectful Anglo Saxon form of address, "Duka" (Literally "Duke"), and is unrelated to waterfowl. Non-natives of the East Midlands are often surprised to hear men greet each other as 'Mi Duck.' [3] The Anglo-Saxons refers collectively to the groups of Germanic tribes who achieved dominance in southern Britain from the mid-5th century, forming the basis for the modern English nation. ...

One interesting difference between accents in the East Midlands and those in the southern parts of Yorkshire is to do with the use of was and were. Midlanders tend to always use was, even when Standard English dictates were; Yorkshire folk tend to always use were, even when Standard English dictates was.

The romantic English novelist, and East Midlander, D. H. Lawrence who was from the Nottinghamshire town of Eastwood wrote in the dialect of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Coalfield in several dialect poems as well as in his more famous works such as Lady Chatterley's Lover and Sons and Lovers. [4] D.H. Lawrence at age 21 (1906) David Herbert Lawrence (11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930) was an important and controversial English writer of the 20th century, with his output spanning novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel books, paintings, translations, literary criticism and personal letters. ... Location within the British Isles Arms of the former Eastwood Urban District Council Eastwood is a town in Nottinghamshire, England, six miles west of Nottingham. ... Lady Chatterleys Lover is a novel by D. H. Lawrence written in 1928. ... Sons and Lovers is the third published novel of D.H. Lawrence, taken by many to be his earliest masterpiece. ...

Although in the East Midlands, Northamptonshire dialect is influenced by the dialects of East Anglia, the West Midlands and the South. Its dialect is perhaps best classed as East Anglian. In the northern part of the county, the dialect of Corbian is spoken. [5] Northamptonshire (abbreviated Northants or Nhants) is a landlocked county in central England with a population of 629,676 (2001 census). ... Norfolk and Suffolk, the core area of East Anglia. ... The West Midlands is a geographical term describing the western half of central England, known as the Midlands. ... A compass rose with South highlighted South is most commonly a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography. ... Norfolk and Suffolk, the core area of East Anglia. ...


Dialect Words

In recent years, humorous texts such as Nottingham, As it is spoke[6] have combined phonetically spelt standard English words together in order to deliberately confuse non-natives to the region. However, there are many words in use in the traditional East Midlands Dialect which do not appear in standard English. The short list below is by no means exhaustive. More comprehensive 'dictionaries' exist within texts such as Ey Up Mi Duck by Richards Scollins and John Titford.

ay up! / ey up!
a common greeting
a bread roll (bap)
to look
to cover with
to make a cup of tea
a weak person, or one who feels the cold
to pour out uncontrollably
to cry
yawp / yorp
to shout

Two rolls Bread Rolls at a bakery Bread Rolls in a basket A bread roll is a piece of bread, usually small and round and is commonly considered a side dish. ... An Alley in Melbourne A gate to an alley in Annapolis, Maryland An alley or alleyway is a narrow, pedestrian lane found in urban areas which usually run between or behind buildings. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Bat ears come in different sizes and shapes The ear is the sense organ that detects sound. ...


Those who speak traditional regional dialects are not trying to speak Standard English and failing. East Midlands English follows a series of distinct gramatical rules. Some examples follow below. A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language used by people from a particular geographic area. ... Standard English is a general term for a form of written and spoken English that is considered the model for educated people by native English speakers. ...

Formal address

Up until the mid 20th century it was not uncommon to hear the use of informal forms of address, Thee and Thou, as compared to the more formal Yo or You. Use of the informal form of address is now uncommon in modern speech.

Personal pronouns

Personal pronouns differ from standard english as follows;


Example "It eent theirn it's ourn!" (It isn't theirs, it's ours!)

Reflexive pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are characterised by the replacement of Self with 'Sen' (From Middle English seluen)

Y'usen - Yourself, Mesen - Myself, Thisens - Themselves/Yourselves, Ussens - Ourselves

Example "We s'll ay to do it ussens." (We shall have to do it ourselves)

External links

East Midlands Dialect in Literature

  • Dialect Poems from the English regions

Counties in which East Midlands English is Spoken



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