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Scouse (pronounced [skaʊsə]) is the accent and dialect of English found in the north-western English city of Liverpool and in some adjoining urban areas of Merseyside. The Scouse accent is highly distinctive and sounds wholly different from the accents used in the neighbouring regions of Cheshire and rural Lancashire. Inhabitants of Liverpool are called Liverpudlians, but are more often described by the slang term Scousers. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language characteristic of a particular group of the languages speakers. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Liverpool (disambiguation). ... Merseyside is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 1,365,900. ... For other uses, see Cheshire (disambiguation). ... Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England, bounded to the west by the Irish Sea. ...

The word Scouse was originally a variation of lobscouse (possibly from Norwegian stew Lapskaus or the north German sailor's dish Labskaus), the name of a traditional dish of Scouse made with lamb stew mixed with hardtack eaten by sailors.[citation needed] Alternative recipes have included beef and thickened with the gelatin source found in cowheel or pig trotter in addition to various root vegetables. Other sources suggest that "labskaus" is a Norwegian term ("lapskaus" in Norwegian), and considering the number of Merseyside place-names ending in "-by" (Formby, Crosby, Kirkby, Greasby, Pensby, Roby), a Viking rather than German source must be considered. Various spellings can still be traced, including "lobscows" from Wales, and some families refer to this stew as "lobby" rather than scouse.[citation needed] In Leigh, between Liverpool and Manchester, there is even a "Lobby shop". The dish was traditionally the fare of the poor people, using the cheapest cuts of meat available, and indeed when no meat at all was available scouse was still made, but this "vegetarian" version was known as "blind scouse".[citation needed] The term remained a purely local word until its popularisation in the sitcom Till Death Us Do Part, which some also believe to have introduced stereotypes about Liverpudlians.[1] Hamburg-style Labskaus with fried egg, gherkin and rollmops Labskaus (also spelled Lapskaus) is a specialty from Northern Germany and in particular from the cities of Bremen, Lübeck, and Hamburg. ... Hamburg-style Labskaus with fried egg, gherkin and rollmops Labskaus (also spelled Lapskaus) is a specialty from Northern Germany and in particular from the cities of Bremen, Lübeck, and Hamburg. ... Scouse was orignally a mutton stew. ... Species See text. ... A preserved hardtack at a museum display in Denmark. ... Formby is a town on the Irish Sea coast of North West England. ... Crosby may refer to: Geography Crosby, Merseyside Crosby, North Dakota People Bing Crosby - 1940s era entertainer Bobby Crosby - Oakland As baseball player Bubba Crosby - New York Yankees baseball player David Crosby - Musical artist from Crosby Stills Nash and Young Gary Crosby - singer and actor, son of Bing Crosby Sidney... Arms of the former Kirkby Urban District Council Kirkby (pronounced - the second k is silent) is a new town in the Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley, Merseyside, England. ... Greasby is a large village on the Wirral Peninsula, Merseyside, England. ... , Pensby is a village on the Wirral Peninsula, Merseyside, England, located to the north east of Heswall. ... Roby is a village in Knowsley, Merseyside, England linked with contiguous neighbour Huyton as Huyton-with-Roby. ... This article is about the BBC TV series. ...

The roots of the accent can be traced back to the large numbers of immigrants into the Liverpool area in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries including those from the Isle of Man, Wales, Scotland and, most substantially, Ireland.[citation needed] The influence of these different speech patterns became apparent in Liverpool, distinguishing the accent of its people from those of the surrounding Lancashire and Cheshire areas. It is only recently that Scouse has been treated as a cohesive accent/dialect; for many years, Liverpool was simply seen as a melting pot of different accents with no one to call its own.[citation needed] The Survey of English Dialects ignored Liverpool completely, and the dialect researcher Ellis said that Liverpool [and Birkenhead] had "no dialect proper".[2] Immigration is the movement of people into one place from another. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the country. ... This article is about the country. ... The Survey of English Dialects was undertaken between 1950 and 1961 under the direction of Professor Harold Orton of the English department of the University of Leeds. ...



The characteristic features of the accent of the region are discussed in section 4.4.10 of Wells (1982).


A notable feature of Scouse is its tendency towards lenition of stop consonants (Honeybone 2001, sections 4 and 5, Marotta and Barth 2005). In particular Lenition is a kind of consonant mutation that appears in many languages. ... A stop, plosive, or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ...

  • The /k/ phoneme is often pronounced [x], especially at the end of a word, so that back [bax] sounds like German Bach and lock [lɒx] sounds like Scottish English loch. In other positions /k/ may be realised as an affricate [kx].
  • There are several possibilities for the /t/ phoneme in Scouse. In some contexts, it may be realised as an alveolar slit fricative, [θ̠] or as a similar affricate [tθ̠]; these sounds may sound like [s] and [ts] respectively. The sounds [s] and [ts] themselves may also be used. Hence right may be heard as rice or rights.
  • In some words, for example but and what, the final /t/ may be replaced by [h] or a flap [ɾ], which may be heard as an /r/.
  • More rarely, lenition can also affect /p/, which may be realised as a bilabial fricative [ɸ], and /d/, which undergoes lenition similar to that of /t/, producing a voiced slit fricative [ð̠] or affricate [dð̠]. (Marotta and Barth 2005)

The th sounds /θ, ð/ may be pronounced as dental [t, d]. This feature is shared with Hiberno-English. Scottish English is usually taken to mean the standard form of the English language used in Scotland, often termed Scottish Standard English. ... Affricate consonants begin as stops (most often an alveolar, such as or ) but release as a fricative (such as or or, in a couple of languages, into a fricative trill) rather than directly into the following vowel. ... The voiceless alveolar fricatives are consonantal sounds. ... In phonetics, a flap or tap is a type of consonantal sound, which is produced with a single contraction of the muscles so that one articulator (such as the tongue) is thrown against another. ... The voiceless bilabial fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The voiced alveolar fricatives are consonantal sounds. ... Dentals are consonants such as t, d, n, and l articulated with either the lower or the upper teeth, or both, rather than with the gum ridge as in English. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ...

The velar nasal [ŋ] is usually followed by a hard [g] sound in words where most other English accents have it at the end of a word or before a vowel, so that sing is [sɪŋg] as opposed to [sɪŋ] in Received Pronunciation. See Ng coalescence. Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... // H-cluster reductions The h-cluster reductions are various consonant clusters beginning with /h/ that have in the occurred in the history of English that have lost the /h/ in certain dialects. ...

The /r/ sound is often a tap [ɾ], similar to Scots.


Features of Scouse vowels include:

  • The nurse-square vowel merger, so that fur and fair sound the same. Phonetically, the merged vowel is typically [eː].
  • As elsewhere in the north of England, the accent does not use the broad A, pronouncing words like bath with the [a] of cat, and the vowels put and putt are often the same.
  • Unlike most other northern English accents, the vowels of face and goat (Received Pronunciation /eɪ/ and /əʊ/) are pronounced as diphthongs similar to those of RP.

The English language has undergone a number of phonological changes before the historic phoneme . ... The trap-bath split is a vowel split that occurs mainly in southern varieties of English English, in the Boston accent, and in the Southern Hemisphere accents (Australian English, New Zealand English, South African English), by which the Early Modern English phoneme was lengthened in certain environments and ultimately merged... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... In phonetics, a diphthong (also gliding vowel) (Greek δίφθογγος, diphthongos, literally with two sounds, or with two tones) is a monosyllabic vowel combination involving a quick but smooth movement from one vowel to another, often interpreted by listeners as a single vowel sound or phoneme. ...

Other features

Scouse is noted for a fast, highly accented manner of speech, with a range of rising and falling tones not typical of most of northern England. This has led to some people from the Midlands referring to Liverpool people as "Sing-song Scousers". [citation needed] In linguistics, stress is the relative emphasis that may be given to certain syllables in a word. ...

Irish influences include the pronunciation of the letter 'h' as 'haitch' and the plural of 'you' as 'youse'.

There are variations on the Scouse accent; with the south side of the city adopting a softer, lyrical tone, and the north a rougher, more gritty dialect. These differences between both the north side and the south side of the city can be seen in the pronunciation of the vowels. The northern half of the city more frequently pronounce the words book, cook, look and took, as in the words boo, coo, loo and too, and then adding the k sound at the end. The southern half of the city shows a greater likeness to the more common pronunciation of these words.[citation needed]

Comparison with recordings made since the 1960s support the notion that the Scouse accent is ever-changing. The Scouse accent of the early 21st century is markedly different in certain respects to that of earlier decades[citation needed].

Scouse-speaking personalities

See also Liverpudlians.

Scouse can be heard from:

In addition, the following fictional characters speak scouse: Alan Ross Farley Stubbs (born October 6, 1971 in Kirkby) is an English footballer who currently plays for Everton. ... Michael Angelis (born January 18, 1952 in Liverpool, England) is a British actor. ... Cilla Black OBE (born 27 May 1942) is an English singer-songwriter and television personality, born Priscilla Maria Veronica White to a Protestant father and a Catholic mother in Liverpool. ... Neil Aaron Buchanan (born October 11, 1961) is an English television presenter and producer. ... Peter Pete Burns (b. ... James Carragher (born January 28, 1978 in Bootle, Merseyside) is an English international footballer playing his club football at Liverpool where he is at present vice-captain, behind teammate and fellow Liverpudlian Steven Gerrard. ... Craig Charles as Dave Lister Craig Charles (born July 11, 1964 in Liverpool, England) is an English actor, stand up comedian, author, poet, and radio and television presenter, best known for playing Dave Lister in the British cult-favourite sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf. ... Margi Clarke (born 1954) is a British actress, whose name is pronounced Margee (with a hard g). She was born and raised in Liverpool, and is known for her trademark Scouse accent and platinum-blonde hair. ... Echo & the Bunnymen is a British rock group formed in Liverpool in 1978. ... Robert Bernard Robbie Fowler, born 9 April 1975 is an English footballer who currently plays for Championship side Cardiff City. ... Steven George Gerrard MBE (IPA: []) (born 30 May 1980, Whiston, Merseyside) is an English football player. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Gerry & the Pacemakers was a British rock and roll group during the 1960s, and one of the few groups to challenge the Beatles in popularity. ... Paul Jewell (born 28 September 1964, Liverpool, England) is a former footballer and a notable football manager based in the United Kingdom. ... John Parrott MBE (born 11 May 1964 in Liverpool, England) is an English professional snooker player. ... Heidi India Range (born 23 May 1983 in Walton, Liverpool, England) is a member of British girl group the Sugababes. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Claire Sweeney (born April 17, 1972 in Walton, Liverpool) is an English actress, singer, television personality and presenter who is best known for her role as Lindsey Corkhill in the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside. ... Jennifer Ellison (born May 30, 1983) is an English actress, singer and dancer. ... Ricky Tomlinson (born September 26, 1939) is an English actor. ... The White Album, see The Beatles (album). ... The Zutons are an English indie rock band from Liverpool. ... The Las were a Liverpool-based band of the late 1980s and early 1990s, consisting of eccentric frontman Lee Mavers (vocals), John Power (bass, backing vocals) plus a series of guitarists and drummers. ... The Real People, from Liverpool, England, were one of the very first bands to play what is today known as “Britpop”, and have been quoted by Oasis as being one of their major influences. ... Geoffery Joseph Rowley (born June 6, 1976 in Liverpool, England) is a professional skateboarder who currently resides in Huntington Beach, California. ... Jimmy Tarbuck OBE (born 6 February 1940, Liverpool, Lancashire, England) is an English comedian, emcee and the father of actress and television presenter Liza Tarbuck, he attended the same school as Beatle John Lennon and newscaster Peter Sissons. ...

Auf Wiedersehen, Pet is a popular British comedy-drama series created by Franc Roddam and mostly written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, who had also written The Likely Lads, What Ever Happened to the Likely Lads? and Porridge. ... Bernard Hill (born December 17, 1944) is an English actor. ... Boys from the Blackstuff is a British television drama serial of five episodes, originally transmitted from October 10 to November 7, 1982 on BBC TWO. The serial was written by Liverpudlian playwright Alan Bleasdale, and was a sequel to a television play called The Black Stuff, which he had originally... John Constantine (born May 10, 1953 in Liverpool, England) is the fictional protagonist of the comic series Hellblazer. ... Conkers Bad Fur Day is a Nintendo 64 video game developed and published by Rare, and distributed by Nintendo. ... <> </>< /><>://.///.</> < />:://.///.< />< />> Conker: Live & Reloaded is a video game for Microsofts Xbox console, expected to be released on March 15, 2005 as a re-make of the Nintendo 64 game Conkers Bad Fur Day. ... The Scousers were a set of stereotyped Liverpudian characters, played by Harry Enfield, Joe McGann, Mark Moraghan, and Gary Bleasdale in Enfields nineties comedy tv programmes. ... The Harry Enfield Show is a British sketch show starring Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse. ... For the origami historian, see David Lister (Origami Historian). ... For the type of star, see Red dwarf. ... Dave Lee Travis (born in Buxton, Derbyshire on 25 May 1945) also known professionally as DLT, is a British radio presenter, best known for his career on BBC Radio 1. ... Yakko, Wakko, and Dot, also known as The Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister), are three fictional cartoon characters featured on the animated series Animaniacs. ... This article is about the television series. ... The Rutles are a parody of The Beatles, jointly created by Eric Idle and Neil Innes. ... For the song by The Clash, see This Is England (song) This Is England is a 2007 film written and directed by Shane Meadows, director of other films such as A Room for Romeo Brass and Once Upon a Time in the Midlands. ...


  1. ^ Alan Crosby, The Lancashire Dictionary, p.179
  2. ^ http://www.englang.ed.ac.uk/people/livengkoi.pdfPDF (495 KiB) page 2
  • Black, William. (2005). The Land that Thyme Forgot. Bantam. ISBN 0593 053621.  p. 348
  • Honeybone, P. (2001), Lenition inhibition in Liverpool English, English Language and Linguistics 5.2, pp213-249.
  • Marotta, G. and Barth, M., Acoustic and sociolingustic aspects of lenition in Liverpool English, Studi Linguistici e Filologici Online 3.2, pp377-413. Available onlinePDF (978 KiB) (including sound files).

“PDF” redirects here. ... A kibibyte (a contraction of kilo binary byte) is a unit of information or computer storage, commonly abbreviated KiB (never kiB). 1 kibibyte = 210 bytes = 1,024 bytes The kibibyte is closely related to the kilobyte, which can be used either as a synonym for kibibyte or to refer to... “PDF” redirects here. ... A kibibyte (a contraction of kilo binary byte) is a unit of information or computer storage, commonly abbreviated KiB (never kiB). 1 kibibyte = 210 bytes = 1,024 bytes The kibibyte is closely related to the kilobyte, which can be used either as a synonym for kibibyte or to refer to...

Further reading

  • Shaw, F. and Spiegl, F., (1966). How to Talk Proper in Liverpool (Lern Yerself Scouse S.) Liverpool:Scouse Press. ISBN 0-901367-01-X
  • Wells, J. C. (1982). Accents of English 2: The British Isles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-28540-2.

External links

  • Sounds Familiar? — Listen to examples of Scouse and other regional accents and dialects of the UK on the British Library's 'Sounds Familiar' website
  • English Accents and Dialects, British Library Collect Britain website features samples of Liverpool speech (wma format, with annotations on phonology, lexis and grammar):
  • BBC - Liverpool Local History - Learn to speak Scouse!
  • A. B. Z. of Scouse (Lern Yerself Scouse) (ISBN 0-901367-03-6)
  • IANA registration form for the en-scouse tag
  • IETF RFC 4646 - Tags for Identifying Languages (2006)
  • Culinary.Senses.com has two recipes for Scouse. The Everton Scouse (53835) is the more amusing and also tastier. The 43613 Country Fare - Liverpool Scouse proposes beef instead of the traditional lamb.
  • Dialect Poems from the English regions
  • Visit Liverpool The official tourist board website to LiverpoolLiverpudlians

  Results from FactBites:
The Original Scouse Recipe (aka LOBSCOUSE or LABSKAUSE) (391 words)
Scouse was brought to Liverpool by Northern European sailors, it was originally called Labskause.
The people who ate Scouse were all generally sailors and their families and eventually all sailors within Liverpool were referred to as Scousers.
Scouse holds a place in the heart of most Liverpudlian's as the taste of their hometown and is still regulary eaten today by a great number of families, including my own.
Language Log: Scouse is getting scouser (341 words)
Scouse - or to give it its full title, Lobscouse, is of course a food rather than a dialect; it is the native dish of the Liverpudlian, or Scouser.
Scouse is to Liverpool what Bouillabaisse is to Marseilles or Schnitzel is to Vienna.
I'd heard the term "scouse" for the Liverpool dialect, but did not know this etymology, which the OED agrees with, and fans of Patrick O'Brian will be happy to learn about -- if they've previously shared my ignorance of the lobscouse/Liverpool connection, at least.
  More results at FactBites »



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