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Encyclopedia > West Country dialects

The West Country dialects and West Country accents are generic terms applied to any of several English dialects and accents used by much of the indigenous population of the southwestern part of England, the area popularly known as the West Country. This region encompasses Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset, while Gloucestershire and Wiltshire are usually also included, although the northern and eastern boundaries of the area are hard to define and sometimes even wider areas are encompassed. The city of Bristol has its own local dialect which is also distinctly West Country in tone. Immigration to the towns from other regions means that the dialects are now only commonly encountered in rural areas. Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem - the  United Kingdom anthem God Save the Queen is commonly used England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Unified  -  by Athelstan 927 AD  Area  -  Total 130... A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language characteristic of a particular group of the languages speakers. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... The West Country is an informal term for the area of south-western England roughly corresponding to the modern South West England government region. ... This article is about the English city. ... Cornwall (pronounced ; Cornish: ) is a county in south-west England, United Kingdom, on the peninsula that lies to the west of the River Tamar and Devon. ... “Devonshire” redirects here. ... Dorset (pronounced DOR-sit or [dÉ”.sÉ™t], and sometimes in the past called Dorsetshire) is a county in the south-west of England, on the English Channel coast. ... Somerset is a county in the south-west of England. ... Gloucestershire (pronounced ; GLOSS-ter-sher) is a county in South West England. ... Wiltshire (abbreviated Wilts) is a large southern English county. ... This article is about the English city. ...


In the nearby counties of Berkshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, it was possible to encounter comparable accents and, indeed, distinct local dialects until perhaps the 1960s. There is now limited use of such dialects amongst older people in local areas. Although natives of such locations, especially in western parts, can still have West Country influences in their speech, the increased mobility and urbanisation of the population have meant that local Berkshire, Hampshire and Isle of Wight dialects (as opposed to accents) are today essentially extinct. This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Hampshire, sometimes historically Southamptonshire or Hamptonshire, (abbr. ... The Isle of Wight is an English island and county, off the southern English coast, to the south of the county of Hampshire. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... Urbanization is the degree of or increase in urban character or nature. ...


Strong West Country accents can still be difficult for speakers of Standard English to understand. Although popularly considered to be only accents, academically the regional variations are considered to be dialect forms. The Survey of English Dialects captured manners of speech across the West Country that were just as different from Standard English as anything from the far North. These are dialects of English and should not be confused with Cornish, which is a Celtic language related to Welsh, and more closely to Breton. Standard English is a controversial term used to denote a form of written and spoken English that is thought to be normative for educated users. ... 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. ... British English (BrE, en-GB) is a broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... The Celtic languages are the languages descended from Proto-Celtic, or Common Celtic, spoken by ancient and modern Celts alike. ... Welsh redirects here, and this article describes the Welsh language. ... Breton (Brezhoneg) is a Celtic language spoken by some of the inhabitants of Brittany (Breizh) in France. ...

Contents

In literature

In literary terms, most of the usage has been in either poetry or dialogue, to add "local colour". It has rarely been used for serious prose in recent times, but was used much more extensively up to the 19th century.


West Country dialects are commonly represented as "Mummerset", a kind of catchall southern rural accent invented for broadcasting. Mummerset is an invented English language dialect used by actors that mimics the stereotypical speech of rural Southern England, while not being specific to one area. ...


Early period

  • The Wessex dialect was the standard literary language of Anglo-Saxon England, and consequently the majority of Anglo-Saxon literature, including the epic poem Beowulf, is preserved in West Saxon dialects.

Map of the British Isles circa 802 Wessex was one of the seven major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (the Heptarchy) that preceded the Kingdom of England. ... The famous parade helmet found at Sutton Hoo, probably belonging to King Raedwald of East Anglia circa 625. ... The initial page of the Peterborough Chronicle, likely scribed around 1150, is one of the major sources of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. ... The first page of Beowulf Beowulf is an Old English heroic epic poem composed in the later Early Middle Ages (in the 8th, 9th or 10th century). ... Judith is an Old English poem retelling the legend of the beheading of Holofernes, an Assyrian military leader, by the eponymous heroine, as recorded in the apocryphal book of Judith. ... Sumer Is Icumen In is a traditional English round, and possibly the oldest such example of counterpoint in existence. ...

17th Century

  • In King Lear, Edgar speaks in the West Country dialect, as one of his various personae.

King Lear and the Fool in the Storm by William Dyce (1806-1864) King Lear is based on the legend of King Lear, a legendary king of Britain, and is considered to be one of William Shakespeares greatest tragedies. ...

18th Century

  • Tom Jones (1749) by Henry Fielding, set in Somerset, again mainly dialogue. Considered one of the first true English novels.[1]

The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (often known simply as Tom Jones) is a comic novel by Henry Fielding. ... Henry Fielding (April 22, 1707 – October 8, 1754) was an English novelist and dramatist known for his rich earthy humor and satirical prowess and as the author of the novel Tom Jones. ...

19th Century

William Barnes (1801 - 1886) was an English writer, poet, minister, and philologist. ... Anthony Trollope (April 24, 1815 – December 6, 1882) became one of the most successful, prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era. ... The Chronicles of Barsetshire is a series of six novels by the English author Anthony Trollope, set in the fictitious cathedral town of Barchester. ... Thomas Hardy Thomas Hardy, OM (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) — an English novelist, short story writer, and poet of the naturalist movement — delineated characters struggling against their passions and circumstances. ... Tess of the dUrbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented is a novel by Thomas Hardy, first published in 1891. ... 1894 (MDCCCXCIV) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... W. S. Gilbert Arthur Sullivan Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the Victorian era partnership of librettist W. S. Gilbert (1836–1911) and composer Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900). ... The Sorcerer is a two-act comic opera, with a libretto by W. S. Gilbert and music by Arthur Sullivan. ... Poster announcing the copyright performance at the Bijou Theatre, Paignton The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. ...

20th century

A Glastonbury Romance is a novel by John Cowper Powys, published in 1932. ... 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday. ... John Cowper Powys (October 8, 1872 - June 17, 1963) was a British (English-Welsh) writer, lecturer, and philosopher. ... Laurence Edward Alan Laurie Lee, MBE (June 26, 1914 – May 13, 1997) was an English poet, novelist, and screenwriter, raised in the village of Slad, Gloucestershire. ... Cider With Rosie is a 1959 book by Laurie Lee. ... Gloucestershire (pronounced ; GLOSS-ter-sher) is a county in South West England. ... The Five Valleys converge on the town of Stroud, Gloucestershire, England. ... John Robert Fowles John Robert Fowles (March 31, 1926 – November 5, 2005) was an English novelist and essayist. ... Daniel Martin is a 1977 novel/Bildungsroman by John Fowles. ... Liber Amoris Dennis Christopher George Potter (17 May 1935—7 June 1994) was a controversial British dramatist who is best known for several widely acclaimed television dramas which mixed fantasy and reality, the personal and the social. ... Blue Remembered Hills is a television play by Dennis Potter, originally broadcast in January 30th 1979 as part of the BBCs Play for Today series. ...

Contemporary

Joanne Rowling OBE (born July 31, 1965 in Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire), commonly known as J.K. Rowling (pronunciation: roll-ing; her former students used to joke with her name calling her the Rolling Stone), is a British fiction writer. ... This article is about the Harry Potter series of novels. ... For other definitions of fantasy see fantasy (psychology). ... Rubeus Hagrid is a fictional character in the Harry Potter book series written by J. K. Rowling. ...

Television and film

Pirates of the Caribbean is a multi-billion dollar Walt Disney franchise encompassing a theme park ride, a series of highly successful films and spinoff novels as well as numerous video games and other publications. ... Hot Fuzz is a 2007 British police action/comedy film written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, who were previously in the motion picture Shaun of the Dead and the television series Spaced. ... In J. R. R. Tolkiens legendarium, Samwise Gamgee, later known as Samwise Gardner[2] or Samwise the Brave and commonly known as Sam, is a fictional character who is Frodo Bagginss servant and companion on the journey to Mordor. ... Meriadoc Brandybuck, usually referred to as Merry, is a fictional character from J.R.R. Tolkiens Middle-earth, featured throughout his most famous work, The Lord of the Rings. ... Sean Astin (born Sean Patrick Duke[1] on February 25, 1971) is an American film actor, director, and Oscar-nominated producer, most famous for his film roles as Mikey in The Goonies, the title character of Rudy, Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Drew Barrymores... This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling. ... The Lord of the Rings film trilogy comprises three live action fantasy epic films; The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). ... Gloucestershire (pronounced ; GLOSS-ter-sher) is a county in South West England. ... Little Britain is a character-based sketch show first appearing on BBC radio and then television. ... Vicky sniffing glue Vicky Pollard is a fictional character from the cult BBC TV and radio show Little Britain played by Matt Lucas. ...

History and origins

Until the 19th century, the West Country and its dialects were largely protected from outside influences, due to its relative geographical isolation. The West Country dialects derive not from a corrupted form of modern English, but reflect the historical origins of the English language and its historical pronunciation, in particular Late West Saxon, which formed one of the earliest English language standards. 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. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Late West Saxon or West Saxon was one of four distinct dialects of Old English. ...


The dialects have their origins in the expansion of Anglo-Saxon into the west of modern-day England, where the kingdom of Wessex (West-Saxons) was founded. From Wessex, the Anglo-Saxons spread into the Celtic region of Dumnonia, bringing their language with them. Penetration of the English language into Cornwall took centuries more; during the Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549, which centred on Devon and Cornwall, many of the Cornish and Devonians objected to the Prayer Book, the former on the basis that many Cornish could not speak English. The last monoglot Cornish speaker is believed to have been Chesten Marchant, who died in 1676 at Gwithian (Dolly Pentreath was bilingual). In recent years, the traffic has reversed, with the revived Cornish language reclaiming Cornish words that had been preserved in the local dialect into its lexicon, and also (especially "Revived Late Cornish") borrowing other dialect words. However, there has been some controversy over whether all of these words are of native origin, as opposed to imported from other parts of England, or the Welsh Marches[citation needed]. Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon[1], Old English: ) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ... Map of the British Isles circa 802 Wessex was one of the seven major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (the Heptarchy) that preceded the Kingdom of England. ... Dumnonia was a Brythonic kingdom of sub-Roman Britain, located in the south-west peninsula of modern England and covering Cornwall, Devon, most of Somerset and possibly part of Dorset. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Cornwall (pronounced ; Cornish: ) is a county in south-west England, United Kingdom, on the peninsula that lies to the west of the River Tamar and Devon. ... The Prayer Book Rebellion or Western Rebellion occurred in the southwest of England in 1549. ... Events July - Ketts Rebellion Francis Xavier arrives in Japan. ... A Modern Prayer Book The Book of Common Prayer is the prayer book of the Church of England and also the name for similar books used in other churches in the Anglican Communion. ... Chesten Marchant who died in 1676 at Gwithian, Cornwall is believed to have been the last monoglot Cornish speaker. ... Gwithian Beach, Penwith Gwithian is a beach in Penwith, Cornwall, UK. It is located to the East side of St Ives Bay. ... Dolly Pentreath (died December 1777) is considered by many to be the last native speaker of the Cornish language (that is, the last person who spoke only or predominantly Cornish). ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...


Outside Cornwall, it is thought that the various local dialects may reflect the territories of various Saxon clans (who had their own dialects of Saxon).


As Lt-Col. J.A. Garton observed in 1971 [1], traditional Somerset English has a venerable and respectable origin, and is not a mere "debasement" of Standard English: Year 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. ...

"The dialect is not, as some people suppose, English spoken in a slovenly and ignorant way. It is the remains of a language - the court language of King Alfred. Many words, thought to be wrongly pronounced by the countryman, are actually correct, and it is the accepted pronunciation which is wrong. English pronounces W-A-R-M worm, and W-O-R-M wyrm; in the dialect W-A-R-M is pronounced as it is spelt, Anglo-Saxon W-E-A-R-M. The Anglo-Saxon for worm is W-Y-R-M. Polite English pronounces W-A-S-P wosp; the Anglo-Saxon word is W-O-P-S and a Somerset man still says WOPSE. The verb To Be is used in the old form, I be, Thee bist, He be, We be, Thee 'rt, They be. 'Had I known I wouldn't have gone', is 'If I'd a-know'd I 'ooden never a-went'; 'A' is the old way of denoting the past participle, and went is from the verb to wend (Anglo-Saxon wendan)."

In some cases, many of these forms are closer to Standard German than Standard British English is, e.g. Alfred (also Ælfred from the Old English: Ælfrēd) (c. ...

Standard German Somerset Standard British English
Ich bin I be/A be I am
Du bist Thee bist You are (archaic "Thou art")
Er ist He be He is

The use of male (rather than neutral) gender with nouns, and sometimes female, also parallels German, which unlike English retains grammatical genders. The pronunciation of "s" as "z" is also similar to German.


In more recent times, West Country dialects have been treated with some derision, which has led many local speakers to abandon them or water them down. In particular it is British comedy which has brought them to the fore outside their native regions, and paradoxically groups such as The Wurzels, a comic North Somerset/Bristol band from whom the term Scrumpy and Western music originated, have both popularised and made fun of them simultaneously. In an unusual regional breakout, the Wurzels' song Combine Harvester reached the top of the UK charts in 1976, where it did absolutely nothing to dispel the "simple farmer" stereotype of Somerset folk. It and all their songs are sung entirely in a local version of the dialect, which is somewhat exaggerated and distorted. Some words used aren't even typical of the local dialect. For instance, the word "nowt" is used in the song "Threshing Machine". This word is generally used in more northern parts of the country. The Wurzels perform at the University of Bath summer ball 2007. ... Scrumpy and Western refers humorously to music from Englands West Country that fuses comical folk-style songs, often full of double entendre, with affectionate parodies of more mainstream musical genres, all delivered in the local accent/dialect. ... The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official UK Charts Company on behalf of the music industry. ... Year 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the 1976 Gregorian calendar. ...


Celtic language influence

The shifting of the linguistic boundary in Cornwall 1300-1750. To the east of the line is West Country English, and Cornish to the west.

As previously stated, Brythonic languages have had a long-term influence on the West Country dialects. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Brythonic is one of two major divisions of Insular Celtic languages (the other being Goidelic). ...


There is evidence of some minor Irish settlement in the coastal areas, especially Somerset, but the colonies here were not as large or successful as in Scotland, or even the few in north-west England and west Wales.


The Cornish dialect, or Anglo-Cornish (to avoid confusion with the Cornish language), has the most substantial Celtic language influence, because many western parts were non-English speaking, even into the early modern period. In places such as Mousehole, Newlyn and St Ives, fragments of Cornish survived in English even into the 20th century, e.g. some numerals (esp. for counting fish) and the Lord's Prayer were noted by WD Watson in 1925, Edwin Norris collected the Creed in 1860, and JH Nankivel also recorded numerals in 1865 . The dialect of West Penwith is particularly distinctive, especially in terms of grammar. This is most likely due to the late decay of the Cornish language in this area. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Mousehole Harbour See Mousehole (drilling) for the drilling term Mousehole (pronounced /Mauzl; in Cornish Porthynys) is a fishing village near Newlyn in Cornwall, United Kingdom, reputed to have one of the most beautiful harbours in the country. ... Newlyn Map sources for Newlyn at grid reference SW461284 Newlyn (Cornish: Lulynn) is a town in southwest Cornwall, UK. The town forms a small conurbation with neighbouring Penzance, and part of the civil parish of Penzance. ... St Ives harbour and the local rescue lifeboat. ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... Penwith (Cornish: Penwyth) is a local government district in Cornwall, UK. It is the westernmost district in the UK, other than the Isles of Scilly. ...


In other areas, Celtic vocabulary is less common, but it is notable that "coombe", cognate with Welsh cwm, was borrowed from Brythonic into Old English and is common in placenames east of the Tamar, especially Devon, and also in northern Somerset around Bath. Some possible examples of Brythonic words surviving in Devon dialect include:

  • Blooth - A blossom (Welsh blodyn)
  • Goco - A bluebell
  • Jonnick - Pleasant, agreeable

Characteristics

  • Some of the vocabulary used is reflective of English of a bygone era, e.g. the verb "to hark" (as in "'ark a' 'ee"), "thee" (often abbreviated to "'ee") etc, the increased use of the infinitive form of the verb "to be" etc.
  • All "r"s in a word are pronounced in a rhotic fashion (and not trilled), in contrast to Standard English where "r" is only pronounced before vowels. West Country pronunciation of "r" corresponds with that in Ireland and in most of North America. For example: park, herd and car.
  • Initial fricative consonants can be voiced, so that "s" is pronounced as Standard English "z" and "f" as Standard English "v".
  • Long "a" vowels in words such as grass, ask and Bath are represented by the sound [æ:] and not [a:], i.e.: the same pronunciation as the "a" in gas, mass and crash but longer.
  • In Bristol, a terminal "a" can be realised as the sound "aw" - e.g. cinema as "cinemaw" and America as "Americaw" - which is often perceived by non-Bristolians to be an intrusive "l". Hence the old joke about the three Bristolian sisters Evil, Idle and Normal — i.e.: Eva, Ida, and Norma. The name Bristol itself (originally Bridgestowe or Bristow) is believed to have originated from this local pronunciation.
  • In words containing "r" before a consonant, there is frequent metathesis - "gurt" (great), "Burdgwater" (Bridgwater) and "chillurn" (children)

In various districts there are also distinct grammatical and syntactical differences in the dialect: In linguistics, rhotic can refer to: a rhotic consonant such as IPA a rhotic accent such as General American an r-colored vowel such as IPA This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... In phonetics, a trill is a consonantal sound produced by vibrations between the articulator and the place of articulation. ... Standard English is a controversial term used to denote a form of written and spoken English that is thought to be normative for educated users. ... Standard English is a controversial term used to denote a form of written and spoken English that is thought to be normative for educated users. ... Standard English is a controversial term used to denote a form of written and spoken English that is thought to be normative for educated users. ... IPA may refer to: The International Phonetic Alphabet or India Pale Ale ... This article is about the English city. ... Metathesis is a sound change that alters the order of phonemes in a word. ... For the surname, see Grammer. ... For other uses, see Syntax (disambiguation). ...

  • The second person singular thee (or ye) and thou forms used, thee often contracted to ee.
  • Bist may be used instead of are for the second person, EG: how bist? ("how are you?") This has its origins in the Old English - or Anglo-Saxon - language and is the form adopted as standard in modern German ("Du bist").
  • Use of male (rather than neutral) gender with nouns, e.g: put he over there ("put it over there") and He's a nice scarf ("That's a nice scarf").
  • An a prefix may be used to denote the past participle; a-went ("gone").
  • Use of they in conjunction with plural nouns, where Standard English demands those e.g.: They shoes are mine ("Those shoes are mine" / "They are mine"). This is also used in Lowland Scots, except that in Scots they are two different words, thae (from Anglo-Saxon ðà, the plural form of that) and they (from Anglo-Saxon þà, the plural form of he, she and it).
  • Am used exclusively in the present tense, usually contracted to 'm. e.g: you'm, you am ("you are")[citation needed].
  • In other areas, be may be used exclusively in the present tense, often in the present continuous; Where you be going to? ("Where are you going?")
  • The use of to to denote location. Where's that to? ("Where's that?"). This is something you can still hear often, unlike many other characteristics. This former usage is common to Newfoundland English, where many of the island's modern-day descendants have West Country origins - particularly Bristol - as a result of the 17th19th century migratory fishery.
  • Use of the past tense "writ" where Standard English demands "wrote". e.g: I writ a letter ("I wrote a letter").
  • Nominative pronouns follow some verbs. For instance, Don't tell I, tell he! ("Don't tell me, tell him!"), "'ey give I fifty quid and I zay no, give 'ee to charity inztead" ("They gave me £50 and I said no, give it to charity instead"). In most Germanic languages (and it is most noticeable in Icelandic) it is nominative pronouns (I, he, she) which follow the verb to be, e.g.: It is I, It is he, These are they and not It is me, It is him, These are them. However in casual Standard English the objective case is now used. In West Country dialect however, many other verbs can take the nominative case.
  • West Country accents also share certain characteristics with those of other isolated rural areas where Standard English has been slow to influence the speech of most people; for example, in parts of the East Riding of Yorkshire final "r"s are still pronounced, or, in East Anglia, long "a"s retain the [æ:] pronunciation.

There is a popular prejudice that stereotypes speakers as unsophisticated and even backward, due possibly to the deliberate and lengthened nature of the accent. This can work to the West Country speaker's advantage, however: recent studies of how trustworthy Britons find their fellows based on their regional accents put the West Country accent high up, under southern Scottish English but a long way above Cockney and Scouse. Presumably this is premised upon the perception that farmers are people of the soil, and hence more honest compared with city dwellers, or that slow speech means slow thought, hence more incapable of guile. In traditional grammar, a contraction is the formation of a new word from two or more individual words. ... Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon[1], Old English: ) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ... Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon[1], Old English: ) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ... In linguistics, grammatical gender is a morphological category associated with the expression of gender through inflection or agreement. ... Scots refers to the Anglic varieties spoken in parts of Scotland. ... The present tense is the tense (form of a verb) that is often used to express: Action at the present time A state of being A habitual action An occurrence in the near future An action that occurred in the past and continues up to the present There are two... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... 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. ... The nominative case is a grammatical case for a noun, which generally marks the subject of a verb, as opposed to its object or other verb arguments. ... The accusative case of a noun is, generally, the case used to mark the direct object of a verb. ... The nominative case is a grammatical case for a noun, which generally marks the subject of a verb, as opposed to its object or other verb arguments. ... The East Riding of Yorkshire is a local government district with unitary authority status, and a ceremonial county of England. ... For the 1996 Blur single, see Stereotypes (song). ... Scottish English is usually taken to mean the standard form of the English language used in Scotland, often termed Scottish Standard English. ... St Mary-le-Bow The term cockney refers to working-class inhabitants of London, particularly east London, and the slang used by these people. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ...


The West Country accent is probably most identified in American English as "pirate speech" — cartoon-like "Ooh arr, me 'earties! Sploice the mainbrace!" talk is very similar. This may be a result of the strong seafaring and fisherman tradition of the West Country, both legal and outlaw. Edward Teach (Blackbeard) was a native of Bristol, and privateer and English hero Sir Francis Drake hailed from Tavistock in Devon. Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta The Pirates of Penzance may also have added to the association. It has also been suggested that Westcountryman Robert Newton's performance 1950 Disney film Treasure Island may have influenced people's preconceptions of what accent a pirate "should" have[2]. For other uses, see American English (disambiguation). ... Look up pirate and piracy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is in need of attention. ... A fisherman in central Chile A Long Island fisherman cleans his nets A fisherman (in recent years sometimes called a fisher to be non-gender specific), is a person who engages in the activity of fishing. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A privateer was a private ship (or its captain) authorized by a countrys government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping. ... Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral, (c. ... Tavistock is a town in Devon, England, lying on the River Tavy on the edge of Dartmoor. ... W. S. Gilbert Arthur Sullivan Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the Victorian era partnership of librettist W. S. Gilbert (1836–1911) and composer Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900). ... Operetta (literally, little opera) is a performance art-form similar to opera, though it generally deals with less serious topics. ... Poster announcing the copyright performance at the Bijou Theatre, Paignton The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. ... Robert Newton as Long John Silver. ... Year 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Disney may refer to: The Walt Disney Company and its divisions, including Walt Disney Pictures. ... Treasure Island is a 1950 Disney film based on Robert Louis Stevensons novel Treasure Island. ...


Additional selected vocabulary

Some of these terms are obsolete, but some are in current use.

  • "Acker" (North Somerset) — friend
  • "Allernbatch" (Devon) — old sore
  • "Alright my ansum" (Cornwall) — How are you, my friend?
  • "Alright my luvver" (just as with the phrase "alright mate", when said by a person from the West Country, it has no carnal connotations, it is merely a greeting)
  • "Anywhen" — At any time
  • "Batch" (North Somerset) — hill - used in place names, e.g. the Vern Batch
  • "Beast" (North Somerset) — animal, particularly cattle
  • "Benny" (Bristol) — to lose your temper (from a character in Crossroads)
  • "Beamer" (Bristol)— to go red in the face with embarrassment.
  • "Blad" (Bristol) — idiot
  • "Chuggy peg" (North Somerset) — antirrhinum, snapdragon
  • "Chump" (North Somerset) — log (for the fire)
  • "Chuting" (North Somerset) — (pronounced "shooting") guttering
  • "Comical" (North Somerset) — peculiar, e.g. "'e was proper comical"
  • "Coupie" (North Somerset) — crouch, as in the phrase "coupie down"
  • "Crowst" (Cornwall) — a picnic lunch, crib
  • "Cuzzel" (Cornwall) — soft
  • "Daddy granfer" (North Somerset) — woodlouse
  • "Dimpsy" (Devon) — describing the state of twilight as in "it's getting a bit dimpsy"
  • "Doughboy" (North Somerset) — dumpling
  • "Emmet" (Cornwall and North Somerset) — tourist or visitor (derogatory)
  • "Et" (North Somerset) — that, e.g. "Giss et peak" (Give me that pitchfork)
  • "Gleanie" (North Somerset) — guinea fowl
  • "Gockey" (Cornwall) — idiot
  • "Grockle" (Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire) — tourist or visitor (derogatory)
  • "Haling" (North Somerset) — coughing
  • "Hark at he" (pronounced "'ark a' 'ee"), "listen to him"
  • "Hilts and gilts" (North Somerset) — female and male piglets, respectively.
  • "Hinkypunk" — Will o' the wisp
  • "Huppenstop" (North Somerset) — raised stone platform where milk churns are left for collection - no longer used but many still exist outside farms.
  • "In pig" — (of a pig) pregnant
  • "Janner" (Devon, esp. Plymouth) — a term with various meanings, normally associated with Devon. An old term for some who makes their living off of the sea. (In Wiltshire, a similar word ' jidder ' has similar meaning - possible relation to 'gypsy').
  • "Jasper" - a North Devon word for wasp.
  • "Keendle teening" (Cornwall) — candle lighting
  • "Kimberlin" (Portland) — someone from Weymouth
  • "Love", "My Love", "Luvver" — terms of endearment. Even used by heterosexual men to one another.
  • "Ling" (Cornwall)— to throw Ling 'ee 'ere - Throw it here
  • "Madderdo'ee" (Cornwall) — Does it matter?
  • "Maggoty" (Dorset) — fanciful
  • "Makky" (Bristol) — large, often to benefit
  • "Mang" (Devon) — to mix
  • "Ooh Arr" (Devon) — multiple meanings, including "Oh Yes". Popularised by the Wurzels, this phrase has become stereotypical, and is used often to mock speakers of West Country dialects.
  • "Piggy widden" (Cornwall) — phrase used to calm babies
  • "Plimmed, -ing up" (North Somerset) — swollen, swelling
  • "Poached, -ing up" (North Somerset but also recently heard on The Archers) — cutting up, of a field, as in "the ground's poaching up ,we'll have to bring the cattle indoors for the winter".
  • "Pummy" (Dorset) — Apple pumace from the cider-wring (either from "pumace" or French "pomme" meaning apple)
  • "Rainin' pourin'" (North Somerset) — raining very hard - said as if one word ("It's rainin-pourin")
  • "Scag" (North Somerset) — to tear or catch (“I've scagged my jeans on some barbed wire.”)
  • "Scrage" — a scratch or scrape usually on a limb BBC Voices Project
  • "Slit pigs" (North Somerset) — male piglets that have been castrated
  • "Smooth" (Somerset) — to stroke (e.g. cat or dog)
  • "Somewhen" — At some time (still very commonly used)
  • "Sprieve" (Wiltshire) — Dry after a bath, shower or swim by evaporation.
  • "Thic" (North Somerset) — that - said knowingly, i.e. to be make dialect deliberately stronger. E.g. "Get in thic bed!"
  • "Zat" (Devon) — soft

This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Species This list is currently incomplete Section Antirrhinum Antirrhinum australe Antirrhinum barrelieri Antirrhinum boissieri Antirrhinum braun-blanquetii Antirrhinum charidemi Antirrhinum graniticum Antirrhinum grosii Antirrhinum hispanicum Antirrhinum latifolium Antirrhinum lopesianum Antirrhinum majus Antirrhinum meonanthum Antirrhinum microphyllum Antirrhinum molle Antirrhinum onubensis Antirrhinum pertegasii Antirrhinum pulverulentum Antirrhinum rupestre Antirrhinum sempervirens Antirrhinum siculum Antirrhinum... Emmet is the Cornish word for ant, and is a disparaging nickname that some local people use to refer to the many tourists who visit Cornwall. ... Genera  Agelastes  Numida  Guttera  Acryllium The guineafowl are a family of birds in the same order as the pheasants, turkeys and other game birds. ... Will-o-the-wisp (reenacted) The will-o-the-wisp or ignis fatuus, or in plural form as ignes fatui (fools fire(s)) refers to the ghostly lights sometimes seen at night or twilight that hover over damp ground in still air — often over bogs. ... Historically, janner is a British slang term used to describe a person who lives within sight of the sea. ... Suborder Apocrita See text for explanation. ... The Isle of Portland is a long by wide limestone island in the English Channel. ... Weymouth is a town in Dorset, England, situated on a sheltered bay at the mouth of the River Wey on the English Channel coast. ... Heterosexuality is a sexual orientation characterized by esthetic attraction, romantic love or sexual desire exclusively for members of the opposite sex or gender, contrasted with homosexuality and distinguished from bisexuality and asexuality. ... The Wurzels perform at the University of Bath summer ball 2007. ... This entry is about the radio series; for other meanings, see The Archers (disambiguation). ...

Social Stigma and Future of West Country Dialect

Owing to the West Country's agricultural history, the sound of the West Country accent has for centuries been associated with farming and, as an effect, with lack of education and rustic simplicity. This can be seen in literature as early as the 18th Century in Richard Brinsley Sheridan's play The Rivals, set in the Somerset city of Bath. Richard Brinsley Sheridan Richard Brinsley Sheridan (October 30, 1751 – July 7, 1816) was an Irish playwright and Whig statesman. ... The Rivals, a play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, is a comedy of manners in five acts. ...


As more and more of the British population moved into towns and cities during the 20th Century, non-regional, Standard English accents increasingly became a marker of personal social mobility. Most recently of all, a national obsession with "Chavs" has harmed the reputation of regional urban accents via a well-known, vile character in the popular British comedy series Little Britain, Vicky Pollard, who speaks with a broad Bristolian accent. Standard English is a controversial term used to denote a form of written and spoken English that is thought to be normative for educated users. ... This article needs cleanup. ... Little Britain is a character-based sketch show first appearing on BBC radio and then television. ... Vicky sniffing glue Vicky Pollard is a fictional character from the cult BBC TV and radio show Little Britain played by Matt Lucas. ...


As is the case with all of Britain's regional accents and dialects, increased mobility and communication during the last century seem to have strengthened the influence of Standard English throughout Britain, particularly amongst the younger generations. The BBC Voices series also found that many people throughout Britain felt that this was leading to a "dilution" or even loss of regional accents and dialects. In the case of the West Country however, it seems that also social stigma has for a long time contributed to this process.


See also

English is a West Germanic language that originated from the Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Britain by Germanic settlers and auxiliary troops under Roman tutelage from various parts of what is now northwest Germany and the Northern Netherlands. ... Mummerset is an invented English language dialect used by actors that mimics the stereotypical speech of rural Southern England, while not being specific to one area. ... Late West Saxon or West Saxon was one of four distinct dialects of Old English. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Bristol is a city in south west England. ... The Wurzels perform at the University of Bath summer ball 2007. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
West Country dialects - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2020 words)
The West Country dialects, or West Country accents, are generic terms applied to any of several English dialects or accents used by much of the indigenous population of the southwestern part of England, the area popularly known as the West Country.
The West Country dialects derive not from a corrupted form of modern English, but reflect the historical origins of the English language and its historical pronunciation, in particular Late West Saxon, which formed one of the earliest English language standards.
The dialect of West Penwith is particularly distinctive, especially in terms of grammar.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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