A Guide To UK Regional Accents

Emma Hart

Coming into the UK will be a fun experience with so much to learn, including all the interesting accents people have! There is no need to worry about being the only one with an accent, because there are actually many UK accents! It is sometimes a bit of a game to try and guess where people are from – good for a conversation starter!

There is a huge variety of regional accents which include Brummie, Glaswegian, Scouse, Cockney, Multicultural London English, Geordie and the famous Welsh and Irish accents.

The Irish accent is actually named the “sexiest” accent and there are many famous people from Ireland including Graham Norton, Liam Neeson and Colin Farrel.

You can greet an Irish person by saying “Howyiz” and remember they don’t pronounce their T’s or G’s, so walking becomes “walkin”.They have softer vowels and even pronounce Ireland as “Oireland.”

The Brummie accent is from Birmingham and may appear quite similar to the Coventry accent, often heard within the famous TV show EastEnders, however when listened to closely, differences appear. Phrases you might not have heard of before include ‘Whaddya reckon?’ (what do you think about that?), on the box (being off sick) and Spondoolies (money).

Celebrities who speak Brummie include Adrian Chiles and Ozzy Osbourne if you want to look them up and listen to the accent to familiarise yourself with it. Brummie phrases include; ‘buzz’ (bus), babby (baby), fittle (food).

Glaswegian comes from Glasgow, in Scotland. In the Glaswegian accent,It’s a little confusing, but when you listen to it more, you’ll get used to it and it’s fun to challenge yourself to learn more!

The Scouse accent is actually from Liverpool – want to know how to speak like a person from Liverpool? Well it is a very strong accent, but it is very jovial! You have to speak a little higher than normal and make sure you go up at the end of your sentence, so saying Liverpool would be like saying “Liiverrpoourl.”

The Cockney accent is from London’s East End and it is probably the hardest to understand and explain. It is basically a language of rhyme and you’ll probably only get to grips with it if you spent a few months listening to it.Here are some phrases: Adam and Eve (believe), Aunt Joanna (piano), Ball and Chalk (Walk), Bread and Honey (money) are just a few, but you get the idea.

Multicultural London English is known as the latest slang language within the UK, mainly heard in the East End and mostly spoken by younger people, as well as traditional Cockney slang. Dizzee Rascal is one of the most well-known speakers of it, if you have ever heard of him. It almost sounds like more of a northern accent, for example instead of saying “face”, they would say “fehs.” Or “goh hohm” instead of “go home.”

The Yorkshire dialect has its roots in older language and interestingly, Scandinavian influences from the viking invasion can still be picked up on in the accent here. People in Yorkshire will often use short ‘a’s’ in words such as grass, chance and path.

The West Yorkshire dialect is the most harsh sounding in this region, North and East Yorkshire accents are a little softer. Perhaps one of the reasons why Yorkshire has retained its distinctive accent is because a lot of the county is very rural, so old traditions are still in place.

Finally, the famous Geordie accent – if you haven’t heard of the Geordie Shore show then watch it. It’s from people who live in Newcastle and here are a few words “Nee” (no), Doon (down), Owa (Over) and Neet (night).

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