Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bath or Bawth?

They've done one of those 'which is the stupidest accent in the British Isles' surveys again. They seem to have one every five minutes or so, and always conclude that people from Birmingham sound like gormless thickos. If I was from Birmingham I'd take umbrage. It's as though they hold the surveys on a regular basis to remind the Brummies that they sound like retarded morons, just so they don't start to get ideas above their station.

Personally I don't mind The Brummie accent, it's just an inoffensive droning monotone. A strong Belfast accent (once memorably described as 'like listening to a Glaswegian being strangled') is much harsher on the ear. As for Liverpudlians, they go in for a stream of conciousness gibberish which is comprehensible only to other Liverpudlians.

If you want to hear a really stupid accent you have to go to Devon, where centuries of inbreeding have not only produced a population of one eyed eunuchs but resulted in a sheep shagging yokel accent that definitively puts the hay in seed.

The Brummies should hold their heads high, they mightn't be popular as call centre recruits, but at least their speech is comprehensible. It's just a pity that they sound depressed all time. They really should hold a survey to find if suicides in Birmingham exceed the national average.

Perhaps I'll join the Samaritans and try to stop the Brummies from killing themselves. I should be able to talk them round, If I can stop myself guffawing at their accent.


Anonymous said...

Eow yus. Oi em sow heppy. Oi em sow ebsolowltely heppy thet oi cowd denss fow joy.

Brummie doesn't really translate intae any sort of typeface which you can write on paper and pronounce correctly.

Here, give this a go. Use a mobile to send a text to yer landline with the words "Yow dorty ret. Yow killed moi brootha" and you end up with the BT text-to-speech engine attempting to give a Jimmy Cagney speech in pure Brummie!

S'worth a go jest fer the entertainment value....

Liz said...

Ah. Now the joyous thing here is that the fella who is in charge of the pronunciations at the OED happens to be a charmingly lilting Brummie. (Full disclosure - he's also my father-in-law.) He's been involved in quite a few of the surveys which have found the Birmingham accent to come bottom of the clever-sounding league, and takes great delight in them.

Bollix said...

Mrs Bastard originates from the fair city of Belfast, the good side naturally. Many a good night spent in O'Flaherty's bar over in Newtonabbey

She has a 'strong' but clipped accent, but obviously living in Glasgow has completely fucked up her vowels and she now compensates by subjecting me to long periods of silence.

No wait.. the long periods of silence are because I've still not finished the guest bathroom.

Fuck.. I knew there was something I had to do.

KAZ said...

Nowt like a Bowton accent - just ask Peter and Vernon.

Tim Footman said...

Imagine a Venn diagram, with three circles representing "south-western yokel", "non-specific neo-estuary proletariat" and "intellectually challenged".

The interesection is labelled "Southampton".

MJ said...

*holds head aloft with superior Canuck accent*

garfer said...


That's a grand South African accent you've got there. I bet it gets the girlies all a trembly.


A Brummie in a position of authority? That shouldn't be allowed.


Glasgow is full of Belfast folk. That's why there are lots of fights.


I refuse to eat Hovis on principle. It might make me start saying "you don't get owt fer nowt".


I haven't been to Southampton. I won't be going.


Sorry, I can't take people who don't know how to pronounce 'out' properly seriously.

Leila said...

I really don't know all the different accents - Im from Kent, and now lived in South Africa for ten years... so mine is pretty messed up, I wont go judging!

crazyrivergirl said...

I need a translator whenever I visit Aberdeen.

garfer said...


Dear me, you must move to Tunbridge Wells forthwith and take elocution lessons.


Aberdonians: incomprehensible AND stingy.

Peevish McSnark said...

If you want to hear a truly unintelligible accent, hop on over here to my side of the pond and visit the dark heart of Alabama.

Frankly, I find most accents charming.

Sniffy said...

Coming from the area, I find a strong Manchesterford accent particularly offensive.

I quite like the Northern Irish accent, but I'm not mad keen on the Scots'.

garfer said...


Alabama is swamp bluesy alligator baitin' rye whisky drinkin' first cousin shaggin' Lynyrd Skynyrd nirvana.

Beats Yankee diphthongs any day.


Mancunians saw 'fook', which explains the collapse of the cotton industry. Just ask J B Priestly.

Betty said...

My friend's husband is from Belfast and his accent I suppose has mellowed a bit since being on the mainland. When I was at their wedding I was introduced to his brothers who have really really broad accents. One of them asked me a question and I had to ask him to repeat it a second time. When what he said was even more incomprehensible to me a second time I had to really think on my feet. Saying something very non specific which could be an answer to any question that he could have asked - what a nightmare! I'm still not sure if I got away with it, but luckily I was really pissed at the time.

garfer said...

Yes, and they usually speak very quickly which makes them very difficult to understand.

It's a funny accent: sometimes attractive (think George Best), and sometimes vile (think the late "hondootely" John Cole)