According to St George International, there are over 1. 5 billion English speakers. And that means there’s a huge number of English accents.
But people often think that in England they all speak in the same Posh Received Pronunciation (posh RP), also referred to as the Queen’s English. However, this is not the case. In fact, England has a more accents than you’d care to count.
Here are a few of the stereotypical accents you may come across on your travels around England.
The cockney accent comes from South London and is one of the most well-known. You may recognise it from famous films. Below is a video of ‘consider yourself’, a song sangin the cockney accent from the 1968 adaptation of Oliver Twist, Oliver!.
The accent is also in the musical, My Fair Lady. It’s about turning cockney flower-seller, Eliza Doolittle, into a ‘proper lady’. A huge part of this is ‘correcting’ her accent. Cockney has become the voice of what London sounds like.
The Birmingham accent and dialect is known as Brummie. It’s one of the many accents of the West-Midlands. And it’s characterised as being a little monotonous. Ozzy Osborne, lead singer of the band Black Sabbath, speaks with a broad Brummie twang. Below is a link to an interview of someone who speaks in the accent.
The Geordie accent is from Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Tyneside. Some examples of famous people who speak with it are the singer Cheryl Cole and proud-geordie footballer Alan Shearer. The Geordie dialect is said to be quite sing-song and uses words that come from Germanic and Scandinavian parts of Europe. Below is an interview with Alan Shearer.
The Scouse accent is from Liverpool and county of Merseyside. It was confined to Liverpool up until the 1950s. The iconic Beatles are easily the most recognisable speakers of the accent. People from Liverpool are regularly referred to as ‘Scousers’. Here’s a video of a collection of Beatles interviews.
The West Country accent falls into two distinct types. The one from Devon and Cornwall sounds like a pirate. And the accent from South West England sounds like the Hobbits from the Lord of the Rings.
The Yorkshire accent is from the Yorkshire county in Northern England. The land of scrumptious Yorkshire puddings. Famous people with the accent include the actor Sean Bean who plays Ned Stark in Game of Thrones, and Melanie B from the spice girls.
We hope this gives you an idea of some of the different accents of England. And maybe you’ll now be able to identify them when you journey through this beautiful country or turn on the radio.