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Regional Accents In England Why Do We All Sound Different?

Celtic or Briton? This is the face of our English ancestors.

Celtic or Briton? This is the face of our English ancestors.

Modern English

The English language started in a small village in England and has spread around the world. It is the most widely known language in most countries today. The main countries that speak it as a first language are England or Britain, America, Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

English is spoken as a second language in many countries, and comes third in the ranking of most spoken as a first language after Spanish and Mandarin.

The strange thing about the English language in its native land of England, is that there are so many different accents that span the whole of the Country.

Many of these different accents or dialects, are the leftover signs of other countries that have invaded or settled here.

So whether you are from the North of England, or the sunny South here are a few of our lovely, but very different accents and how they came to be.

The Men An Tol Stone Circle Cornwall England An ancient and mysterious glimpse of England's past.

The Men An Tol Stone Circle Cornwall England An ancient and mysterious glimpse of England's past.

A Bit Of History About The First Languages of Britain.

P - Celtic And Q - Celtic languages.

The two Celtic letters above are an abbreviation of the Celtic spoken across Britain back in history around the time of the Iron Age. There are various different types of Celtic all depending on the area of England and Britain.

The four 'living languages' of Celtic that still have a few native speakers today, are:

  • Goidelic Irish.
  • Scottish Gaelic which is a descendant of Old Irish. This is spoken is Scotland.
  • Brythonic Welsh.
  • Breton taken from the British language.

The original idea of England being taken over by many other races and languages has been disproved. (source BBC History) The gene pool of England is still going strong thousands of years on and in fact the 'invaders' such as the French and Viking actually tended to keep to their own.

But this is not to say that we, including Scotland, Ireland and Wales are actually what we call Celts.

Did You Know?

The word Celt was actually introduced into Britain in the 18th Century! The actual Gauls or Celts were from the continent, mainly France. Evidently it was noticed that the local languages including England Scotland Ireland and Wales sounded similar to foreign languages.

Somehow over the last few hundred years the word Celtic has taken on its own meaning. But in essence, the actual languages that were spoken back then in Britain were either all 'Celtic' (similar to European) or nothing to do with them.

In plain English, 'scuse the pun! Whether you are Scots, English, Welsh or Irish, we were all the original people that came here to settle. So,that means we are all Celtic, or we are all not Celtic. Take your pick!

Therefore even if you live in the South of England you can still, in theory, be called Celtic. Well, Boadicca the Iron Age Celtic Queen from England knew that already!

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Lets Move On! Cornwall and the Cornish Language

I know it's a bit of a cheat, but I have to start with the actual old Celtic language of Cornwall itself. Cornish is the descendant of the ancient British language that was prevalent all over England before our modern English.

It is classed as a Brythonic Celtic language, and has more or less disappeared over the centuries.

Well, now its back. The local Cornish people have over the last few decades, decided to revive the language. And I can see why. Its a fascinating language, and many people are beginning to really embrace it once again.

Let's Learn Scouse!

Scousers come from Liverpool and the surrounding areas. This is in the North West of England.

What the heck is Scouse? You may well ask. Well, the word Scouse is derived from 'Lobscouce'

Which in turn is derived from the Norwegian word 'Lapskaus' .Which actually means meat stew.

The reason behind this was because the sailors ate a lot of the stew, and the locals who didn't have much money ate tons of the stuff. Hence the name stuck for the locals.

Liverpool was originally a fishing village, but soon started to trade with Ireland. Soon the language became a melting pot of Irish, Welsh and other accents.

Scouse Liverpool

Geordie Newcastle

The Geordie accent comes from Newcastle Upon Tyne, which is in the North East of England.

The area that has adopted the word Geordie can be classed as the whole are of the North East, or locally as just the Tyneside area, all depending on who you ask!

This is an interesting dialect, because its a continuation of the language spoken by the Anglo Saxon settlers, who came to England from mainly Germany, or Germanic regions of Europe around the time of the 5th Century AD.

Their language developed into what we now know as 'Old English'. And in fact some of their old poems are easier to translate into Geordie, than into modern English.

There are various arguments about how the name Geordie came into being. Some have said that it was taken from the word George, a common name among pit workers. Others have said that it started with the Jacobite Rebellion in 1745. In a nutshell, the Geordies were supposedly on the English Kings side, George of Hanover (German origin). And the Northumbrian's, who were on the side of the Scots, called them 'Geordie Whelps' (George the Guelph).

The main reason for the name Geordie, however, was probably taken from the lamps that the local miners used. These were called Geordie Safety Lamps! Yes, that makes sense!

Anyway, here's to the great, and very difficult to understand,


Geordie Newcastle

Cockney London

The Cockney accent and dialect words are associated with the area around Bow Bells in London, or the East End of London.

The actual word, Cockney, originated in 1362, and was used to explain a small round egg. Taken from the Middle English, cocken, or Cockerel, and ey meaning egg.

In 'The Reeve's Tale' written by Geoffrey Chaucer (1386) the word appears as cockenay. This was a derogatory term meaning, milksop, or an effeminate fellow.

The term was changed in 1600, to a 'Bowe Bell Cockney'.

But this may not be true. There is another version of the term cockney. Its said it was probably taken from the word Cockaignemean 'mythical and luxurious Country'.

This was a tongue in cheek meaning of the word by people at the time. The actual word 'cocker' means to spoil a child. Or at least it did back then. These days people are still heard asking 'You alright cocker?' It seems that the meaning has changed over the years, but at least we still get to call them Cockney. And I, for one, love the language.

I can't talk about the Cockney accent without mentioning the Pearly Kings and Queens.

These are a group of people who wear clothes covered in pearl buttons. The tradition started back in the 19th Century when Henry Croft, an orphan street cleaner began collecting money for charity.

At the time, costermongers, or street traders used to wear pearl buttons on their trousers which had been found by the market traders.

Henry Croft decided to adopt the look, and add to it, to attract attention for his charity collection. Since then, an organised Pearly society was started in Finchley London. And the tradition still carries on today.

Cockney Slang

The Pearly Kings and Queens Cockney Night

Buckinghamshire and Hampshire.

Middle England, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and surrounding counties tends to have a rather boring 'posh' accent. Yes I can say that as I live here! lol! Just think of the Queen and tone it down a bit!

Originally my county was similar to other 'countryside' accents. Such as Cornwall and Somerset. But over the years it has developed into a much more refined way of speaking. Saying that, in the town where I live, we tend to speak very much like London or cockney.

The influence of different cultures, people moving down from London and the rich taking up residence seems to have toned down our old country accent so that its turned into something that strikes up a middle ground.

In the video we see a girl who lives in Portsmouth Hampshire. This is similar to my accent but slightly posher! lol!



(c) copyright nell rose


Billy Jay Burton from Earth on May 07, 2020:

Interesting article about British accents.

People from Newcastle sound especially peculiar to me.

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 16, 2017:

Thanks Deb, yes I love finding out who and what came from different countries and races. Thanks so much for reading.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on April 15, 2017:

Love it, Nell. It makes me feel closer to other people's roots. As inhabitants of this planet, we should all learn a bt about each nationality, and perhaps it will lead to a better understanding for ALL of us.

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 30, 2014:

lol! Hezekiah! I wonder why they came to that conclusion? it sounds nothing like it! thanks for reading, nell

Hezekiah from Japan on August 30, 2014:

Its funny coz I am from Birmimgham originally but live in Japan now. People think my accent is Scottish or Irish.

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 29, 2014:

LOLOLO! oh sorry Paula, I didn't get ya! LOL! yep its a huge donut stuck in the middle of Cornwall! we all take a bite when we go there, but as you can see the Cornish Pixies remake it every day!

Suzie from Carson City on August 29, 2014:

Well, that IS a picture of an English Donut at the top of your hub, right?

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 29, 2014:

Thanks so much ps, glad you liked it, yes some of our accents are lovely, others just confuse the hell out of me! lol!

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 29, 2014:

lol! Paula, do we? never thought of it! and thanks so much for reading, yes I can't understand some of them either!

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 29, 2014:

Hi cfin, sorry I missed your comment, yes its amazing isn't it? I know around Bucks there was a high level of celt, and in fact knowing my family had red hair on both sides makes me wonder if I could trace my family back quite far, not that far of course, but I would love to know, and yes I love Irish accents, especially Dublin and the South, my best friend comes from Tipperary and its a lovely accent, thanks for reading, nell

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on August 29, 2014:

You have filled in so many gaps in my knowledge. I actually have only heard English accents up close and personal from two lovely people that my parents knew when I was a little girl. I had a bit of trouble understanding some of there words but they probably felt the same about me as I had a very heavy Southern accent.

this is so informative, Nell. thanks for doing all of the work for us

Angels are on the way to you ps

Suzie from Carson City on August 29, 2014:

Nell.....You're amazing. A walking, talking, writing expert on Being English! This is a wonderful education and I thank you. Some I could follow, others.....forget it. I enjoyed every video, because I can listen to these accents all day, even if I have no clue what people are saying. have enormous donuts across the pond! Wow...Up++++shared-pinned-tweeted

cfin from The World we live in on August 29, 2014:

Hi Nell,

The way I always try to explain to people when they ask what is the difference between an Irish and English accent is that the same people lived across Ireland and the UK for thousands of years. England and Britain took the brunt of the roman conquests(Ireland remained outside of the empire), thus the English language is of latin origin mixed with Germanic Anglo Saxony origin, seeing as the angles arrived later and never really cemented their culture in Ireland. This altered the accents of the people of England heavily while the Welsh to a lesser extend and Ireland not much at all.

The people in the republic stayed relatively the same, while people in Northern Ireland then (cromwell conquests and onward)had their accent heavily influenced by the Ulster plantations where Scots were planted there during the British conquests of Ireland. Note how Northern Irish have a clear Scot twang and many identify themselves as Ulster Scots. Meanwhile the republic remained rather the same even still.

The modern UK, including the North of Ireland, as a result of all of the above has such a great variation of accents. I love having the UK as a neighbor. I feel that our histories and cultures are so far intertwined. Different regions and to a greater extent different countries. Hopefully we can hang onto that mystic feeling though :)

Further so, the further the Celtic twang, the higher the % of population with the Celtic gene. i.e Ireland with extremely high, the north with lesser, Wales quite high and as we move toward London, the % drops. Fascinating!

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 12, 2014:

Hi Peg, yes its amazing how many accents we do have, yet we are all English, Eve is Welsh, she has a lovely lilt to her voice. I sometimes have to figure out what people say if they come from the north, lol! thanks for reading, nell

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on August 12, 2014:

This is interesting, Nell. I had no idea there were so many different accents in England. We're hearing a lot more variations now on the TV and in movies since the Harry Potter series came out. I also love to listen to Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) on Torchwood, and then there's Dr. Who and his companions. Love them all. We have a variety of accents here, too. Great idea for a hub.

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 18, 2014:

lol! I hear ya!

Joanna Chandler from On Planet Earth on July 18, 2014:

I bet you cannot understand them from the north lets not even think about the east and west it might be more complicated. Well anything that sounds like Matthew is on the right side of English lmbo. So stay on the safe side and never move north you hear me.

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 18, 2014:

Hiya, I tend to sound more like Matthew because we are from 'Down South' innit? LOL! But yep, cockney slang is so funny! half of those up north I can't understand! great to see ya as always, nell

Joanna Chandler from On Planet Earth on July 18, 2014:

Get outta here Nell "The reason behind this was because the sailors ate a lot of the stew" are you like serious LOL .

The lady in the scouse liverpool video sounds EXACTLY like " Susan Boyle" maybe she is from there too .

The "Cockney Slang are the cursing" lol if not soon they'll bite their own tongues .

Preferably i'll only digest the one Matthew Bannister speaks because its the best. LOL

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 29, 2014:

Hi Martie, lol! I know what you mean about the Irish accent! my friends dad always used to laugh at me because I would have to ask her what he said! yes I would love to read about the Afrikaans language, I have no idea where or when it started from, so that would be fascinating! Thanks as always, nell

Martie Coetser from South Africa on June 29, 2014:

Very interesting, Nell! Down here the English people speak 'London' English. We Afrikaans people, as well as the Blacks who speak a variety of languages, speak English with a funny accent. Afrikaans, too, has a variety of accents, depending on the regions. Also very interesting how Afrikaans differs from its mother language, Dutch, and sister language spoken in Belgium. You are inspiring me to write a hub about Afrikaans, which is most probably the youngest language in the world, only accepted in the early 1900s. Voted up and extremely interesting.

Oh, we had an Irish friend. I could hardly understand him.

All of a sudden I miss David, the Welshman's, accent. It was so cute! While he thought my accent was just as cute. Lol!

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 06, 2014:

Hi suzette, lol! seems that we have a lot of interests in common! thanks again, and have a great weekend, nell

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on June 06, 2014:

Nell: I remember reading this when you first published it and I remember the different accents, but I didn't remember the part you wrote about the Brythonic Celtic languages. Small world! Loved this hub!

Nell Rose (author) from England on October 09, 2013:

lol! yes those accents even get me sometimes and I am English! Thanks ologsingquito, glad you liked it, nell

ologsinquito from USA on October 09, 2013:

Hi Nell, I definitely voted this one up. The accents you describe are a little difficult for my American ears to distinguish. But I think I met someone one time with a Cockney accent.

Nell Rose (author) from England on September 19, 2013:

Thanks so much DDE, have a great day!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 19, 2013:

All the different accents how interesting and you said it all here about how the Regional Accents In England Why Do We All Sound Different. I found this hub to be useful, and voted up!

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 18, 2013:

Hi Case, thanks me dear! lol! glad you liked it, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 18, 2013:

Hi starbright, lol! they are double dutch to me too! thanks so much for reading, nell

CASE1WORKER from UNITED KINGDOM on June 18, 2013:

Great hub m'duck as they say in Leicester

Lucy Jones from Scandinavia on June 18, 2013:

Good and interesting hub as always Nell. Great subject - although some of the accents were 'double-dutch' to me. Thanks for sharing.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 18, 2013:

Haha! brilliant! thanks Jools, so funny!

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on June 18, 2013:

Why Aye Man - this was interesting hinny :)

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 15, 2013:

Hi suzette, I didn't realise that they had options to decide which accent to have, that's fascinating! I love hearing the different accents, and the American ones are great! thanks so much for reading, nell

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on June 15, 2013:

Fascinating article, Nell. I like your accent the best and it is the easiest for me to understand. I find this article so interesting and isn't it amazing that people can be from the same country and talk so differently? We have different accents here in the U.S. and can usually tell what part or region of the country they are located in from their accent. In foreign countries when students want to learn English, they are given the option of learning English from England or American English. It is a hoot to hear a foreigner speak the English/British English when they say they have studied our language. Anyway, this is a great article and so engaging.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 14, 2013:

Hi alocsin, yes that's true, but the original English language itself came from a small English village, the Angles accent is more up north of England, thanks so much for reading, nell

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on June 14, 2013:

And let's not forget the French Normans who turned Anglo-Saxon into the English we know today. Not that anybody in England speak with French accents, unless they're from France. I remember making a phone call to Harrod's in the 1980s, before the Internet, to ask if they had a London Monopoly set. I was transferred to six different people, each of them having different accents. It was quite an eye-opener on English accents. Voting this Up and Interesting.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 13, 2013:

Hi Glimmer, thanks so much for reading, and yes I do know what you mean, I live here and can't understand the northern accents! lol!

Claudia Porter on June 13, 2013:

This is fascinating Nell. When I visited London I was surprised at how different the accents were among people. Most people were easy for me to understand, since they were speaking english after all, but every once in a while I met someone whose accent was quite difficult to follow. Of course in the US we have different accents too, but I'm not sure if they have the history that these do. Very cool hub.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 10, 2013:

Lol! so true though! I had a friend who came down from Newcastle, it took me ages to understand her!

dreamseeker2 on June 10, 2013:

Now that's funny! ; ) Thanks for sharing that with! It made me smile.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 10, 2013:

Lol! thanks dreamseeker! I don't understand them myself and I am English! thanks for reading, nell

dreamseeker2 on June 09, 2013:

I found your hub interesting and awesome, Nell! : ) I didn't understand many of them, but then I am a born and bred American. I love your accents though. Great hub and very educational...

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 07, 2013:

Hi Peggy, glad you liked it, and thanks for reading, nell

Hi Alastar, thanks so much! Yes I know what you mean about the Scottish accent, its lovely but I can't understand it either! lol!

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on June 07, 2013:

You've put together a wonderful article on the wide range of accents Nell. This subject interests me a lot and you've filled in some blanks in my knowledge about it.Great Britain sure has seen all kinds people from different areas of western Europe settle there over the centuries. The Scots can be hard to understand over here sometimes, never mind Gaelic etc lol. In a way it reminds of the different dialects over here as well. Although that's changing fast, a shame in a way. An extra enjoyed piece Ms Nell!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 07, 2013:

It makes sense to me that there would be different accents. The same could be said for those living in the U.S. Those on the east coast sound different from those in the mid-west or those in the south. Interesting hub!

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 06, 2013:

Hi Anna, lol! I love the Scottish accent, but I do know what you mean, it can be hard to understand! I remember when I worked for Ford, we had to speak to the CRC up in Scotland, and we were always laughing together about how I couldn't understand what they were saying, so the Scots guy put on a really posh English accent for me! I could hear his friends laughing in the background and I was in hysterics! it was so funny! thanks for reading, nell

Anna Haven from Scotland on June 06, 2013:

Another interesting read Nell Rose.

I am Scottish and I have noticed we talk too quickly a lot of the time; for easy interpretation. I am always asked to slow down and repeat.

I personally love the Irish accent, Somerset and Bristol.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 06, 2013:

Thanks so much melbel, yes we do have loads of very strange accents over here! lol! glad you liked it, nell

Melanie Palen from Midwest, USA on June 06, 2013:

I LOVE learning about accents. I knew the UK had a lot of different accents, but I didn't know much about their sources. This is definitely a really awesome read!

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 06, 2013:

Lol! by the time you have finished reading it, you will sound like the Queen! Thanks toknow, glad you found it helpful, nell

toknowinfo on June 06, 2013:

Great and interesting hub. As I read more and more, I began to read it with a little bit of an English accent. Thanks for the education. I will show this to my daughter who is majoring in speech communication and is always explaining about dialects. We never spoke about England, so thanks for the info.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 05, 2013:

Hi Deb, thanks so much, and I am glad you liked it, yes every different county sounds completely unlike the one before, its really strange! lol!

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on June 05, 2013:

This was wonderful, Nell. I didn't realize that there were so many dialects. I have always liked Cockney, perhaps because I like the working class so much and admire them. We have our share of dialects here in the States, too. Thanks for putting this up, so we can get to know your area better.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 05, 2013:

Hi Faith, I love the Southern accent in America, it always reminds me of the old films! and being a great fan of True Blood I get to hear them a lot! lol! thanks so much for reading, nell

Faith Reaper from southern USA on June 05, 2013:

Well, I love the one that sounds like your accent, Portsmouth, of course! We have many different accents here too, as stated already, from NY, Boston, southern, mid-west, on and on, so many accents. You would laugh at my southern accent no doubt :) !!!

Thanks for the interesting hub here. I was clueless as to the many different accents.

Voted up ++++ and sharing

Blessings, Faith Reaper

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 04, 2013:

Hi travmaj, yes you are probably right there, there is always rivalry, I didn't know about Melbourne and Sidney though, fascinating! pommie? haha! yes the local accents have changed a lot, Hampshire and Buckinghamshire especially, glad you liked it, and thanks!

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 04, 2013:

Hi Tonipet, thank you so much! we do have a lot of history, and England is a fascinating place, glad you liked it, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 04, 2013:

Hi Doc, lol! that was a mixture! but I love it! arreet? thanks ma love ta! haha!

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 04, 2013:

Hi Alicia, lol! me too! its lovely isn't it? thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 04, 2013:

Hi Pamela, Aw thank you! lol! I got rid of it because I thought it was horrible! lol! thanks so much for reading and liking it, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 04, 2013:

Hi MsDora, yes I have heard them too in the American films! lol! thanks so much for reading, nell

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 04, 2013:

This is quite an English language lesson. The Cockney Slangs are apparently what we hear most in the movies. Very interesting. Voted Up.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 04, 2013:

This is a very informative hub as I had no idea there were so many accents. I loved the way you sounded on your short video test. This hub must have taken a lot of time to research and write, but it is awesome!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 04, 2013:

This is a very interesting and enjoyable hub, Nell. Thanks for all the research. The Geordie video was especially interesting! What a great accent. It would take a lot of practice for me to understand the accent completely!

Mohan Kumar from UK on June 03, 2013:

By eck, Nell, you've gone and outdone yerself with this smashing take on regional accents. Arreet me luv, them foreigners who think all English speakers speak the same English could learn a thing or two 'ere. I'm chuffed to bits reading this. Corblimey, this is bloomin' awesome. I'm votin' thissup, me.

Tonette Fornillos from The City of Generals on June 03, 2013:

Hello Nell. You just educated me a lot on this. It seemed that England is the richest source of so many things. From the beautiful sounds of your accents, which to me is a lot cute and lovely to the ear, its many beginnings, to the wonderful foods like chutney, chowder and now that Norwegian word 'Lapskaus' , or meat stew. I learned a lot and really enjoyed reading... thank you for this Nell.

I very much like hearing your accent... there's something in it that makes me feel England is a wonderful land. Thank you again. More power to you and blessings all the time. Hugs:=)-Tonette

travmaj from australia on June 03, 2013:

Hi Nell Rose - what can I say - I'm a Lancashire lass! I guess I'll never get over it. I've lived in London too and have never encountered any animosity. I do think it's universal though, this rivalry - Melbourne v Sydney - Rome-Milan etc!

I love pommie' accents (whoops) They have changed over the years - or perhaps its me? When I was a kid I could diffrentiate between local towns and certainly Lancs and Yorkshire. Now I just hear the northern accent.

Love to hear home on the tv - coronation st etc. Particularly liked Born and Bred. I was! I write about the North quite a lot. Great hub - cheers and best..

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 03, 2013:

Thanks Gordon, I have no idea where the idea came from in the first place, maybe its a long term thing, but I think its the old 'poor me' syndrome of the north being the hard done by ones, no work, no money etc, this was fair back a hundred years ago, but these days the north is better of than the south, if you think about it, to be on social in the north is easier because of the different price ranges. for example, learning to drive, 11 pounds a lesson, down south, 28 to 30 pounds a session! food, such as bread up there, under a pound, down here, 1.50! so they are really prosperous now, They see london as elite and posh, snobby if you like, but its so wrong. The southern English don't ever go on about Scotland, Wales or Ireland, we just make friends and like the diversity and are totally bewildered by the animosity still. What happened back in history was wrong, we agree with that, yes totally! but that was the kings and queens not the common people. now we don't care, we just get on with it. the tv doesn't help, if you watch something about the north and south the presenters always say 'yes the lovely friendly north' then turn their noses up at us! what's with that? its such a shame, but there we go, and its nice to see a Scot, northerner can see this, good on ya Gordon! lol!

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 03, 2013:

Hi SilverGenes, I remember seeing a billy connolly program about how you did keep the Gaelic language over there, fascinating stuff, and thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 03, 2013:

Hi CrisSp, Haha! love it! and yes good old fish and chips sounds right to me! we, as a joke, usually call it 'chish and fips!' lol! thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 03, 2013:

Hi Alecia, thanks so much for reading, and I am glad you liked it, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 03, 2013:

Hi drbj, I remember my friend telling me that Americans loved her accent when she went over there to live, and she got hired because of it too! lol! I better get on a plane and come over! lol! thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 03, 2013:

Hi Miz, thanks for watching the videos, we do have some funny accents don't we? lol! I never realised that the Mid South, Ozarks, is similar to cockney, that's fascinating! thanks so much for the added info, and glad you liked it, nell

Gordon Hamilton from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on June 03, 2013:

Hi again, Nell

I have to back you up on this! For others reading, I'm talking from experience...

I get fed up when some (a minority, it must be said) of people in Scotland talk about how the Northern English are great but the Southerners are stuck up so and so's, etcetera... I'm setting myself up for a fall here but in all honesty - and in purely general terms - I tend to get on better with southerners than northerners.

A couple of years or so ago, I had an actual conversation with what I had previously assumed to be a perfectly sensible lady about this and she kept going on about Londoners. (This was after I moved back to Scotland). I was diplomatic, explained I had never shared her experiences but wondered how long she had lived in London. Had she lived there longer than me, in a different part, at a different time...?

The bottom line was that she had never even BEEN to London...

At least she had the decency to be embarrassed when I told her my story - but that's all I can say in her favour... :)

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 03, 2013:

Hi ruby, thanks as always, yes its strange isn't it? just one little nuance on the word and the whole meaning can go out the window! lol! thanks!

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 03, 2013:

Hi mary, funny isn't it, how just a few miles can change an accent, obviously if people settle from various parts of the world it will happen, but not if they are or were all local in the first place, thanks for reading, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 03, 2013:

Hi carter! lol! yes I can imagine, well I have heard it first hand! the funny thing about Australian is that it does actually come from London Cockney but old Cockney, around the 19th Century mainly, that's how they spoke back then, of course it was because the first settlers were English prisoners who had been treated so badly, i.e. stealing a loaf of bread for goodness sake! but when we colonised Australia the language stayed the same but with a rough edge because of the hardship, and of course over the years it has become more accented, I love the Australian accent, in fact many people have thought I was australian, because I sound a bit cockney! lol! thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 03, 2013:

Hi Gordon! Lol! me Boadicea? lol! I wish! its funny how up it Scotland they got your accent muddled up, and even insulted you! how strange. and yes to be honest I can understand why London did accept you as you are, it drives me to insanity when the tv always states that 'the North is the friendliest in the country'! oh yeah right! The south of England accepts and loves all accents from England even Scotland and Wales etc, I have never known anybody down here to be nasty about someone from somewhere else. The south is always shown to be a snobby rich part of the country, but that's not true, we are the friendliest and the most broke! lol! purely because everything is so much more expensive. there is never any 'north bashing' or Scots bashing down here, but we down south always get the blame, figures! I for one love the Scots accent, its gorgeous, and some of the northern too. I used to work for a call centre, and believe me, the southerners were so friendly, the North? well lets just say a dose of manners would be good for them, that's the north of England by the way, thanks as always, nell

Mary from Cronulla NSW on June 03, 2013:

Hi Nell, I have been wondering about this so thanks for your detailed explanation now I understand it a bit better ( I think :) !! No this is really well researched & fantastically written..great job.. Here in Oz we only have two accents..

English.. and slang, of which I cannot repeat here:)

Voted U & I..cheers

Gordon Hamilton from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on June 03, 2013:

Hi, Nell

Well - you have certainly tackled a challenging subject here! Most people outwith Britain wouldn't have a clue how the accents differ but I have very definite experience of different accents, as I've travelled to and even lived in so many different parts of the country. I love your take on the variances.

I was brought up in Lanarkshire. Even if you took a ruler, you couldn't distinguish whether I was closer to Glasgow or Edinburgh. I was slap bang in the middle. I visitied both cities regularly and noticed the huge difference in the accents but it only became a problem when I went to live in Edinburgh. A lot of people started calling me a, "Bloody Weegie" - the Edinburghers' name for Glaswegians. Attempting to deny it was futile, so I got on with life.

I then moved to London and noticed a huge difference - for the better! :) People were much more understanding of my accent and I found that all I had to do was speak more slowly and I could be perfectly understood.

A visit back to my old hometown soon put me back to from where I had started. It's not typical of Scotland (despite what many English people believe) but one obnoxious little twerp of a local piped up when I went in to my local pub: "Why you speakin' like a [bleeping] English [bleep]?"

Since then, I've had one American compare me to Data (the android from Star Trek) as I am the only Limey with no accent whatsoever - but I think the Lanarkshire boy is re-establishing himself now...

Loved the read, the videos and the listen - and you certainly look great done up as Boadicea ;)

Mary Craig from New York on June 03, 2013:

Very interesting Nell. As Jackie Lynnley said, we have many different accents here as well. Just in New York State alone, people from the City have a different accent than people from Upstate. Its the "car" "ca" thing.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 03, 2013:

Great info. Nell. I have wondered why i can understand some people and others i have difficulty, like Piers Morgan on CNN, i can't understand him, but i can't understand Anderson Cooper at times either and he's an american lol..Enjoyed reading the history surrounding the english language..Thank you..

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on June 03, 2013:

So cool! So well researched and written, and I loved the videos. Usually I skip them because most are just “fill dirt” to make HP happy, but I made an exception for these. I knew that there were at least two different accents in England, formal like the Queen and Cockney, but I didn’t know that there were so many in such a small country.

I guess my favorite is Cockney, probably because it is so similar to our American Deep South accents. I live in the Middle South, the Ozark Mountains, and our accent is different from the Deep South in that we pronounce the “r” very hard like our Scottish ancestors. In the northeast our accents may more resemble the Hampshire with some affectation.

Here we joke about speaking “the King’s English”, meaning using proper English grammar, but I think we left the King’s English long ago. I’ve wondered about our American English migration and wondered if it would ever get homogenous, but I see there is the same question in England also. The question has been raised also will the language of America and England ever become two separate languages of which a translation will be required. I certainly hope not.

Well done, my friend, voted you up useful, awesome, and interesting.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on June 03, 2013:

When I think of an English accent, Nell, the first voice that comes to my mind is that of Rex Harrison speaking cultured, elegant English as he did in the film, 'My Fair Lady.' In fact, many U.S. companies hire receptionists with genuine English accents to give a touch of class to their organization.

With this well-researched hub, my dear Nell, you have informed me of many of the other accents one can hear in Great Britain. Unfortunately, I cannot always understand what folks with very thick accents may be saying. Do appreciate all you hard work though, m'dear.

Alecia Murphy from Wilmington, North Carolina on June 03, 2013:

This is cool. Generally I associate English accents with the general slang and intonation of you hear on television but other than Cockney I didn't know about these accents.

The origins are interesting as well- you don't really think about these things until you take time to hear the differences. Great hub Nell!

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on June 02, 2013:

Wow! Nell, although I am familiar with some of the English accents, the GEORDIE ACCENT made feel like fish and chips. Okay, I don't know where I got that but boy, I got dizzy with that accent. :) However, I do love the English accent in general. I think it's beautiful. Now imagine me say this in my thick Scouse accent: "Pardon me my lovely but I need to go to the loo. Where is the WC?" Lol!

I've been to London and to few places outside London (Kent/Dover) and so I've an idea. As well, I've lived in Bahrain (English colonized) for many years (studied there as well) and with lots of original English friends that I talked to everyday, I've practically acquired the English accent somehow. Well, I was younger then-easy to adapt. Sadly, I lost it when we left for Canada. Now, I've adapted the Canadian, "eh" accent. However, I'd say that it still have a slight English tone the way the Scottish and British speaks.

Thank you for the most enjoyable education plus the entertaining video clips. Sharing...

SilverGenes on June 02, 2013:

This was really fun listening to all the different accents. The north is especially interesting LOL. I'm really intrigued by the Cornish. It has a lovely sound. We have many different accents here in Cape Breton and they vary from town to town. In some places in the Highlands, Gaelic is still spoken and I love that it was kept. :)

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 02, 2013:

Hi Jackie, thanks so much, yes we have some pretty strange accents, but they are all unique and lovely. I especially like the cockney accents, but that could be because its near to me, I do love the Southern American accents, in fact if I try to take of an American accent I can do South, just not North! lol! I have no idea why! thanks as always, nell

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on June 02, 2013:

This is so interesting and I love the accent from there. You know it is the same here; from north to south and east to west. I can hardly understand city people up north they talk so fast and fancy; or snappy. The south were I live is slow and drawn out.

Loved your videos, this was very entertaining. ^

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 02, 2013:

Thanks billy! lol! I totally understand. These are just in England, Britain includes Scotland, but these start at the top of England and work their way down, and believe me I have no idea what half of them are saying! thanks so much for reading, nell

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 02, 2013:

Thanks for the education because seriously, I had no idea there were different British accents. I am so clueless in many ways. LOL

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