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24 September 2014

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Voices - Lyle Brome, Kevin Vaughan & Jeffrey Hinds
Contributors Lyle, Kevin and Jeffrey

Voices of Berkshire

Do you fancy a larrap, enjoy a chin wag, prefer a good natter or want to chew the fat? Voices is the largest ever celebration of the way the British Isles speaks today.

Sydney Waring (whose voice and experience was featured in the Voices project) sadly passed away on 1 November 2005. The team at BBC Radio Berkshire wishes to express its sympathies to Sydney's family.

From Aberdeen to Truro, there is a rich range of words to describe the simplest things.

Voices contributor Jeffrey Hinds
Voices contributor Jeffrey Hinds

The BBC Voices project is all about language, accents and dialects across the British Isles. Voices is the biggest-ever survey of how we speak.

From black Londoners in Peckham to farmers in the Glens of Antrim, from Treorchy to Taunton, the geography of the UK can be mapped in accents and dialects. The diversity of the country is reflected in the many languages – both indigenous and immigrant – now spoken here.

Voices contributor Donna Boseley
Voices contributor Donna Boseley

What words would you use to describe things like pregnancy, skipping school or terms of affection?

We spoke to two different groups from Berkshire about the particular words and phrases they use to describe everyday situations.

The Warings family run a chain of bakeries in Berkshire, with three generations working in the business. Lots of them also live together, and they had lively discussions about the different slang words they use. They consider themselves to have Reading accents through and through! Sydney Waring is the grandfather, Michael Boseley is his son-in-law, Donna Boseley is Michael's daughter, and Daniel Carr is Sydney's grandson.

Husband and wife Lyle and Myrtle Brome used to live in Barbados. Along with many other people from the island, they now live in Reading with their family. Brothers Junior and Jeffrey Hinds, along with their friend Kevin Vaughan live in Reading and have Barbadian parents. When they were all together there was lots of chat about whether the phrases they were using were English or Barbadian.

Listen to the sound clips at the top right of this page

Voices contributor Sydney Waring
Voices contributor Sydney Waring

clip 1:
Daniel Carr from Purley describes what words he would use to describe an unattractive woman.

clip 2:
Daniel describes words for the toilet, and remembers a phrase he uses for the toilet that we hadn't heard before!

clip 3:
The family discuss words they use for insanity.

clip 4:
Sydney Waring doesn't like to swear.

clip 5:
Rev Lyle Brome discusses the origins of the expression "as black as tar baby".

clip 6:
Myrtle Brome talks about "pitch-black".

clip 7:
Jeffrey Hinds describes a distinctive word for an awkward-looking person.

clip 8:
If someone gets your goat or narks you off, this is how Bajans describe it.

clip 9:
Lyle describes being "as tired as a horse".

clip 10:
Expressions for being tired get Lyle thinking about the rural origins of several expressions.

clip 11:
The group discuss words for pregnancy.

clip 12:
If you've eaten something dubious, there are some interesting Bajan expressions to describe it which get everyone laughing.

clip 13:
The group discuss the origins of "to slog", meaning to be very cold.

last updated: 02/03/06
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Voices: be part of the biggest survey into how we speak. Tell us the words you use in your part of the Bristish Isles

Take an online journey with the voices
Take an online journey with Voices

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