speak louder than words, but why is the Black Country accent portrayed
in such a negative way elsewhere in the country?
A survey was carried out and it was found that some regional accents
convey negative impressions. For example 35 per cent of directors
think that businessmen with a Liverpudlian accent are least likely
to be successful. Also, a West Midlands accent is also considered
a drawback in business.
the views of
BBC WM presenter
a 'foreigner' to these parts, only having lived here 20 years,
and I love the Black Country accent, took me a bit of a while
to understand tho. The people from the Black Country are the
friendliest I've ever met, and I know wherever I go if I hear
the distinctive accent, I'll meet someone whose nice to know.
I come from London and I wouldn't go back there if they paid
me. Keep the brilliant accent, it's part and parcel of the
lovely people who live here.
is nothing wrong with our accent, it's the weirdos that come
from outside the Midlands that have a weird accent. Ours is
a very old way of speaking this is why people take the 'p' out
of the way we talk, I don't care though I'm from Wolverhampton
and I'm proud of it.
find it a bit hard to swallow that some people may think the
Black Country accent is nothing more than 'laziness'. We have
our own words, grammatical structures, etc, etc and it is
almost a language within a language. It's something to be
cherised rather than ridiculed. It's worth remembering that
if the capital of England had been established in the centre
of the country rather than the South East, the Queen's English
would be spoken with a distinct West Midlands lilt.
Angie Gibson, Tipton
ai't many blokes moore black country than me. My Grandad was
on the chain and anchor forging gangs that med the anchors
and chairn fu the Titanic, up at Noah Hingley's. I was born
and bred in Quorry Bonk, and that's the REAL centre of the
bloke from Wolves who ses it's an insult ter listen to...well
he just ay a black country mon. Wolverhampton was on the very
edge of the Black Country, so he do' really qualify. Oaur
accent is no wuss than the Welsh, or the Scots, or the Geordies,
or even the Norfolk folk.
is terrible! Dun the folk who criticise us not know that the
Black Country dialect is the oldest in Britain, and all the
other dialects stem from FOREIGNERS ! The Black Country is
unique, and the accent is just great.
I'm 71 years old, now, and I can speak as posh as anyone in
Stratford on Avon, if I want to. But there's a tribal homeliness
about our accent. As my mother used ter say when ah wus a
kid, and we used ter swim in the cut up Netherton, "Om warnin'
thae, if yo cum bak drowned, ah'll 'arf kill thae!" Ta-raa.
D. Bedford - Stratford on Avon
I am very very proud of my accent and dialect. I work in Shrewsbury
and there I stick out like a sore thumb, everyone recognises
my voice from a mile away. There is a slight image problem
with our accents but that should have no effect on how proud
we should all be. Just take a look a Ozzy Osbourne. OK he
is an Aston lad but he is massivly popular throughout the
world and everyone knows his voice. He promotes where he comes
from and is not at all ashamed. The same goes for a great
deal of local musicians ranging from Robert Plant to Bev Beven
all are very proud of where they come from and so should we
Karl Robert Johnson - Bridgnorth
As Brian Bott of birmingham said some of the blackcountry
dialect seems to originate from old germany. I have friends
in germany who live in the black forrest area, south of germany
near bavaria and they have a dialect called (in german, sverbish)
and some of there words do sound the same like floower (floor)
and doower (door), and just for the record iv'e learnt them
to say Bostin Wench and Bostin Bloke.
Jeff - Brierley Hill
The accent in the black country comes from a basic laziness
to speak properly. Many people put on a 'telephone voice'
when on the phone, so they can be understood. So why do many
people, not all admittedly, speak with such laziness, so unenthused,
and so very unappealingly. It is an insult to hear, and no
wonder a lot of the country looks down on US. Yup, I'm from
here too, I just have standards. Time other people did too.
Richard Lord - Wolverhampton
I moved to Edinburgh from Wolverhampton for university and
I've noticed that there are quite a few people who stare at
me in the street when I'm on my phone. Didn't take me long
to work out what it was - but hey, I'm proud of my accent!!
Bekky M - Wolverhampton
I am very proud of my Black Country accent. It is nothing
like a Birmingham accent and there are very subtle differences
from town to town eg Dudley and Tipton. As a born and bred
Tiptonian, I realise my accent is quite strong but I think
it is something to be cherished and preserved. My fave word
is Cogaver - a fall or a bump. My nan always used to say to
me as a babby - "Stop running abaht orse yow'll come a right
cogaver". I love it!
Angie Gibson - Tipton, West MIdlands
may have been out of the Black Country for over 20 years,
but yo cor forget it, even in poshest Kent! Glad to see a
real interest in the dialect (and still able to use it when
I visit) - definitely one of the better dialects in these
isles (... but I'm biased!). Dictionary an excellent idea
- but "'ommer" is missing, as is "pon" (hammer and pan, for
the non BC-ians). I've copied into a word document to make
reviewing it easier - this is an excellent start, but maybe
it's time for a complete BC dictionary? Let's hear a bit more
BC on the TV - Midlands Today, for example .... Pleeeease??!!
Michael Keays - Kent
was born in Yorkshire of a very proud Yorkshire lad and lass
and was always taught to be proud of the way I spoke. When
I was 7 my dads job moved us to the Black Country (Woollaston
infact) and being of that young age, and not wanting to stand
out from the crowd at school, I quickly picked up the local
words and pronuciation - with the added twist of a bit of
Yorkshire in there as well! The only trouble I had was when
we went to visit relatives in Yorkshire who thought I talked
posh!! We moved away from Woolaston when I was 11 and went
to live in Kendal. Cumbria. Again, I quickly learned to lose
the black country, singy songy way of talking so that I didn't
stand out. Moving on a few years, my own career took me to
a job at Egg in Brierley Hill (or should that be Brilee Ill!?)
so I moved myself and my family back down to the Black Country
- living in Kingswinford.
My wife, who is also from Yorkshire, had real problems in
shops when she asked for five of anything ! be! cause she
would always be given four and vice versa - ie if she asked
for four sweets she got "foive"! We loved living in the Black
Country and the people are very similar to Yorkshire folk
- proud, independant and very hospitable. I moved back up
here to Yorkshire in 1999 and always pick people up who say
that Noddy Holder is from Birmingham!!
Andy Knight - Castleford W Yorks
think that there is nothing wrong with the brummie/black country
accent and I hate it when people from other regions always
take the...and they always seem to say "yam 'avin sum fish
'n' chips"? how pathetic!
Lindsey - Birmingham
is quite right about "fanaged" - it was used in my family
in Blackheath, too, so maybe it is a very local word as this
is not far from Oldbury. It was pronounced with a hard g at
the end and often used with "on" after it, as Valerie illustrated.
I hadn't heard this word for years, having left the Black
Country more than 30 years ago, and probably assumed it was
a normal English word rather than dialect, until I saw this.
However, the Oxford Dictionary does not recognise it under
any spelling I can think of, so it must be pure Black Country!
Incidentally the entry under letter D should surely be "donkey's
ears" (years - presumably because donkeys can be very long
lived) We always pronounced this with a slurred s in the middle,
I don't remember it without. My mother used to repeat a phrase
which ran something like "Thee cossn't see as gud as thee
cost, canna?" which presumably conjugates from "cor" for cannot
- plenty of irregular verbs in BC obviously - it would be
fascinating to see more about how these correlate with other
languages and dialects.
My children went to a secondary school which specialised in
languages - one of the first comprehensives to become a language
college - and both ended up doing exercises on Black Country
dialect, as part of their studies. Having grown up in Gloucestershire,
my daughter is now at Uni in Birmingham and is fascinated
to find that, from having grown up talking to my family, she
can now not only distinguish Black Country folk from Brummies,
but can even pick up which ones come from the Blackheath/Rowley
area! Bostin, baint it?
am glad to see that the black country has been allowed its
own site instead of being lumped together with the brummies.
we are a seperate race and we need to keep our roots and our
accent. in its purest form the black country dialect does
take some understanding but if the liverpudlians, cockneys,
and the essex girls can keep thirs why shoudn't we. long live
the black country.
G N Paddock - Stourbridge
word "Fanage" should be added to dialect words. This means
"to give up" as in the sentence "I started to knit a scarfe
but fanaged on it so it was never completed." This word has
been used for many years in my family.
Valerie Hickinbottom - Oldbury
moved to Dudley from London and I cannot understand the thickest
accents, it all flies over my head. Having said that, I am
an ex-scotsman so they don't understand me too well either.
Stephen Page - Dudley