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24 September 2014

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Sean Connery
Shaken not stirred - who do Devonians consider to have the nicest accents?

Proud to be Devonian

Are you proud of your Westcountry accent? Whose voice do you admire most and whose do you least like?

A straw poll of people who live in the South West - when asked about the way we speak - came up with some interesting answers. But do you agree with the results?

A sample of people in the South West - asked a variety of questions about the way we speak- came up with some interesting views. Now we want to hear what YOU think.

Place your vote
Which of the following statements do you most strongly agree with?
A Devon accent sounds warm and welcoming
A Devon accent makes me sound thick
A Devon accent is hard to understand
A Devon accent fills me with pride

Just for fun: This is not a representative poll and the results - which will appear after you have placed your vote - do not purport to represent public opinion as a whole on this issue.

You sound lovely!
Respondents to the survey voted five of these celebrities as having the most pleasant voices and five of them as having the least pleasant.

Pass your cursor over each image to reveal the result.

Pass your cursor over the image to see if Devonians love or loathe The Reverend IAN PAISLEY's accent
Pass your cursor over the image to see if Devonians love or loathe BILLY CONNOLLY'S accent
Pass your cursor over the image to see if Devonians love or loathe MOIRA STEWART'S accent
Pass your cursor over the image to see if Devonians love or loathe JANET STREET PORTER'S accent
Pass your cursor over the image to see if Devonians love or loathe TERRY WOGAN'S accent
Pass your cursor over the image to see if Devonians love or loathe TREVOR McDONALD'S accent
Pass your cursor over the image to see if Devonians love or loathe LILY SAVAGE'S accent
Pass your cursor over the image to see if Devonians love or loathe CILLA BLACK'S accent
Pass your cursor over the image to see if Devonians love or loathe HUGH GRANT'S accent
Pass your cursor over the image to see if Devonians love or loathe SEAN CONNERY'S accent

Top five most pleasant voices: Top five least pleasant voices
1. Sean Connery Ian Paisley
2. Trevor McDonald Billy Connolly
3. Hugh Grant Janet Street Porter
4. Terry Wogan Cilla Black
5. Moira Stewart Lily Savage/Paul O'Grady

Other results from respondents in the South West:

  • 12% say they don't like their accent

  • 70% say the variety of accents they hear in everyday life is increasing

  • 48% say they occasionally wish they had another accent

  • 79% say who they're speaking to can cause them to change accent

The UK sample as a whole ranked the Westcountry accents quite highly in terms of pleasantness with only Standard English, Queen's English, Scottish (in general) and Edinburgh accents being ranked higher.

However the Westcountry accent ranked a little lower in terms of prestige and helpfulness on the career ladder but still outranked accents from Bristol, Manchester, Northern Ireland and Newcastle.

Share Your Views
HERE to comment on this story

amanda / usa (california)
I'm in a play, "Our Country's Good", and I play Dabby, who has a Devon accent. We have a dialect coach and she knows her stuff but she never told me that Devonians drop H. She also said that Devonians have a "lilt" like the Irish and that I need to be ending my sentences with upward inflections, but I was listening to some Devonian recordings and it doesn't sound like that to me. It seems to me like Cornwall and Devonshire peoples have almost the same accent....basically i'm just wondering if anyone could give me some help on these few points. I love the accent and I really want to represent it proporly on stage.

Di from Melbourne AUSTRALIA
Born in Plymouth 67 yrs ago, and been here 29 years I am extremely proud of the Devon Accent.Dont hear many people with our accent here mostly North Country, but Aussies always comment on my accent. I love it and would never try and chamge it. Oggy Oggy Oggy!

Rhys from Exeter
The difference between a devonion accent to a bristolian, i think is that people in Devon say stuff in short hand and how we devonions use words differently to bristolians. See wikipedia mate and type in Westcountry Dialect it should tell youLONG LIVE DEVON

Tom - Manchester
Can someone describe the difference between a Devon and a Bristol accent? I can't really tell.

Rhys from Exeter
The devonshire accent is very important to me, so that i can be remimded of where im from. Im only 17 but i have a strong devonion accent. I would hate to lose it. I hate it when people from London or Liverpool those kind of places say"Devon is full of farms and fields" Yeah so what. We still have 3 beautiful places eg Exeter, Plymouth and Torbay. But farming is part of our culture and we're proud of itLONG LIVE DEVON!

i dont think ive got a strong accent but in northampton they think i sound like pam ayres. thats great im proud to be from brixham and im glad i still have the accent after moving away 14 years ago

Davina, now in St Albans.
Born and Bred in Newton Ferrers, Proud of my Devonian roots and even more proud of my slight Devonshire accent. Spent most of my life in Africa but Devon will always be considered as HOME

Howard - Hungary
Teaching English here, if (IF!) I get it right they will all sound like they come from Okehampton.Yirtiz bravey.

audrey from teignouth
i am proud of my accent as my desendents i have traced back to 1575 john ford poet & sister has been in australia over 40 years & her family cant tell us apart on the phone. The soaps like eastenders are spoiling the accent

Ross Plymouth
Janner born Janner Bred Love me accent its proper good and i have been lived all over the uk and i can say that we have a well good unique accent that people recognised straight away people should be proud of there roots i know i am for a start C'ya La'er me lurvers

Martin Powell from Buckfastleigh
Born and raised in Devon all my life before moving to Brighton i see nothing wrong with the devonian accent, and am proud of mr herritage although i dont have it myself, its warm and friendly much better than many others.look at bill bailey!

bill from rattery
being 14 and easily picking up regional accents in a few months, has added to my devon accent, i moved here 2 years ago from the home counties [so i had no accent] and in a few weeks i found myself speaking with a devon twang. the devon accent is the best no arguments

Rich from Paignton
My parents came from Berkshire, but I was born here in Devon and I am so proud to be Devonian. Unfortunately I do not have much of an accent, but I am teaching myself the dialect :)

andy from brixham
im very proud to be devonian and have ancestors from crediton going back to at least the 17th century. im proud to have a devonshire accent and its good that the devonshire accent is still thriving in plymouth and exeter

Adrian from New York
My mom i from Devon but she lives here now, I visit Devon every year and love it, we are both planning to move back to Devon, it's great

Hardly anyone speaks with THEIR Devon accent like most counties such as where I was born, which most folk still do. Be proud of your roots, I am.

Selene from Phoenix U.S.
I have ancestors from the Southwest England region (very odd being Mexican-American and all), though am not sure from where exactly. This really doesn't have much to do with the topic at hand, but from an outsider's perspective, I believe Matthew Goode has the best voice/accent I have ever had the pleasure of hearing in my life. I believe he is from Exeter. Cheers, old chap! :-)

michala from torquay
i hav just moved to devon a couple of months ago and my accent has started to change but does not sound like the devonian accent.

Diane Melbourne Australia
Born and bred In Plymouth, been all over the world, and Melbourne for 28 years. Have not lost my Janner accent and would not want to. Aussies always comment on my accent, as to how nice it is. I love it.

Pad from Kingsbridge
Us Devonians pronounce our R's but drop our H's. Some would have you believe that this is incorrect. Oddly enough the criticism usually comes from people who pronounce their H's but drop their R's. I find that very strange. It must be true that the dialect is in decline, but the accent remains very strong in most people of my acquaintance.One thing that I do regret is the adoption of the estuarine glottal stop by the young. But then, change is inevitable so I'll just have to lump it.

Martin - Dublin
I'm Irish but my father is from Plymouth. For what it's worth, I've always seen a few similarities between Southern Irish accents and West Country accents -- pronounced trailing r's, dropped trailing g's and glottal or missing double-t's (shared Celtic heritage???). We pronounce our leading h's though (even at the start of the letter itself -- 'haitch').My grandfather had a marked Plymouth accent which I loved and which my father would adopt when on the phone to him. My father's own accent is more like what you call 'received pronunciation' which he picked up when he left for Oxford in the 1950s. I notice a lot these days (whenever I hear a local on TV) that the accent seems to be rapidly disappearing and becoming much more of a generic South-of-England sound. I find that a pity because I love regional accents and, although most are still very much in evidence, some, including the Plymouth one (perhaps even Devon/Cornwall in general?), seem to be giving up the ghost more readily than others.

Andy from Devon
Having never felt any patriotism towards England I am proud to be Devonian & a native Briton.Keep the Green flag flying high!

Adam from DEVON
Proud to be Devon, and British! I love my Devon Accent and wouldn't want it any other way. cannot stand cockney/scouse/brummie.

Don from Plympton
My accent was quite strong in the 1970's as everyone elses was. Then I travelled the world in the Army and mixed my accent with other accents from around the UK. I seemed to be able to pick up an accent wherever I was posted to. Now I am retired I have returned to Devon. I never actually thought about this until I read your report. I guess Plymouth being a port always had different accents from all over the UK. However the really deep Devon accents of my youth do seem to be fading.

Nick, originally Stoke Gabriel
A Devon accent is something to savour and, as suggested by others her, becoming something of a rarity as the county becomes more cosmopolitan. The dialect even more so. An accent reflects your background and gives you an identity and the Devon one sounds so warm and friendly.

Ian from Sticklepath Okehampton
The Devonian accent is one that everybody who has it should be proud of unfortunately there are now too few of us left,I was born in Totnes Hospital in 1963 and when I went to school in King's Teignton (correct spelling) in the late 1960's and through the 70's if you heard an accent from outside the area it was normally somebody on holiday now they've all moved here.And the accent is starting to die which is quite sad,I Never change the way I speak just to sound posh or correctly spoken I don't see why anyone should the Devonian accent is warm and friendly and should be kept alive. In a nutshell the Debonshire accent is the propper job.(Whatever happened to the road signs that used to say welcome to Devonsire instead of Devon?? cost cutting by the County Council?)

i love devon and the accent is great ! devon rocks

arthur from devon
i wish that when i spoke it would come out as fluent ghetto lingo. Theyre accent is the coolest and will definately earn you the most street cred. When it comes to the devoshire accent any one who still has a strong devoshire accent i believe is in someways to do with farming of some sort. Although it may be very stereotypical it is true.

Vernon from Torrington
I'm a devonian and lived in or near me home town all sixty eight years of me life. Tis where the Lord placed me and I am happy with thatWhen us is driving down the M5 and us see's the sign for Debon us knaws us is 'ome

Lauren from Plymouth
Proud to be plymouthian. I would not have it any other way, born here, live here, speak here. "Ello moy 'andsome" will never fail and over - pronouncing our 'r's is no fault, simply perfection.Accents say where you are from, and therefore how you've grown up. The Devonshire accent is strong, kind and fun. What more do you need?I'll speak it 'til my dying day. None of this yorkshire rubbish!

Susan from Plymouth
I have been all around the world in my 55 years on this planet and my accent is still broad Janner (native dialect of Plymouth) and I am very proud of that as it is fundamental to who I am.

John from buckland brewer
I love me devonshire accent it makes me who i am.

Craig, Perthshire.Scotland.
Devon born and bred, Plymouth is still my home town and I love it.

mark hext / Daventry (via Brixham - thankfully)
Having moved around a lot since my teens my accent appears to have settled on the middle ground of dull southeast slush. I would dearly love to come home and every time I visit it takes a few days for my proper accent to leave me thanks to my devon family. One day I will be able to return and feel proud that both of my daughters will grow up being able to proudly say words like moine (mine) and "tuth" and phrases inherited from their aunts and uncles in god's own county. (Oh and after 5 or so pints i'm proper broad too!)

Darryl ,France but a Torquay boy first and formost
Born and bread in Torquay and proud of it. Moved to France but still a Devon boy at heart. People over here cant understand what a devon minute is,(eg I`ll be there on thursday but I wont tell e which thursday. Talk to you all drecly

Adám - Stoke Gabriel (through and through)
everyone knows the Devonshire dialect is the best this country has to offer. the most satisfying thing to hear though, are Devonian chavs. even with the stupid dress, they still retain the good ol' Demshur accent

Sara, from Torquay
I Moved from Torquay to Sussex 20 years ago. I never had a broad accent,but I want to keep what I have got. I get laughed at for saying "tuth" instead of tooth, I think I always say Ez, rather than he is, and for a long time didn't realise that we put "to" at the end of a sentence, wheres E going to? sounds normal to me.... Long live the Debnsher accent. I am proud of it

joan loxton south australia
came from bideford 1973 people still cant understand my husband after all these years neither of us make any attempt to change our accent wish i wuz on westward ho beach

Eric. Camberley.
People who take the mickey out of other peoples accents are being insulting. If everyone had the same accent I think would be rather boring. For instance copying some foreign accents can be seen as racist. Be concerned--be careful. I am proud to be Devon born and Bred.

Ryan from Missouri USA
I was born in Exeter and came to the US with my family in 1991 at the age of 11. I have noticed that my accent seems to almost be gone and I've picked up the Southern twng of Missouri which makes the accent seem really weird. I haven't been to Devon in a long time and I miss it terribly. I almost feel as if Americans want us to not only lose our unique culture but our accents too. I was told in High School to go to speech therapy to get rid of my Devonian accent because my teachers couldn't understand me. The accent may be fading but I am still proud to be from Devon! Cheers!

Claire from Plymouth
Born and lived in Plymouth until I was 18, then I have moved about for college etc. Live in Buckinghamshire now and people notice my Devon tones more and more, I have been away for 12 years. Different ways of describing things are the best for me, 'chat'ie' means dirty, 'maid' means girl, 'buye' means boy, I call all swedes turnips and I call a vase a vause. 'Up the line', I finally found out a while ago means 'up the train line'. (anywhere up the A38 then). 'Alright me luver' is just great and then there is of course 'chew'oo' to say goodbye which becomes 'choe' if you say it more than once. Then there is coop, pronounced 'kwop' I love my accent and I hope it never goes. PS If anyone can tell me where the saying 'you can see that with half an eye' comes from I would appreciate it very much.

Nikki, Dartington (South West) Devon
I have lived in Devon all my life I'm 21 and I have not got a Devonshire accent. I think that we all equals and that noboby should relate to the Devonshire accent. Yes people may have heard that the West Country might have an accent but has anyone been down here an seen for themselves and I don't like people making fun of the way people speak like they did on the Friday Night Project instead of the West Wing they put The Westcountry Wing if they had know that about nobody speaks likes that. We should be proud of my accent and we are British like the rest of them. Long live Devon!

David-Tallahassee, Florida
Born in Stonehouse, Plymouth in 1937. Left England in 1963 for Jamaica then on to Florida in 1977. My heart is still in Devon and I visit whenever I can. You can take me out of Devon but you can't take the Devon out of me!!

Patrick St Helier, Jersey
I was born and bred in Exeter. I have lived in many countries. My accent has been battered, bruised and fractured. Nevertheless, my sense of identity is rooted in my Exeter twang. If you think I am anything less than totally proud of my accent then you'm maize ma booty. Devon for Devonians!

i know what people mean. i was born in north devon and i never realised we put 'to' ie 'wheres he to' on the end of everything. i had to explain to my flat mates in leeds what i meant when saying 'wheres he to?'

John from Plymouth
Francesca & Becky - thats quite strange. I too, and my brother, have been told we speak like the queen!

Francesca and Becky...English Language...EXETER!!
We do not feel we have any accent in particular, but are told by others we 'talk like the queen'. Having lived in Exeter all our lives, this seems a little insane in the membrane. Oh and loving the father ted comment, by the by. Muchos loveos x

Kevan from Plymouth
Born in the old Devonport Hospital some 43 years ago, but lived in many places in the UK and a few aboard. Schooled at Tavi and now serving RN. I think I have a mixed up accent but others know where I be from. Always proud to be Devonian nothing like the feeling when crossing the boarder back home. Glad now we have a flag to fly an extra sense of belonging.

Alex Kenchington
I speak like Mahatma Ghandi and Elvis all rolled into one, with a hint of Gordan Ramsey.

charlotte braunton n.devon
i love being devonian.ive lived here all my life (im only 13 but thats beside the point) and i love it here.i dont have a devonian accent but my grandad has a gr8 family have been in devon for bout 3 is THE biggest village in britan!!!)Rock On Devon Woohoo.i also luv scottish accents and i dont know why!?

Larry, London, via Newton Abbot
I used to live in Exeter when I was little and my Devon accent was very strong. Then I moved to Torquay and all my mates didn't seem to have one at all. After a few years there, mainly to fit in i think, I lost my Exeter accent. I wish I still had it because it is very distinctive. When I get drunk, however, it seems to slip back in a bit, and people up here still spot me as Devonian now and then, so it can't be entirely gone.

Nigel - Surrey
I was born in Plymouth and couldn't be more proud of it! Although we moved away while I was still young, my accent passed to me from the rest of the family and people still remark on it even though I'm now in my mid forties. This becomes more pronounced whenever I'm "down ome" and I'm glad that it does. I feel a need to return to Plymouth at some point every year, it just seems to be in my blood.

Damian from Torquay
Despite being born and bred down here I often wonder just what exactly IS a Devonian accent. It seems to me that despite being lumped together under a single lable, people's accent change depending on where in Devon you are. For example the people of Torquay are so mixed with non-Devonians that there doesn't appear to be any discernable accent at all, but go down to Plymouth or some of the more rural areas and things are very different as each seems to have their own distinct style often using words or phrases common only to their own specific locale.

Chris originally from Ilracombe
i left 'combe when I was 6, now 57 but tis still home. I have lived all over the south of England and still retain a slight west country accent. My elder brother is a hybrid devonian and Bristolian speaker. My cousens it 'combe and Torquay still have Devon accents although in their children it's not so noticable. Long live Devon and its dialect. I will be back to 'combe next week for the carnival and to top up on accent and craime.

i be martin from torquay
i honestly know 2 people with broad devonshire accents and i live in devon? explain that?

Bailey - London, via Torquay
I'm a devon girl born and bred and never thought i had even an inkling of an accent until i moved to london and was told i said 'choild' in stead of 'child', flo-errs' instead of 'flowers' and pronounced the word 'tooth' as 'tuth' rather than 'tooooth' as is apparently the way the rest of the country likes to say it!

Sarah from New Zealand
Oh how I long to hear a Devon accent down here. My children are all losing their accents and picking up a Kiwi one, yuck. Sorry I'm not a snob, but the accent here is not as homely as in dear Ol Plymouth.Well me 'ansome. my luver, my bird, miss Devonshire soooo much.

Damian - Australia
I was one of the last babies to be born in Brixham hospital, I am proud of my heritage - it is part of who we are now and what our foundation and experiences in life are formulated from. To have no connection to where you are from or to be subdued in being proud - is to not be your true self. Stand and be proud, not only to be Devonian but also to be English! I have been all over the world and still call Devon home. Great website it makes me remember my Nan fondly. Damian.

Carly - iow
I'm from the Isle Of Wight, and we are constantly told from mainlanders that we have a "farmers" accent. I don't agree with this, as the younger generation speak in a "normal" english accent, it is just the islanders who havent moved with the times that have the strong accent.

Kristen, Detroit MI
One of the things I most enjoyed about my recent trip through England and Scotland was the ever-shifting accents of the people I met. Don't ever fall into the trap they're building here in the US; don't let them beat your accents out of you by telling you they're bad. P. S. Everyone I spoke to pegged me instantly as an American, but no one was even close on guessing where I'm from :) I guess we Metro Detroiters need to visit you more often!

Christopher, Hampshire
I'm originally from Devon and now live in Hampshire. What accent exactly are the BBC talking about? I've never heard the Devon accent, i don't believe there is one, we sound exactly the same as the majority of other 'posh' counties in England, we are English and we have and any accent i have, is English!

Mathew from Barnstaple
I'm a born and bred devonian and proud of it! I think our accent and dialect gives us a voice in the country as a whole. I know some people associate our accent with thick peole but thats not normally the case! Howeber its not until you leave devon that you realise that some people have no idea what your on about. When i went to university in Portsmouth i had to explain to my new friends what "Where did you buy it to?" meant! I never realised we put to on the end of every sentance..

Hiladgh from St. John's
My name is Hildagh and I'm from St. John's, Newfoundland. Not part of Devon at all lol. It's in Canada. But we have many delightful accents here, many from England and Ireland originally. I think we should all keep our accents. What a dull world it would be if we all spoke with the same monotone, boring (grammatically correct) voice.

Lucie from London
I grew up in Exeter, but always had an 'correct' accent- RP. I moved to London a year ago, and realized how much I miss the claming Devin accent. I've found myself trying to talk with a Devonshire accent, to differentiate from the Londoners!

Victoria from Adelaide South Australia
I emigrated to Adelaide 5 years ago to live with my Australian husband. I was born in Exeter and lived in Exeter and Dawlish for 28 years before emigrating. I never realised how much of a Devon accent I have! My husband loves the accent and when we visited Devon he really enjoyed talking to the local people and hearing their accents. I was proud to show him around my county and was proud of how warm and welcoming my fellow Devonians were towards him!

i dont have a devon accent althogh my nan has a strong one i think it sounds welcoming when i hear someone with the devon accent unless their shouting at me

chil from devon now in bristol
now i live in Bristol I realise how bad an accent can sound, I miss devon will you have me back?

Ash - Exeter
I am proud about the way I speak, even though I may get the mick taken out of me. i do not mind a bit.

Geordie - Ilfracombe/ Croydon/Toronto,Canada
I'm Proud of who I have been and where I am.Everyone I talk to and they are many people... at my day to day duties all of them say they love my accent in which I reply,"What accent? Me??" Dreadfully sorry about that." I'll have to get that thing mended!!! I am whom I am.

Darren Crediton
My family being large, is well-accostemed to the by-gone dialect that is Devonshire. A "Family Fortunes" type question: "How many people could recognise their own voice played back on a player?"...I bet the the survey said less than 10. You only think you know how you sound. Til uve recorded ur voice...heck, i can even convince my mum I am my dad...thank goodness! I have only known two people that can tell us apart, but I think I sound different to him.

Angela, East Devon
I is a born and bred deb'n maid and i love it here, a lot of people comment on my devon accent although i dont think im that strong sounding. i was once told i would never make prime minister sounding the way i do! i think its a real shame people hold this view, as the way you talk certianly doesn't and shouldn't reflect you interlectual ability, i love listening to older members of my family and the local community and the way they speak, we should all be proud to be devonian and preserve the way us talks! ps, overheard recently when asked if ok, an east devon older resident replied "i'm alright maid, tis every bugger else that's maize!!" dont ya just love it?!

Ed From Instow (Now Orange County, California)
I love the devon accent in the older generation, but the younger generation (my gen) seemed to have developed this horrible towny type accent with swear words placed in all their sentences. I hope their accent will mature with age. Zee gen.

Stef Exeter.
I do not have a Devonshire accent even though I was born in exeter and have always lived here. Not many people in Exeter have a carrot crunching accent and I can't stand it. It sounds thick.

Phil - London
I grew up in Ashburton and now teach in London. I agree with others and think that the Devonshire accent is warm and friendly but certainly does not make you sound 'thick'. There is a difference in accents throughout the county in my opinion. As a teacher at a college in north London, I regularly get my students to talk in a Devonshire accent during role plays - much to their and my amusement. One final thought though - why is it that so many people think that Devon is a TOWN within Cornwall? Fly your Devon Flag with Pride!!!!

Hz Devon
I apologise to Devonians but I don't like their accent, sayings like 'Ers gone down shops er as' makes me cringe. Is it Devonian -I hear people not using the 'l' in words eg salt becomes 'sote'.' It's so distracting. Huge apologies - if you ask why am I living here then? I have no choice, I'd love to go back 'home'.

Alexandra from London (via Leeds)
My family are from devon, well according to timelines we stayed there for two hundred years! well when my grandfather was in the second world war he was stationed in carlise. not the easiest place for a west country boy to be. now as it turned out - and this is according to my grandmother - they had to reassign him as not only could he not understand the northern accent, but they requested it as they could not understand the orders that he gave! yet despite the set back (theirs of course being unable to understand him) he still went over on d day. Stay true to the accent. It did him proud.

Dave from Chicago, IL, USA
I guess I'm a little far from you blokes, but I can relate to the "acccent difference". I grew up on the East coast in Massachusetts, but as a child, moved to the "midwest". I was around 13 at the time, and kids would ask "Why do you talk so funny?". Well, I'm now 42 and have lost most of the New England accent, but it still sometimes comes out with certain words and strangely, it's suprisingly easy to "fake" the accent. Professionally, calling the East Coast, particularly the Boston area (they say it as "Baaston"), after a few years, seems more and more "foreign". Strange how the brain adapts 'eh? Best regards from the USA, David P.S. Love the BBC site, and also The Register. How about that SONY scandal??! People want their music!!! Oh yeah, the story about the public loo blowing up was funny. "Wiring malfunction"??? Made the loo blow up??? c'mon! Then the one where a 12 YO got trapped, and the company was guoted somthing like " Well, we don't know what happened..." but then "Well, people under 50kg might not trip the sensor...". Well, which is it?? Standard large CO PR. heheh.

Denise from Canada
Hello. I was born in Plymouth. I still have an accent even though I have lived in Canada for twenty seven years now. I go back home at least once a year. I love all the accents when I visit. I was more picky about them when I lived in England. Now, I just love them all. I work at keeping my accent because I am proud to be British. I love the Devonshire accent. I will be over for fish and chips. See you.

Pat Widdowson
California, USA I was born in Torquay 73 yrs ago. We moved to London and I was then evacuated to Dartmouth when the war started.Then back to London. Then to America in l950. I'm sure I must have had a strange accent upon arriving here. I would give anything to get back that Devonshire accent back and keep it.I have sort of an English accent when I return to the UK, but I immediately revert to a drawl when I get back here. I listen for British accents when I'm out and stop the people with them and start a wonderful conversation. People say I sound like a Bostonian!!! Oh to get my Devonshire accent back.I think it's a treat to hear.

Jane from Adelaide S.Australia
Similar to many respondents,I never realised the noticeability of my Devonian accent until I left Exeter, migrating to South Australia.People appear to find it warming and attractive.It is uncommon in this part of the world.Some confusion can arise from pronnouncing words containing the letter (r).I am proud to be Devonian with my native accent.

I came to live in Plymouth/Devon at the beginning of the 70's and frankly I couldnt live anywhere else. The people and their accents are great. Also after going on many holidays abroad and around Gt Britian when I get back to Devon I always wonder why I went away. GREAT PLACE. WONDERFUL PEOPLE.

Nick, St. Ives, Cornwall
The Devonian accent and dialect are marvellous and something that should be treasured as the county becomes more cosmopolitan and the dialect diluted.

Matt Nr Plymouth
I was born in Plymouth but raised in Tavistock (aged 4-18). Ive been told that i have a very watered down Devonian accent.I will never forget my Wedding reception when a friend of mine,(Plymothian) over heard me talking to 2 of my fathers friends from Tavi. He said that i reverted to a strong Devonian accent and he couldnt understand a word we were saying.Im very proud to be Devonian, Me Ansome.

Josh from London
When Iused To Live In Devon I never Thought I Had a Devon accent but everyone In London can notice It.

Ann - Hampshire
I grew up in Cornwall but went to live in Devon at the age of twenty and stayed there for the next twenty years. I find I am able to distinguish fairly easily between the two dialects as I find there is a distinct difference, although I wouldn't know how to write it in its phonetic form. Whilst I have a fondness for Cornwall, I have a real love for Devon. Now with children at school in Hampshire and also working here I feel I am tied down to this area. But I will one day return to God's own country to live, I have promised myself that.

lorna from tavistock
I moved to devon when I was six, and apart from a few years in Wales, I've lived here the majority of my life. I don't think I've really picked up the accent, not compared to some of my colleagues at least (ello my luvlies!!) I'm not sure if I like the devon accent. In some senses it makes me think "simple" but in other ways it makes me think "home"

Martin from Taunton
There's always one county that's left out when people talk about the west country and that's Somerset. Cornwall, Devon and Dorset are the ones people know, but don't forget that many in Somerset are proud of their SOMERSET accent rather than a "WEST COUNTRY" accent.
Reply from host
Thanks for your comments Martin, you may also like to know that there's a whole section on voices and dialect on our sister site: BBC Somerset

Jules, Canada
I'm Portuguese Canadian and I can tell you that the Devon is accent is lovely--honest. I fell in love with one and recently heard it say wedding vows to me! Its beautiful!

Graham, London, Canada
I have lived in Canada these past fifty years therefore have developed some idiosyncrasies associated with the Canadian accent, which, unfortunately, sounds suspiciously American. I visit 'home' (Plymouth) almost every year and, upon return, my friends and relatives know i have been there solely because of my accent. That makes me proud. Once a Devon man, always a Devon man.

Ryan Kenchington
I love my voice i sound like father ted.

it be good to here all the diverant voyces soi it be but but yue cant tell where i be from

Phil from Colchester
I was born in Exeter, left at a young age to live in Kent, Suffolk and now Essex. Regular visits to Devon in my formative years means I know a Devonian when I hear them! It's a great accent which I start to get back after a few days in God's Own Country. Unfortunately it fades a couple of days after leaving. As I work in London, Hampshire and Birmingham, I can only describe my accent as 'confused'! I'm making plans to move back ASAP.

Abi - Devon
I have a very different voice from most. If I am speaking to someone very important then i speak with a plumb in my mouth, but if i'm speaking to a friend then i have a very promonant devonshire accent. AND I LOVE IT! i love being called bumpkin by my posh friends, nobody elso i went to school with had a devonshire accent and people love to hear it... i'm proud of my accent and all you other devonshire dumplin's should be to!

Sam - London
I was born in Devon and lived there until recently - I didnt think I had an accent til I moved to London and everyone noticed it! The Devon accent is something to be proud of....Honest!

I'm a Hampshire "blow in", and have lived in Devon for 10 years now. I have the Hampshire accent, but suprisingly people (not from Hants or Devon!) think I'm Devonian. I love the UK regional accents. In my work some non-British people around the world have thought I've been Scottish, Irish, Welsh(?), Canadian, an Aussie or a Kiwi. So obviously I don't sound like a "lord" or a "cockerny"!

Bill from Exminster
Even within Deb'n itself the accents are quite pronounced. Plymouth has a very broad and quite thick accent, whereas around the Torbay area its softer and has a distinctive burr.

Jenny Murch of Shrewsbury
Although a Shropshire Lass by birth, I have lived, studied, worked and holidayed in Devon over the past 35 years. The Devon accent seems to fit well with a smile on your face. It's warm, rounded and welcoming. Perhaps that's why I always feel like being home from home once over the border into your beautiful county.

Sue from Kent
I have family in Devon and visit there as much as possible as it's so beautiful. Keep your local accents exactly as they are, they are lovely to hear and a part of your local heritage. Be proud of where you're from and the way you speak - it's unique to you.

Thomas Buckland Lawn of Algies Bay New Zealand. M
The family emigrated to Southland New Zealand about 1904. Sixty years later she was talking to someone in Queen Street Auckland NZ when a passerby stopped to comment-"You must be from Devon."

Linda Arundel
I was born in Bideford and lived in Bristol from the time I was 30 until I was 50. I now live in Sussex and eveyone here asks me if I am American! Must be a combination of those two accents!

Clare from Devon
Yes, I am from Devon...but I question whether I have a Devonshire accent. I think everyone born in Devon or who have lived there for a certain ammount of time does have a Devonshire accent, but doesn't realize it. For example, I just think I'm talking normally, but others from London or other places in the UK think I have a slight Devonshire tint to the way I talk. When other people talk Devonshire strongly, I know they have an accent, but I don't know whether I have one or not. If I do have one, I am proud, because in my point of veiw a Devonshire accent sounds warm and welcoming, not to mention friendly!

Ted from Surrey, British Columbia
It is too bad that it seems rare to hear a Devon accent, let alone Devon dialect when one visits there. I understand the advantage of Standard English, but as a Canadian who had a Devon grandmother, it would be nice to hear the accent more, and I wish I dared ask people to speak the dialect, but realize that social stigma would probably make that an embarrassing request unless it came from someone known to the speaker.

craig from Barnstaple
I was born in Dewvon but moved to the midlands, uni in wales and now live in Cumbria. The devon accent is fab compared to any of those places I've lived.

Rolf from Indiana
It seems that many of the features that make West Country speech distinct in Britain are preserved in standard American pronunciation.

Dave in Plymouth, Devon.
Hi, I be 51 years old and have lived in Devon all me life, well, not all, I still be alve. Love it down here and though I do think my accent makes me sound fick to myself, other people seem to like it. They spot where I be from right away. Well, I say to meself, this is where you from, this is me, this is my life..... Yep, I'm proud to be a Devonian.

Laura K-S from Exeter
I'm so proud of my Devonshire accent and wouldn't change it for the world. Devon is the most beautiful place in the South West. I loves it!

dave in devon
i've lived here (and was born here) 36 years ago I do not seem to have a accent. we recently went on holiday and someone said yu must be from devon, HOW DID HE KNOW?

Tracy born and bred in devon
I do not think I have an accent even though I was born here and still live here 32 years. Other people say I have an accent. My son get's corrected, as I do not think he sounds right, perhaps because he's proper Devonshire. Not quite the like the Queens English.

Jenny in Stonehouse, Plymouth
I'm afraid I'm a Scouser, but don't sound like it anymore. I did have an East Midlands accent, after living in Derby for a number of my formative years, which was soft and gentle, so I was told. I've never picked up any accent from my years down here though. I don't mind the accent, but I can't say I've ever thought about it. My friends have various Devon, Cornish and even a Bristol accent, and they all sound the same to me; understandable. I speak accent free now, and that doesn't bother me either. Accents just acknowledge where you are from or where you live, nothing more.

Richard Kingsteignton
It's a shame that our accent which is a direct descendant of the Standard English used in literature(ie West Saxon)at the time of the Conquest is now disappearing. It was good enough for Sir "Wadder" Raleigh and it's good enough for me. As Owen remarked our tradition of the pronouncing the letter "R" properly(instead of saying "ah") and replacing "T" with "D" (bedder as opposed to bettah)not to mention reversing "R" when used with vowels ('underds of 'em) will be maintained across the pond. The estuarine twangs (aagghh!) of Radio Devon presenters surely sums up the way things are going. Bring Craig Rich out of retirement!!

Mike from S Wales
I was born in N Devon ,but came to wales when I was twenty,have been here in wales forty years but whenever I go back to Devon I am told I sound a slightly welsh but that I still have that Devon accent as well,I think an accent is something you never really lose.

Owen from USA
Most of my English ancestors came from Devon, Somerset and Cornwall... Obviously the "Standard American" and West Country accents are now quite different to each other. Yet there is no denying the influence Devon and other West Country accents have had on the way Americans speak... the long "drawl" and the "r-ful-ness" of the speech... Simply take a look at placenames in New England and you will see the Devon influence there.

Richard from New Zealand
I'm also one who longs to have a real Devon accent, I was born in NZ but 'returned' to the UK at age 4 and grew up in Hampshire, now living in NZ again! My Grandfather was a true 'born'n'bread' from Ilfracombe and I've traced the family tree back 400 years all in Devon! If only we could rewind the clock and relive our lives, I know where I would be! To all thoughs living in Devon now, the grass is'nt greener, stay where you are! Richard Reed

i very glad i was born in DEvon and still got my accent at times love to liveagain near dartmoor where I came from IT be a dream f or a long time . Live in Dorset . But not for ever

Pam from Newton Abbot
The Devonian accent is wonderful. My sister lives in Newcastle and her Devon accent is as broad as ever. My son lives in USA and the Americans love to hear him talk. My mum is a member of the Devon Dialect club and is asked to speak at functions. I left Devon in 1967 and came back in 1995, my accent is not strong but I love it. It is lovely to have so many different accents in the UK.

Sue from Newton Abbot
I moved to Devon from Kent when I was 8 years old. In my primary school I was teased for sounding "posh" because I said words like "bath" and "grass" with a rich vowel sound whereas they pronounced them with a rawer sounding vowel. The accent has rubbed off on me over the years and I think it's a very colourful and interesting accent. My dad still teases me though! He and his friends from Kent were nicknamed Marmites when they first moved to Devon because they would say "I'm going to the pub with my mate(marmite)"!!

Barry from Canada
I would love to have a Devonshire accent. I was born in Plymouth but left the city when I was 2 years old never to return untill I was 14..during my time away I lived in Scotland where I picked up their accent....I lived in Plymouth untill I was 32 then I went to live in Canada....Now I have a ??????accent..bit of Scottish,a bit of Devonshire, and a bit of North American, I love the Devon Accent.

I have been away for over 40 years but still preserve my Devon Accent and am proud of it I see no reason to change it... living in Canada people often wonder where I am from it adds interest

Darren Crediton
A regional accent is a good thing. It can be a bit of a pain when you visit places out of the area from which you were brought up in, though. Accents and dialects are what make people from different parts of the UK unique. One thing I have yet to fathom out, though, is how quickly a person can cause their accent to be changed. If you are proud of your heritage, and your voice, then why should the accent matter? Some people have "nice" voices; others "harsh". So, what? Does that mean that you are any the less of a person? I think not. Live and let be...and live and let live.

frank/lyme regis
I think the real distinction is thought to be between town and country accents. The latter are more likely to be considered pleasant, because they make you think of trees and birds and rippling streams, while the former call up thoughts of factories and grimy tenements.

Gypsy - Devon.
I think everyone should feel proud of there accent, it is a part of them and where they come from. I admit a regional accent can cause problems in certain circumstances. When I was first married my Lancashire accent threatened my husbands career. I was told in no uncertain terms to tone it down if I wanted him to get on. I didn't, I just stayed out of everyones way. 79% of people in the poll say they change their accent depending on who they're speaking to....what a shame that people can't be taken at face value however they speak, it's not the accent, it's the person who is important.

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