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Dudley town centre - November 2006

Dudley town centre

Black Country Dialect

Ed Conduit, from Stourbridge, has been researching the Black Country dialect at Manchester Uni, under Prof. Richard Hogg, editor of Cambridge History of English. Ed tells us about Germanic words and lower tongues.

Use the comment box, below, to have your say on Ed's findings.

Black Country Dialect (BCD) appears to keep some features of Early Middle English. This is particularly true of its vowels, which seem to be systematically different from those of standard English.

Ancient Church Hill, Wednesbury

Ancient Church Hill, Wednesbury

Think of the word pairs tay/ tea, pays/ peas. Feel your tongue as you say them.  The standard pronunciation has the tongue nearly as close to the roof of the mouth as it will go. The BCD version has it a little lower. Then take the pairs fairse/ face, Crairdley/ Cradley. Standard English uses the “ay” vowel here, while BCD has the tongue less close. Now take boon/ bone, gooin/ going. In these vowels the tongue is closest at the back, but again the BCD version is less close.

Black Country tongues

The interest of this is that standard English changed between the times of Chaucer and Shakespeare, in a process called “the Great Vowel Shift”. Over several generations all English vowels changed. The general movement was that the tongue became one step closer to the roof of the mouth. Although some of the differences seem in the other direction e.g. strung/ strong, lung/ long, BCD may have kept the vowel sound of Early Middle English and resisted the GVS.  
The contrast between the vowel “o” and “a”, for example in the words mon/man, ‘ommer/hammer, rot/rat, has been well demonstrated by linguists. This dates even further back, from the days of Old English. The main dialect then was West Saxon, which used the “a”, while Midlanders said the same words in Mercian with the “o” sound.

Dudley Town Centre November 2006

Dudley Town Centre - November 2006

Verbs also seem to show persistent features from early Middle English. Past tenses in BCD are often made weakly, by adding –ed, where standard English has a strong past. Consider gi’d/ gave, si’d/ saw, cotch’d/ caught. Weak past tenses tended to happen in lower-class English during the couple of centuries when French was the official language, and nobody was teaching “correct English”. There may be a couple of verbs where BCD has a different strong past e.g. fun/ found.

Black Country verbs do not seem to have a perfect. Think of these sentences: “the glass wuz took out o’ the frairm” and “if er’d a-knew it wuz yer birthday, er’d a-bought yer a present”.  The speakers know that their teachers would have corrected them to say “the glass was taken” and “if she had known it was your birthday . . ”, but they consistently use the simple past in all such situations.

Four out of five words are Germanic

Old English did not have a perfect, and it came into Middle English by using the verb “to have” in a new way. For example, “I have the fish as caught” eventually became “I have caught the fish”. The verb to be was also used for while, for example “I am come”, but then dropped. French and German made similar introductions of a perfect aspect. Black Country seems to have managed without it. The speaker above uses “a-knew” for this purpose.

View from Church Hill, Wednesbury

View from Church Hill, Wednesbury

Interest in dialect usually starts in listing different “words”. In fact there are only a handful of words that are used exclusively in this part of the West Midlands. “Bostin fittle” is the main example.

While most BCD words are also found in English in other parts of the world, BCD relies very heavily on words of Germanic origin. Four out of five words are Germanic, with virtually no Norse or Welsh, and a few words from French. This continues the trend of the priest Laghamon, who wrote a history of the English people around 1205. In his church near Stourport he managed to write 30,000 lines of Midlands English with only 100 French words.

The preference for the Anglo Saxon of Mercia continues to give Black Country its distinctive sound.


Ed also told us that:

"The Black Country word list on the BBC Black Country website [created by the readers of the website! See the link on the right for the list] turns out to be fairly inaccurate when I researched it.

"Some words are ww2 slang (sprog), or recent US (barf). Many are general English-speaking world (berk), some are Lancashire (bobby dazzler), or Yorks (gain). In amongst these are some venerable Middle English words (tundish, fittle), and some Worcestershire farming words (poke, spug)."

Have your say! What do you think of Ed's findings? How close is your tongue to the top of your mouth?

last updated: 06/08/2008 at 19:23
created: 29/11/2006

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

wordsley mon
happy Christmas to all folk who originate in the BC.Be back soon.

Dawn - From "Down Under"
I am a true blue Aussie girl born and bred and my mother is a true blue "Black Country" girl and still proud of it even though she left her birth place when only 21 to make a new life in Australia, she is now 81, and to this day still uses a few words, I always remember her calling my uncle "Ar Kid" and it use to amuse the hell out of me, I am now 56 and as I have close family still in the West Midlands (who I have visited) I find it fascinating to listen to and try and use a few words now and again like "Tara a bit" and "Bostin eh it". You should all be proud and keep it going forever.

wordsley mon
When I hear Wolverhampton mentioned, I feel like jumping in my car and driving up. Its BOSTIN UP THEER.

wordsley mon
I have been bullied in the past for having a BC accent. Now I'm afraid to speak because of it. remember, I'm no longer live in the BC. Moving to Ddevon is a thing that I REGRET. GOOD OLE BC

Why is it that folk from the Black Country have the nickname 'yam yams'? As a Black countryman, from Quarry Bank parents and brought up in Wordsley, I can't think of a Black country word that sounds like 'yam', apart from perhaps 'yo'm' (you are). I know that the dialect varies quite a bit across the black country, especially since all of the surrounding areas have jumped on the bandwagon and claimed they are part of the Black Country. Can anyone enlighten me on this please?

Just gwe in to any local pub i recomment pardoes in netherton!

My nan used to say " fetch mar puss an goo and get sum suck " in other words fetch my purse and buy some sweets.I am a Willenhall wench.I used to get told off for moochin( being nosey) and firtling ( fidgeting )I miss hearing how my grandparents used to talk to us those were the days !!

Gornal Bloke
On holiday in Egypt, we found the locals a bit of a nuisance, pestering the tourists to get in their taxis or come into their shops. Ignoring them they took as a sign of weakeness and pestered you all the more, speaking to them showed you must be interested, so they pestered you all the more, so we found that talking in our strongest BC accents confused them into going away! Telling the taxi drivers "Ar doe want a taxi, arm a gooin on Shanks'" or greeting them " Ow bin ya, bostin day ay it" was enough to show politeness but get them to leave us alone as they couldn't work out a word of what we were saying.

quarry bonk bloke
bostin!! there ay a better place in the world!! born n bread BC.

ken chatwood
somebody once said Shakespeare might have had a black country accent.I do think so,it would have bin Romeo Romeo Where am ya?

patrick donald hayes
con ya/ can you. cud ya/ could you. wud ya/would you.

true but the block cuntey accents mint

bc mon
since my move to the south west, Devon, I feel wortless. it wasn't a good move, I wouldn't reccommend it!!

Douglas Winterborn
if itwor fu thu black cuntry wid stil be in the stoon age

wordsley mon
I have never felt so WOPRTHLESS as I do now since moving to Devon.

Adrian Baillie
Ah bist me mon!!Ahm a Black Country Mon thro and thro!!

blackcountry paddy
just fun BC bostin a it

bill witts ' GOLLY' hedgefud staffs
da am 2 spidas da am da a da am cdbd oiys o r da am if yow car read this yam aye Bostin err kid !!

Kevin Wright
I love the black country and wouldn't think twice about changing it for any other county in England. Our dialect is fantastic and it's always funny having a normal coversation with an outsider. "Bostin eh it"

My gran was born in the Black Country and she always told us we were "poorly". I have just moved to the BC after living in South Africa for many years and am loving the dialect. May it last forever.

FJ Bartling
Left the UK for Holland inthe sixties,the BC & Dudleywill forever be on my mind,thanks to internet(multimap,express&star&Claughton school site)Yo Dudley!FJ Bartling,Hilversum,Holland

Chris Bate
Coming from a small area within the Black Country, Lower Gornal as opposed to Upper Gornal, the word "ockod" has always been said from my Grans days which means awkward and I still like being called wench but with the extra word added mewench.

wordsley mon
I went into a supermarket in Devon, when someone said they'd been to Dudley. Another woman said she'd been there, and wouldn't ever go there again! My blood curdled. Whats wrong with the town? I think its brill!!!

mike s
I am keeping a journal about the times( the bostin) times that I had in the BC, Wordsley and Brierley Hill. They were the days.

mike s
i luv the black country, every bit off it. I no longer speak with dialect, unless I puit it on it on, like"Where am ya?" great,(bostin) place to be, I am still fascinated with it, it seems as though when I come back, I'm stepping back in history. Seeing old haunts, such as the school in Wordsley, now a music school.

wordsley mon
I was born in Worsley hospital, which i believe has been pullecd down recently. What a shame! My gran was a cleaner thee for many years until her retirement. I must say, I,m very sad to have moved to south Devon, the biggest regret of my life! My heart still hangs out in the BC, very much. I often come up to see old haunts. Its a bostin place!!

bostin mon
I was born under the black country star, not Lenny Henry either. The BC to me is bostin- GREAT!!

Joan Huybens, Mulgrave, 3170, Vic.Australia
The article on the Black Country dialect was very interesting. My mother used to use the word 'trankelments' for bits and pieces and I had never heard anyone else say that unless they were family members. However, I was recently reading a book - Clover, by Michael Taylor (a Dudley man)and he also used that word. Where does that word come from?Regards, Joan Huybens

Simon B
yow cor understand mai cuz om torkin loike a yam-yam boarn un bread een thuh Block Cuntray! Well yam-yam's con eets jus thuh rest of yow tha' cor!

Gemma, Wolverhampton
"That'll learn ya" was also a favourite phrase used by my grandparents, usually when I did something silly.

Mandy Sutton
I love the Black Country accent, I don't live there now but miss it loads. One my family use a lot isBuzz for bus - brilliant

Patrick Warner
(Born in West Brom - now in Lincs)I was in Sydney wearing one of the Banks "Tarrarabit" tee shirts - a local came up and said "I like those little Russian cars too"

Nina Ridding
Absolutely bostin! I'm a teacher of English in Walsall and from Walsall meself. This website has been fantastic in helping me put together some lessons on the the black country dialect for year 7. Really want the kids to be proud of their accent as it often gets a negative press.

Dave Tonks
I'm originally from West Bromwich, and my son was surprised when I used the word 'podged the queue' to me 'jumped the queue'.Can you comment. Also is there a more comprehensive dictionary of 'words'?

david lilley
i was born in the black-country at holly hall-dudley.having been reading a web-page on dialect.i can remember the expression for someone who talked alot as "her con talk the leg off a cast-iron pot"or "hers like a bibble in a con".i now live in durham

Sandra Wilkes
Originally from Walsall - emigrated to New Zealand. My sister has recently joined me and used an expression recently I have never heard of: she said 'Oh my God - I think your dog has ossined' meaning 'I think your dog has broken wind' Has anyone else heard this phrase?

im from pensnett, eas (here is) a few sayins that aint bin (been) mensioned, yo gorra fairce larka bulldog chewin ona wassp (you've got a face like a bulldog chewin on a wasp), and arse like a bonk hoss (bum like a bank horse) (shire horse),just fort (thought)ard (i would) mension um (them) cheers, tra abit

the Ole Mon
born and bred in old wolvo words we used when i was a kid and still use know including - cantin(when someone kept gooin on and on) - codding - we called walsall - wassall, - bamfoozled - an old raerker - when the teacher used to say - 'theres no such word as can't = we wud reply alright i cor do it ! another phease we used was -he died of a tuesday ! shift yer yed befow yam jed ! - old whitmore reans was always considered a separate unique village in wolverhampton -and it still is .hahaha great plaerce !

Vivo from OZ
Does any one know the origins of the word BOST(broken)& the word BOSTIN(great,fantastic,wonderful, etc).

daz from tipton
yo fink arm saft doo ya

Tony bull
Gommickin abowt To indulge in horseplayWazzin = ThroatClack = epiglottis, so if someone chokes on his beer it must have gone down his wazzin and past his clack the wrond road.monstink = some one who is full of himself and liable to have tantrums, form which I invented the the verb to monstink to have a tantrum although it could easily have been used by otherChomblin = crunching hard sweets in the mouth.Rilin= fidgeting as in stop rilin, sit still

Bob Cooper
Born in West Brom, Brommige, emigrated to Tasmania when I was 21yrs old. I remember the saying " Well I goo to Smerrick" Reesty and riffy for dirty.A rhyme learnt as a nipper.O bin O bayO con O cortO wull O woO woz O wortA guzinter in my trade was a pipe fitting that had a female thread on one end and a male thread on the other,described as ,for example a guzinter bend meaning a male-female bend because one guzinter the other. I often ask locals here what language I'm using when I say "Ogorragoongerrommer" They invariably say Australian Aboriginal! I also remember wullenders and arf enders,[full and half bricks]because I chucked one through Bromford Lane Post Office window years ago.I also remember coalpicking down the Tockey Bonks and catching Red Butchers in the Segs[ sinkings]I only go out of my BC accent now in order to be understood. But since my sister and her old man came over our chat would bring a tear to any Black Countryman's heart.

George Rhodes
I am a 74 year old ex Dudleyite and have lived in New Zealand for 55 years.I was raised on the Priory estate, went to Park Secondary School and spoke with a heavy Black Country accent. When I arrived in New Zealand I was asked if I came from Holland because the locals could not understand a word I said. As one person put it " Thats not Dutch its double Dutch " Nice to hear a bit of the lingo again and to read the comments.George Rhodes

Amanda Evans
I now livw in the Yorkshire dales but I am very proud of my inheritance of Black country words and phrases. My family all live in Cradley and 1 phrase my nan always came out with was "cum in if 'ur 'air curls" meaning if the door blew open. The Black country has much to be proud of and I find the history fascinating.All my ancestors were chainmakers and I have enjoyed viewing the censuses to track their movements and occupations.

K Slater
I remember a very funny moment a few years ago when I was doing work in London with a mate who came from Quarry Bonk. He spoke with a very broad Blackcountry accent, even I sometimes had to think twice about what he had said, that's funny in its self considering I'm from Dudlaaaaaay!We where working on a building when a American couple stopped to ask us directions, my mate started to talk to them. after he had finished the American bloke looked at the uman,the uman looked at the bloke, they both looked at me then stood there for a few moments looking at my mate trying to understand what he had said then they walked off none the wiser.We both justs stood there loffin our yeds off.

the term brummigem screwdriver means an ommer

Tom Davies
The most black country thing i think i ever heard was when i was at work and some bloke come in and he said to his missus "stick mar coot the the-a" (put my coat over there).Had me in stitches

loved all the comments, i married a brummie lad and he thinks we are posh!!!!

Diane Fellows
I wished I'd have known that the BCD is as close to Anglo Saxon as we can get, because if I'd have known this fact years ago...I'd surely have given my teachers' an answer when told to speak proper English!

mike S
I am proud to come from the BC. A great place to come from and a good place to goo(go).

Ivan Hall
I grew up as a boy in Darlaston in the 1920's/30s and then moved away but I still remember my Black Country.I recall that for second person we often used thee or thine. e.g.You cannot could be 'yo cor' or 'thee cossn't'.You haven't could be 'yo ay' or 'thee asn't.'You were could be 'thee wozt'.You were not could be 'thee wozn't.'It's not yours could be 'It ay thine', and there was that tongue twister - Weer dist thee say thee woz wen thee fust sed thee thort thee sist me?All good stuff!

Nare om proud ov my black country accent i lv it i do.ya face lux like a bostid boot - u got a mashed up face.yowm a div - you are a divi cor do it - i cant do iti ay gewin there - i aint going therei day do it - i didnt do itarh bin ya our kid - how am you our kidcocka gew fetch me cowt - (2 younger people, get me my coat )

Dermot Wardley
A friend of mine who lives in Coseley has often used the word "BIMBLE" when describing going for a ride on his motorbike. I think this has a quaintness aboput it and wonder whether it's a Black Country word. Anyone else heard it? Definition could be 'meandering...'

Simon B
There ay really any difference between Darlo itself and Walsall, the accent is pretty much the same and the only dialect differences is the fact that the locals in Darlo say words like 'cor' and 'dahn' slightly more than walsall folk. Saying that a lot of Walsall folk have moved to Darlo ( altho i disagree with people that say walsall has taken it over, the two areas are completely different)so the accents seem to have merged somewhat. Saying that Moxley(which occasionally gets classed as Darlo) shares a council with Walsall and they sound completely different in both their accent and dialect to Walsall, so you make a good point Gary.

I am from Walsall and we seem to have a simlar accent but not exactly the same. Darlaston is said to be in the walsall area and yet they seak different to people in walsall, I just think it is idleness in the way that some speak. There is nothing to be proud of speaking like a fool, no one understands you anyway. SO SPAKE PROPPER....

mt h smith
tara a bit

Melissa and Maggie
I sid yaI saw you!

I always understood that "chobble" actually meant to crunch a sweet not really chew food.

Born and bred in Brierley Hill and so proud of my accent but the "propa spake and sayin's" seem to be dying out. I cant remember where I heard this or it might have been somebody winding me up, but the chain for the anchor of the Titanic was made in Netherton. Does anyone know if this is true? it ay / it is'ntYow am / you areYampy / CrazyBonk / Bank or hill"Yow cor aert an drink at the saem toime" means, You cant eat and drink at the same time.get ya gladrags on / put your "clubbin" clothes onsode as sid / sold as seenwhere yow bin? / where have you been?how ya bin? / how have you been?tra a bit / bye for now

Dermot Wardley
Fascinating to read all the comments since I added mine. Like "off the hooks" but how about this one I heard once. "lower yer left 'ond up a little bit"Keep up the good work!

lisa of tipton
i talk broad myself but its harder 2 read it than it is 2 say it we dow talk that bad do we ayyyy

keep the bcd gowin

Simon Baugh
Ah nao ar! = i know yesyow'm= you arekerk= cakei don't think i've seen them on here yet.

Om on the bog - (toilet)!th ay no perper - (paper) !Gu t th shap an get sum - (shop)!an urry up!!!

Claire Jones
I found this site very interesting and have seen a name on the comments that struck a cord. DERMOT WARDLEY!! If you're reading this Dermot Wardley, did you used to be a teacher in Wednesbury?? I remember him trying to teach me how to pronounce the word 'Five' using only one syllable. Wow it was almost impossible for my Balck Country tongue. Oh those were the days!!

My mom got me into trouble at school when I was a kid. The taycher asked us what our parents did for a living and mine told me they were 'cower mekers'. The taycher said I was making it up, but I was right they were both core makers in a foundry in Tipton most of their lives. I love my accent and am proud to be a decendent of Athelstan the first King of England, who spowk liyk we dun!

"The" Black Country accent? Puh-leeze! In my childhood we could distinguish between people from (say) the Smethwick side of Oldbury and the Oldbury side of Smethwick, so varied were their accents. All true BC folk can speak easily in three accents which they categorise as broad, posh and la-di-da. Broad you'd speak (spake) at home (a'wum), posh was a soort of neutral Midlands-ish voice using standard grammar that could be understood by outsiders, la-di-da was a (usually parodic) imitation of upper-class pronunciations.

I grew up just outside of Tipton in Moxley before moving to Sydney, Oz a year ago. My accents always provided a talking point, Aussies love hearing phrases like " Ebahgum ar big un, yow keep on 'atin like tha' yow'll be as fot as a bonk 'oss in a wik" I used to think it was something to be embarassed about, but its proved priceless for getting on over here!

hiya, i've lived in quarry 'bonk' all my like and am proud to say that i do. just to let you know-instead of 'if her's a knew' i would say 'if her'd a know'd' (had to get that out)! also, my nan used to use the phrase 'want some council pop' (water).

Jodie Rock
I've lived in the black country all my life and never heard the expression CAGMAG before! I gotta say though, most of it's spot on and made me chuckle!!

Black Country rules! I liv in brierley hill an i fink its the best, its only our accent, wht u say 2 ofa ppl in ofa places? y r ppl researchin it? they doe need 2... :D

Len Gough
In South Carolina,they lovethe Black Country accent,and Anuk-Ali in the black country bugle.although they can-not understand a word we say lolthe word tazz means, it has.I was born in Ocker-Bonk (ocker-hill)lol

Geoff Adams
My grandad, a retired iron-moulder who lived in Kinver, used to say "Yo cor aert an drink at the saem toime" - an observation which never fails to baffle my well-educated friends from other parts of the country.

A large toy store has opened in Dudley....Its called Toys am we

Gary Page
When I moved to Kidderminster from Brierley Hill I was amazed how my accent confused people.It made me appreciate and relect on our history... we urn yow a gooin...gorra gew shappin weuz me puss..toe urt ull it gew lairta...Sorry had to do that!

Alan Wild
Born in Wolverhampton I was always led to believe that an homma was a Brumigum Screwdiver not the other way round. and if it looked like rain we would always say "looks a bit black over Bills mothers sum ones gunna gedit (going to get it)

Born and raised in Netherton, Dudley. Use most but not all of these words daily, and am often very unaware of it. It makes me laugh to see them written down, it reminds me of Shakespeare, so I can sympathise with non-native speakers. Here's another one that you missed, the word for 'clean'; CLANE, as in 'Ar bay aytin off that, it ay clane.'

John Fox
Born in West Bromwich, I married my wife, having met her at Teacher Training College in Dudley.She hailed from Blackburn. She asked me to help her translate some words heard when teching Primary School pupils in Tipton. In Maths she asked what "guzinter" meant. Dividing -Three guzinter six twice! "Podge" was another word she had not heard before. A boy had said someone had podged him in the dinner queue. She was relieved to hear it was taking the place of.

billy spake mon
hi being a writer and performer in dialect i was fascinated by ed's book i am completing a phd loking at the role of the BC dialect as a signifier of our identity after the education act of 1870. i lk more at the social aspect than the linguistic but the notion of its phisicality when speaking i is fascinating...the varieties and specific referencing even down to streets , families is evident i my research and also how 'proper' accepted words are changed. our language is sort of like my nana's broth where it absorbs al and comes up full of a wonderful godness that weshould all be proud of Wel done ed keep the fire burning for local heritage and legacy

Amy - May
Is it true that if William Shakespeare came back now, he would speak with a black country accent and he would also be able to understand some of the black country dialects more than any other English dialects.

simon b i think you make a good point. a french student at uni with me was suprised to learn that i pronounce tea as tay, just the same as he does in french, but was told by his english teacher that he had to say tea (tee)

Becky Millward
I am studying the BCDialect for my Dissertation at Wolverhampton Uni, not a speaker myself but with friends and family having a broad accent it is a fascinating research project and I have Ed's book - I shall be referencing it well!

Alec Pugh
I lived in the Black Counrty for 58 years and have moved to Australia and the fun I have talking to the people here in Australia and trying to explain the saying and meanings of the words seem to to give them a good laugh.

John S
Want a laff??Goo to fronce and spake Black Country to them - they corr understand a waird - bostin mostin - its more fun explaining it to them as well!!!!!!!!!

Benjamin Riches
It really is fantastic to see so many people speaking enthusiastically of this unique dialect. I agree with the comments regarding others in the country who hate / look down on the accent, simply because they don't understand it.With friends and family from the Black Country, I'll often speak in the dialect, and it feels great; it feels normal.When speaking to strangers, however, I think I am compulsed into speaking a more standard English. Any opinions on whether I should or should not do this?Once again, great to read so much of the BCD!

Simon B
I was wondering if some of the BC dialect came from the French langauge... like the word 'Bonk' meaning Bank for instance is very similar in prounciation to the french word for bank. Also the pattern of replacing a's in certain words with o's ( grond for grand for instance) bears a strong resembalance to the French language.

bill owens
read somewhere on this site , tay I want me tay , answer yow cor ave yer tay tay tay time

Morris edwards
being born in brum raised in west brom now residing in tipton my accent is a very strange cross between Brummigam & the good old black country & to be fair its very confusing to all around , my fav saying which I am well known at work for is, Ahm gonna get me coot & aem gooin whum

Arm from Wudsley (Wordsley) an one thing i ay erd sed for a while is the Black Country word for a moth...which is Bobowler. Me muther used ta say "John get that bobowler ahtu ere o cor stond em".

BCD is very close to Germanic. ow bist, Bist is german meaning 'to be' we say 'ar' for yes the germans say 'yar' close ay it? Friends have been on holiday include meself an the wench an bin mistaken for german because of the use of cor, bin yow etc

Steve Harper.
Your many examples of dialect bring back many memories of delivering bread and milk around the area of CRADLEY HEATH. NETHERTON, QUARRY BANK ETC. To hear the old folk speak was like being in a different world, with "BIST YA GOUIN TA BRUNG THAR LOFF IN FOW M'AY YUNG'UN?" Or " DOW PUT BOCKLE A MALK ON DOR STAP, PASS IT TA ME'AR LAED!". A gentler time! Also I was told the TRUE Black Country covers an area extending 3-MILES in any direction from Cradley Heath five ways church spire, not all the way to WEST BROMWICH and beyond. This is a misconception held by outsiders who do not understand the mother tongue!

My nan always said "I funnit" meaning she found it and "raand the back o' bills mothers!"

Any idea why black country folk say Mom instead of Mum. Or should that be, why does everyone else in the country insist on saying Mum when it should be Mom ?

Ken Pomlett
I've lived in Aussie for a long time, but when I once visited the Black Country, I called into a pet shop and heard this conversation:-Woman: As airer wun a yow gorra tonic forra wonky dickie baird ?Reply: Why,wotevas up ?Woman: Ees loozin is fethuz left,roight ancenta.Reply: Wheel,praps it's thatoime a yeah, ayit ?Woman: Are, I no, butcher carby to cairful, tha little bloita's bald asa baja.I often repeat this incident to my Black Country friends here in Aussie and it always gets a laugh.Incidently, words that stick in my mind are:naira- never.Woolbrick- Whole brick.Loff- Laugh.I always found true Walsallians, hardly ever said was always Are and No was always Nay or Nairer. Love to all Black Country people, you are a race apart.

Kam Singh
few other words. We dont say "i cant do it", we say, "i corr do it". We dont say "it wasnt me", we say "it worr me. and we dont say "i didnt do it", we say "i day doo it". killa. moved to central london now and not a single soul understands what i say. sometimes they think i'm from overseas seen as i'm indian! the girls love it tho, so i wudnt change my accent for the world!!

Mike Lewis
Bostin is a direct derivative of the German word "Bestin" meaing the best.

Paul Freeman
'Arve bin exiled frum th' Black Country f' moast o'me loife now. But yaow neva lose the dialeck completely an' Ar wouldn' wanna. It's grate to 'ear it when Ar cum wum. On a reacent visit Ar went ter visit me uncle 'ooz real broad Black Country. When yaow rioght it down yao cor 'ear the proper 'sing-sung' towan o' the dialeck which sets it apart frum th' Brummagem wun. Ar alus remember me ol' Grandad sayin' to may, "Ow far wud yaw 'av bin if Ar 'adn't a called yaw back" when Ar woz 'arf way down the road. Bostin'

I was brought up in Wednesbury but moved to West Brom, early teens. I only really hear my dad talk in real Black Country now (he was from Darlaston). Working in an office, my accents changed quite a bit, but it soon comes back when I talk to my Dad! Some of my favourites I hear him say are: "I ay kiddin yo", "I atta see the nus" (nurse),"bostin" - a common favourite, "ah ya duin" (How are you), werter (water)"am ya guin shappin"-are you going shopping. Someone should make a documentary for prime time tv to show the links mentioned above regarding Old Middle English.

Dave C.
A couple of expressions, I haven't heard recently, off thucks=not very well, and on the box=not well enough for work.

Simon B
One thing that has always confused me is the fact that Brummies take the mick out of the traditional black country accent and dialect when they have a twang of that accent and use a few of the words ( such as gooin, ay and gid) that are closest to queens english.

Doug Smith
Not listed - Brummijum screwdriver that's a Hommer (Hammer)

Lee Platt
A term used by my friend Paul from Tipton - If I dow see yaw in the candle ill see yaw in the wick.

Ed Conduit
"Kape owt th'oss rode" Thanks Dermot for this phrase. The vowels are probably what people used to say in Middle English, but standard English has lost. "Kayp" has become "keep". "Oss" instead of "orse" is another vowel shift. "We'm yow gooin?" has the shift from "goo" to "go".

Gail Morgan
When I was little me gran used to say to me " Put ya ganzy on or yall ketch chincuff"-"put your vest on or you will catch a cold" Another of her favourites was when I was pretending to be Margot Fonteyn- "Yam like a fairy on a gobalard!" Finally if she couldn't understand something it was "All my eye and Betty Martin"

I agree with Steve below on the 'Brummegem ommer' comment! It means screwdriver in my house too! And I also agree with Gino, us Black Country folk do talk fast, and that has a big effect on the words we say, for definite! Oh, and yeah, we do seem to put i's after o's a lot too! And just for the record, I love my Black Country accent; I think it's very unique, like a language all of our own! :)

om from tipton n'a wos digusted ta eya tha moh accent wos one of the most hated in the country. the onnie reason for this an'o gorra agree wiv the last post is tha' they jus dow undastand it, ta b fair we dow really change tha' much words we jus shorten em, i fink its mainly cuz we yap sa fast tha' people core undastand it. i use "tazz" as "it has" eg: tha' cuppa ay got no suga init"...."tazz" never used it as fast. that might just be me. i've also bin told by people from the north east that we put o's infront of our i's in some of our words such as "Alroight" "noice" "loike" "moind" has anyone else noticed this? or is it just me never noticing it b4 lol.

I haven't studied the whole list of vocabulary but you might like to add "tazz", which means "to go fast" as in "yow wanna tern yer wellies darn, yow cor alf tazz" (ie if you turn down the tops of your wellingtons, you can run fsster. As to Brummegem ommmer - I understood this to be another term (ironic) for a screwdriver.

Mark Towns
Hi, When I was a lad, in Tipton my mom used to refer to crying as Squarpin ie: stop your squarping etc does anyone else say this? Mark

Dermot Wardley
Born and bred in Tipton, I found this site amusing & interesting. When I lived in Kent for a while in the late 60's I ahd to explain the difference between a Brummie's accent (English with a twang) and BCD - a foreign language spoken north of B'ham! Looking at Liz's comment, my father always uesed to say "Well ah'll goo t'Anover!" presumably a reference to the Royal Family....? A couple of new werds fer yower dikshunary... Kape & Ossrode as in "Kape owt th'ossrode" & We'm as in "We'm yow gooin?"

Derek Wrighton
As a 64 years old Black Countryman now living in Florida..Even the word Black Country has a different connotation...But believe it, our colonial cousins have no clue.what I am saying when I forget to use the Queens English..they say they can understand a Scotsman easier.. than a lad from Wolverhampton

Robert Farmer
a black country mon ud say 'buthday' and not birthday as in .....the frairm” and “if er’d a-knew it wuz yer birthday, er’d a-bought yer

Chris Thomas
Great fun to see some of the words I used to hear as a child in Quarry Bonk. What about 'Clam' (Starve) as in 'I'm welly clammed ter jeth.' And my mum often referred to large women as a 'bonk oss.' Large moths were called 'bobowlers.' There are lots more, I'm sure.

Just to say I can't see my favourite on there to express "Well, I never" "I''ll goo t' the bottom of ower stairs"

Kerry Houghton
The problem with the Black Country accent is that narrow minded people from other parts of the country don't like it! And why don't they like it? Because they dow understand it!! I have lived in Tipton all my life and am proud of my heritage. I have had to evolve my accent as I used to spend alot of time on the phone to people from around the country in my previous job, just so they could understand what I was saying!! I must admit, the first time I read the Black Country Dialect on here I was in stitches at some of the words.... It was hilarious to see the way the words were spelt and translated!! The Black County dialect is here to stay.... It's Bostin!

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