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#469136 - 4th Feb 2011 11:22am Wirral's Accents/Dialect
Erainn Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 28th Jan 2011
Posts: 555
Loc: London
Have just read a fascinating letter from 1899 http://www.wikiwirral.co.uk/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/467333/4/River_Fender.html which quoted (or made up) locals from Meols/Moreton using terms that seem now strangely out-of-place when thinking of accents/dialect of that part of the Wirral.

The term "..they CALLS it..." is reminiscent of softer country-style speech found still in Devon,Somerset, Dorset. While the phrase "ought" has more definite Northern credentials, usually associated with Yorkshire or Lancashire.

Anyway it got me pondering on how accents/dialects in those parts of the Wirral must have changed over the years, and if any phrases have remained from older times.I recall working with a guy from Neston in the early 1970s who told me that the local way of saying 'going home' was something like 'goin wam'. Admittedly that is the wilds of Wirral, but would be interesting to learn of local phrases/dialect, some examples would be great, thoughts/offerings?


Edited by Erainn (4th Feb 2011 11:22am)

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#469164 - 4th Feb 2011 1:14pm Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: Erainn]
nightwalker Offline

Old Hand

Registered: 17th May 2010
Posts: 374
Loc: new brighton
Can’t help with any local dialect. However, my great, great grandfather Richard was born in Greasby in 1815. One of his sons married a girl in 1862 who had moved up to Birkenhead from Cheltenham. In a letter to her parents shortly after, she apparently described her new father-in-law as “…a very pleasant man, although rough in nature and appearance not befitting his status [Richard had made a fortune as a building contractor during Birkenhead’s expansion and now called himself a ‘Gentleman’] with a local accent I have oftimes difficulty in understanding.” Presumably she could understand what her husband and most others were saying, so could it be that Richard’s generation was the last to have a true Wirralian accent which was watered down by the influx into Birkenhead and other areas of Wirral of tens of thousands of people from all over the country?

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#469174 - 4th Feb 2011 1:36pm Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: Erainn]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5346
Loc: Birkenhead
People from Cheltenham still can't understand us when we speak, I lived down there for 12 months and a lot of them couldn't figure my speech out and I don't have a particularly bad dialect compared to some.
_________________________
Birkenhead........ God's own Room 101.

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#469175 - 4th Feb 2011 1:43pm Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: nightwalker]
Erainn Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 28th Jan 2011
Posts: 555
Loc: London
Golden insights there smile You may well be right, the 1899 article in questtion refers to old people then features the quote. So it may well be that it was a glimpse into an original accent/dialect that as you suggest may have been overwhelmed and shaped by immigration, mostly from Ireland. Similar process happened in the Home Counties as London/Londoners expanaded, local dialects became a minority.

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#469176 - 4th Feb 2011 1:47pm Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: BandyCoot]
Erainn Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 28th Jan 2011
Posts: 555
Loc: London
That's the point, maybe the original accent/dialect; that was on the Wirral before mass-immigration from Ireland,Wales and Scotland, would have been easier for the folks of Gloucestershire to comprehend. smile Whatever you do, don't mention 'kecks' to them wink

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#469182 - 4th Feb 2011 2:07pm Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: Erainn]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Not Wirral, but soon after moving from London to a village in Shropshire, I came across a great example of local dialect.
In that area, it was usual to change certain words: mustn't became "munna", can't became "canna" & isn't became "inna".
One day, I heard this beauty from some schoolchildren, coming out of the village school, where presumably they'd been having an English lesson.
"You munna say canna, it inna right".
(And no, I'm not making that up).
_________________________
Carpe diem.

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#469183 - 4th Feb 2011 2:08pm Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: Erainn]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7850
Loc: tranmere
The movement of people obviously has a direct consequence of accents in any particular area, on saying that, it is also possible to adopt what was known as BBC English through schooling and correction, regardless of what area one belongs to.
It is also possible to lose an accent with effort, my wife who had a Scottish accent some 40 years ago had to lose it, simply because she was fed up repeating herself, now it is hardly noticeable at all, however on returning to Scotland it all flows back as if she never left. On returning south of the border she looses her Scottish twang, proof if needed, its the company one keeps.
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#469195 - 4th Feb 2011 2:49pm Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: Erainn]
Geekus Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Sep 2010
Posts: 1195
Loc: Wiki Wirral
...what's wrong with saying "kecks" Erainn?

I like to go out weekends wearing me bezzy Kopin'off Kecks...

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#469208 - 4th Feb 2011 3:13pm Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: chriskay]
Erainn Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 28th Jan 2011
Posts: 555
Loc: London
smile

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#469214 - 4th Feb 2011 3:17pm Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: Geekus]
Erainn Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 28th Jan 2011
Posts: 555
Loc: London
LMAO ...nah was just imagining how the good folks of Cheltenham would react to our friend using that phrase


Edited by Erainn (4th Feb 2011 3:17pm)

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#469218 - 4th Feb 2011 3:27pm Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: Erainn]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5346
Loc: Birkenhead
They were ok down there actually, just had to repeat myself a lot the same as berts missus. The word "ought" has a lot of variations throughout the country, nought, owt, nowt just some I've heard, I think they used to speak more formal English anyway during the last century, when you read their letters they are beautifully written and contain flowery phrases, pity we've lost it.
_________________________
Birkenhead........ God's own Room 101.

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#469220 - 4th Feb 2011 3:33pm Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: BandyCoot]
Erainn Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 28th Jan 2011
Posts: 555
Loc: London
Take your point..that said none on my folks from that time could write, some say the tradition continues in my family smile For sure though it would have been more of a recognizable 'country' accent, minus the Celtic infusion that exploded post 1840.

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#469246 - 4th Feb 2011 5:11pm Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: Erainn]
detsi Offline
Addict

Registered: 6th Feb 2010
Posts: 225
Loc: wallasey
The Birkenhead accent seems to have changed very much, during my lifetime. It's almost beyond understanding now. Don't get me wrong, I'm no snob. Born in '45 off Conway Street, but nobody was trying to 'out scouse' each other in those days. Now it appears that lots of people go out of their way to try to speak as commonly as they can. I wonder if, maybe, the fact that English language is not being taught in the same way is to blame. Also, swearing is commonplace these days. Years ago it was unheard of to swear in front of a woman, but now the ladies are quite capable of many a mouthful, and in public too.
_________________________
Clones are people two !

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#469248 - 4th Feb 2011 5:18pm Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: detsi]
Helles Offline
Wise One

Registered: 28th May 2010
Posts: 887
Loc: Wirral
Would have thought there would be a hint of Welsh in our dialect from way back?

Language is changing all the time, just listen to the way the youngsters speak these days. innit!

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#469251 - 4th Feb 2011 5:38pm Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: Helles]
Historybook Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 20th Dec 2008
Posts: 190
Loc: Wrexham
Originally Posted By: Helles
Would have thought there would be a hint of Welsh in our dialect from way back?

Language is changing all the time, just listen to the way the youngsters speak these days. innit!


When i used to visit the Scottish isles in times gone by the locals used to think i was from Wales even though i lived on the Wirral !.

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