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Wirral's Accents/Dialect #469136
4th Feb 2011 11:22am
4th Feb 2011 11:22am
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London
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Erainn Offline OP
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Have just read a fascinating letter from 1899 https://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?

Last edited by Erainn; 4th Feb 2011 11:22am.
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Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: Erainn] #469164
4th Feb 2011 1:14pm
4th Feb 2011 1:14pm
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nightwalker Offline

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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?

Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: Erainn] #469174
4th Feb 2011 1:36pm
4th Feb 2011 1:36pm
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Birkenhead
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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.
Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: nightwalker] #469175
4th Feb 2011 1:43pm
4th Feb 2011 1:43pm
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Erainn Offline OP
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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.

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

Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: Erainn] #469182
4th Feb 2011 2:07pm
4th Feb 2011 2:07pm
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shropshire
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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.
Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: Erainn] #469183
4th Feb 2011 2:08pm
4th Feb 2011 2:08pm
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tranmere
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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.
Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: Erainn] #469195
4th Feb 2011 2:49pm
4th Feb 2011 2:49pm
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...what's wrong with saying "kecks" Erainn?

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

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

Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: Geekus] #469214
4th Feb 2011 3:17pm
4th Feb 2011 3:17pm
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Erainn Offline OP
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LMAO ...nah was just imagining how the good folks of Cheltenham would react to our friend using that phrase

Last edited by Erainn; 4th Feb 2011 3:17pm.
Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: Erainn] #469218
4th Feb 2011 3:27pm
4th Feb 2011 3:27pm
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,438
Birkenhead
BandyCoot Offline

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

Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: Erainn] #469246
4th Feb 2011 5:11pm
4th Feb 2011 5:11pm
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Posts: 225
wallasey
detsi Offline
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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 !
Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: detsi] #469248
4th Feb 2011 5:18pm
4th Feb 2011 5:18pm
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Posts: 887
Wirral
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Helles Offline
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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!

Re: Wirral's Accents/Dialect [Re: Helles] #469251
4th Feb 2011 5:38pm
4th Feb 2011 5:38pm
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 190
Wrexham
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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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