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A guide to the British accent

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A guide to the British accent –

British English is the standard language of the English dialect as spoken and written in the United Kingdom.  English is a Germanic language that originated from the Anglo-Frisian dialects brought German settlers and its grammatical influence accounts for substantial innovations noted between English and the other West German idiom. However, what is known as the current British accent did not arise until the mid-1700s. The English and Americans shared an accent during the initial British migration to the United States. But contrary to what most people believe this accent was very similar to what Americans now speak. In other words, it was more of a Rhotic accent.

Well, what you have learned may come be confused when you landed in the UK; the accents might have been almost unfamiliar with and nothing close to your idea of the British English that you have learned in school or being spoken about. This is because the UK is very rich in dialects with countless accents shaped by thousands of years of history.

You may find different accents and dialects widely across Great Britain, Ireland, and nearby smaller islands. Most of the time it will be difficult to find so-called British accent" though, someone could be said to have an English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish accent, although these all have several different sub-types.

So that you are not caught unprepared, here’s a guide to just a few of these British dialects, which you’re sure to come across on your trip to the UK.

Received pronunciation is the accent that people think closest to the standard British English. It is been spoken by the upper classes in London and generally in the south of England. It may be Sometimes referred to as “BBC Pronunciation” in which non- rhoticity is the main feature. That means the r at the ends of words isn’t pronounced (In a non-rhotic accent, the word 'sort' is pronounced like the word 'sought'.).


One of the Commonly spoken dialects of the UK, especially among the working classes in the east end of the city of London.  With a Rhyming slang, the Cockney accent is most notable for its jargon or secret language. In its geographical and cultural senses, Cockney is best defined as a person born within hearing distance of the church bells of St. Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside, in the City of London.


Normally Geordie which is of old English dialect refers to both the people and dialect of Newcastle. The noted feature is that the ‘r’s at the end of words aren’t pronounced, and tend to be pronounced as ‘ah’ instead. So a word like ‘sugar’ becomes ‘sug-ah’.

Multicultural London English (MLE)

This London-based accent, known as a sociolect, is a dialect-specific to a particular social class and predominantly heard among young people.

The Manchester Accent

This accent was originated from those who reside in the North West England city of Manchester, and its surrounding area. Some examples of this accent that make it easy to identify include dropping the ‘r’ and ‘t’ at the end of words, (roar) and dropping the ‘h’ sound at the beginning of a word, so thus making ‘and’ instead of hand.

Scottish English

Scottish English was born as a result of language contact between Scots and the Standard English of England after the 17th century. Afterward, many phonological compromises and lexical transfers have happened to it.

West Country (Southwest British)

This refers to the accents in the South of England, just about fifty miles west of London and extending to the Welsh border. Rhoticity is the main feature in this accent that is If someone from London would pronounce mother as “muthah,” here it will be “mutherrr’’.

Midlands English

Midlands English is one dialect with great disapproval of the more among Englishes. The most famous of these dialects is Brummie (Birmingham English) which is quite famous for its uneasiness.

Welsh English

Influenced greatly by the accents and dialects of the country of Wales this accent is melodious and lilting. It is usually non-rhotic and Several dialect words are imported from the Welsh language.

Estuary English (Southeast British)

Another dialect which is London based and commonly used by people who live along the river Thames and its estuary. Widely heard around Southeast England Estuary English is more often considered as a blend of cockney and Received Pronunciation (RP).

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