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2008 Comment[edit]

I get the impression, that some people(even a minority of Brummies) think that the Black Country accent is just a broader version of the Brummie accent. I couldn't disagree with this generalisation more! The Brummie and Black Country accents have no real connection, people just 'lump' them together because of their proximity. Also, if someone on the TV (or whatever) does an 'exaggerated Brummie accent', then surely in most cases it's just an exaggeration of the Brummie accent NOT a Black Country one as the BC accent is completely different from the Birmingham one in just about every waySimon B 7 (talk) 16:11, 15 June 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Simon B 7 (talkcontribs) 00:10, 15 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Steve Thorne / Thorn[edit]

My name is Steve Thorne. There is inconsistency of the spelling of Thorne through this article. Thought as I'm not sure which is right I'm probably not the best person to fix it. THD TommyD (talk) 16:27, 7 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Celebrity Speakers[edit]

All those that you've mentioned having a distinct dialect all speak very differently in my opinion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:45, 3 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I have removed Robert Plant from your examples as he was born in West Brom and grew up in Halesowen- not a Brummie at all

06:35, 21 August 2009 (UTC)


You mention 'gambol' in the dialect section why? What else is a 'gambol'? There is no such thing as a forward role and even if there was with a gambol your not always going forwards so it's not enough. Many English speaking countries use the term and it just seems ludicrous that it has been added to the article.

Dialect origins study[edit]

I remember seeing a television documentary (I believe on BBC2 involving Julian Richards) which looked into a study on which accent in the UK was likely to sound the most like the original English Languages (Old English and Middle English). It was decided that the accents of Birmingham and the Black Country were by this method, probably the oldest sounds in the country. This was established using examples of surviving ME and OE words and grammer in the local dialects - compared to other dialects across the country - and the theory that states in European countries at least the further the area is from the capital, from major international trade-routes and the sea, the more ancient the pronunciation will be of the national language. Birmingham and the Black Country were established as the most likely candidates in the UK as they had the highest results for all of the criteria. Other regions may have had higher results for one or other of the critera but the West Midlands consistantly scored highly. I wondered if there were any references to this study available and if it would be sensible to mention it on this page. The programme concluded that Chaucer would have spoken with something akin to a Brummie accent. - Ammi 12:21, 7 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Doesn't sound likely. Over the past 1000 years, the big divide in English accent has been between "North" (Viking-influenced) and "South" (Anglo-Saxon influenced). Brummie, being a bit north of the divide, has affinities with other Northern and Midland accents. But Chaucer was from London. Hard to say how he would have spoken, but it wouldn't have been Midland. 01:14, 8 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
someone else has obviously heard the theory, although I don't remember it referring to the Black Country dialect exclusively. This is quoted on the Black Country page "The following information and Dialect Dictionary is from the Ancient Manor of Sedgley website at 1 The dialect of the Black Country area remains perhaps one of the last examples of early English still spoken today.
The word endings with 'en' are still noticeable in conversation as in 'gooen' (going), callen (calling) and the vowel 'A' is pronounced as 'O' as in sond (sand), hond (hand) and mon (man) also rot (rat). Other pronunciations are 'winder' for window, 'fer' for far, and 'loff' for laugh - exactly as Chaucer's English was spoken." - Ammi 14:54, 8 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Removing almost offensive rubbish[edit]

Well i have to say that i have never read this page untill just now and being from Birmningham and having a Brummie accent i can safely say that alot of the content on this page was utter rubbish, all the pronunciations and so on have never applied to myself or anyone i know, maybe one could argue that a small percentage of the city' population could use these variations in speech but even suggesting that people from the city say mom or mam, i say mum, mom whatever... the Black country accent is very strong in places but i can asure any reader here that all of my friends and family from the city talk nothing like noddy bloody holder or carl flamin chinn! I thought that the article came over as extremely patronising in parts and to be honest anyone who may not know the accent certainly wouldn't rush to hear it in the future, the accent has suffered massively from phoney actors like Benny from Crossroads or a thousand other actors that perpetuate a totally exagerated 'Black Country' accent to the point of almost irritating the viewer or listener. It is NOT a nasal accent any more so than certain people i have met from other parts of the country, there are massive variations of accent within the city and that is just down to how we are made and brought up.

If anybody here has ever watched the Halifax advert on UK T.V. you will probably be aware of the annoying black brummie with national health glasses making ridiculous noises, well to prove a point here... his real Brummie accent didn't sound 'Brummie' enough so the producers overdubbed his voice to make him sound imbecilely moronic. This sort of nonsene just perpetuates predudice. Nick Boulevard 19:55, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I don't mean to be 'having a go' at anyone in particular that may have added to the article, i just get extremely racked off with other peoples sometimes innacurate perception of the accent, i am not joking when i say that often people don't believe me when i say i am from Brum, many comment "oh.. you don't have the dreadfull accent then" ha, ha, i do actually laugh mostly but i will follow up with a snide remark, i do think some people expect people from the city to sound moronic, with a slow dumb slurrrr, what pish that is! Nick Boulevard 20:02, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Nick, first of all I entirely agree that the page should not portray the accent/dialect in a negative light. It infuriates me when people who claim not to be racist don't even think twice about spewing out the most ignorant, prejudiced, almost violent vitriol about a regional accent (e.g. "I just can't cope with being around people who talk like that"). No accent is any worse than any other accent, and to claim otherwise is sheer prejudice. Certain ignorant people at university would assume that my ex-girlfriend was unintelligent because of her Brummie accent, and the very same people learned an important lesson when she obtained far higher exam grades than they did.

I do think that the page can address this issue of prejudice. It is a fact that some accents suffer a more negative image than others, and rather than pretending this is not the case, in the face of academic research, we can highlight this issue and show that it is nothing more than ignorance and social conditioning. I've added a link to a page on ebrummie.co.uk which documents relevant research.

As regards the pronounciations and dialect: I've restored them because there's good evidence for all the points; of course not all speakers will use all the features, but this is no reason not to document them. In fact, some natives do not use certain features precisely because it has been forced out of them, by prejudice and linguistic ignorance (I remember people being punished at school for using double negatives in speech). This sort of attitude which makes it all the more vital that we do document these features, so that they are recognised as legitimate patterns of speech.

The particular case of the word "mom" is a good example. I'm sure there are people in Birmingham who say "mum", but "mom" is undeniably in common use. Local schools teach the spelling "mom", whereas in other regions this spelling would be corrected to "mum". Go into a local greetings card shop in Birmingham and you'll find plenty of cards with the word "mom" on them; try the same thing in Leeds or London and you're unlikely to find many.

Noting the differences between Standard English grammar and Brummie grammar is not in any way a criticism of the latter. One of the common misconceptions about dialects is that they are just "bad English". A good way to dispell this perception is to show that the dialect follows its own consistent rules which lead to the productive formation of its unique syntax. Thus the reader learns that the dialect is a complex linguistic structure in its own right, and not just a few funny phrases spoken by primitive locals. Other features such as the "ng-g" in "singer" show that Brummie has retained the original historic pronounciation, and in fact it is Standard English which has lost a phoneme. 11:30, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)


I am sorry but the pronounciations and dialect that you have "highlighted" are actually incorrect, i know of no one from Birmingham that uses the examples of speech contained in the article, like i said if there are people that speak in that manner they are few and far between, you are unfortunately perpetuating this miss-information, and to say that Scottish accent is more acceptable in broadcasting than "Brummie" is also incorrect, what about cat deeley, oh hang on she can't be brummie because she doesn't use the examples of speech you have included in the article, do you understand what i am saying? I think you may be getting confused with black country accent, as i said i do feel very strongly that this is negative to the people of Birmingham simply because the examples provided are not used in a wide enough manner, in actual fact many early T.V. footage of Brum shows an accent that is often well spoken with words clearly pronounced and not that dissimilar to the South East, at the end of the day the city was/is made up completely from other UK cities that settled during the industrial revolution so the accent can vary from one side of the city to the other. Nick Boulevard 16:03, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC), I did read your post again and i understand what you are trying to get across but i still am willing to argue that even the majority of so called research on the accent is predudiced due to inacurate media representation over a period of about twenty years. I grew up on a street in south Brum which had a mix of accents and yes there were a few people with a strong accent but it didn't sound anything like what has been suggested here, maybe i should carry out my own research :) i always find the TRUE brummie accent quite welcoming on the whole and warming, i have never known an accent to be exagerated so much? the research should be into why some people need to build barriers to protect themsleves from anything that is different to what they have grown up with, maybe i have just answered my own question? maybe we one day realised that building castles to keep foreigners out of our lives was way to taxing when we can use our minds and a spitefull tongue to execute the same battle? Nick Boulevard 00:05, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I hold my hands up as the original author of the article (although I think there was a sentence or two there before I expanded it). I am going to try to keep out of the controversy (most of the time) because I'm conscious of how many faults my original version had, but there are a couple of things I would like to say. First I think we can all agree that the Brummie accent suffers from a kind of misrepresentation that's extended to people who speak with it in a way that's often akin to racial prejudice. My aim in writing the article was to make Wikipedia an objective source of information on it for people who know it and people who don't. I know Birmingham and grew up not far away and I know plenty of people with Brummie accents, although I don't speak with a particularly recognisable one myself except for perhaps small influences here and there. For the record I love the accent and can't understand why it gets such a bad press compared to others like Geordie. The IP contributor who edited the article after me improved it quite a lot, I thought, and while usually I'd say the string of edits by various people since then was all great — wiki in action and all that — a fair bit of promising work has been lost. It's important that in an article on a linguistic topic like this there is phonetic information of the sort professionals in the field use, technical talk of diphthongs with IPA examples, preferably with academic sources cited to avoid disputes over what various Wikipedia editors think they can and can't hear, and all made reasonably understandable to the casual reader of course. The accent section now says nothing about how it actually sounds, and the dialect section seems to have degenerated into the sort of thing that can be found all over the web for any English-speaking corner of the world you care to mention. There are phrases in there I have never heard, and plenty that I have and aren't in there ("ta-ra a bit", anyone?). Also I would dispute that bostin has been consigned to history (I note that plenty of the examples are described as having been used in the past which is something of a cop-out and in any case less important than words and phrases actually used today), or that sweet, sound, and mint, while ubiquitous, are specifically Brummie. Mom is certainly in current use. I'd like to see really good articles for all regional accents, and perhaps this could set the standard, but it's got a long way to go from the present version. — Trilobite (Talk) 06:15, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

We all know that Brummie has been berated in the past but it is purely down to the usual predudice of those from another place who do not "apreciate" the tone or tune of their neighbour, then combine that with the miss-representation in the national media and you have a never ending load of rubbish that surfaces whnever the word brummie is mentioned. The thruth is, most people seem to fail to distinguish between black country or even somewhere with a strong accent like Kidderminster and then Birmingham which has never been that strong. I removed the language section because i know of no one that uses that language, maybe slightly similar in some areas but way OTT and obviously written by someone (possibly not by the original poster here) who already had an opinion of the accent before research, or maybe they just studied the Halifax advert or Barry from Auf Wiedersehen, Pet! I added certain phrases that i agree are used elsewhere in the counrty like sound, sweet, etc but that is something else that can be added or discussed, change them if you like! i really think this article should be positive and true, constricting the article to outdated miss-conceptions that have been promoted by a certain section of the British public will not help the Birmingham accent at all, this is an oportunity to set the record straight. Nick Boulevard 11:32, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Ok to carry this on just a little further, i happened to watch day time T.V. today as i was off work with a bad back :( (hence grumpy mood), anyone ever watch the Hospital drama? it's set in a fictional west mid city called leathersomething? anyway apart from it being dire the supposedly brummie accents were pathetic, there must be a fake brummie accent school of acting somewhere in the UK? only two of the actors seemed to have genuine midland accents, the others bordered on the usual crossroads tosh with the main characters having mild south eastern accents. Nick Boulevard 23:05, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Hello all,

I'm totally open to being edited, like any Wiki contributor should be, but I would ask that if you're removing text as opposed to editing it, that you go through the content carefully and assess each point independently. For instance, all of the changes I restored about accent were deleted in one go, including the following text: Surveys have shown that it elicits among the least favourable responses of any accent of British English (see link below). The link (http://www.ebrummie.co.uk/brummie_papers.htm) is to a number of carefully researched academic studies. One of these shows that, in controlled conditions, respondents are more likely to consider a police suspect guilty if he speaks with a Brummie accent. From the paper it is clear that the authors themselves have no bias against the accent and indeed they express alarm at their findings. Nick, if you feel that this research is prejudiced in some way, could you give details?

Also, I understand that you disagree with some of the accent/dialect features as I discribed them, but I think you agree with some of them too, because your own examples show them: for instance, dropping initial /h/ (you write "... the 'oss road"), and final "ing" -> /in/ (you write "bostin" and "goin"). I should probably have said that I am a resident of Birmingham, and I don't have a TV so my information definitely does not come from adverts or second-rate dramas, which I agree have some of the least believable Brummie accents I've ever heard. The examples were written with the help of a friend who is researching a PhD in Linguistics - not in the study of accents, I should explain, but this kind of thing is covered in undergraduate degree-level training. If the feature descriptions don't look familiar, it may be because they use the International_Phonetic_Alphabet.

I should make this clear in the text. The accompanying examples are written for a naive reader of Standard English, and if you read them in Brummie they may not sound correct. For instance the Brummie pronounciation of the word "five" is /foIv/ in IPA. To spell this in such a way that a reader with Standard English pronounciation will read it aloud as /foIv/, you have to spell it "foiv". However, a Brummie reader, reading the word "foiv", is likely to pronounce it more like /fui:v/, whereupon the example might seem totally wrong. So when you find the examples unfamiliar, that shows that I should have been more explicit in the article, I think.

Accordingly, I've restored the examples of accent and dialect features. Please feel free to edit those you consider incorrect, but please address them on a point-by-point basis, explaining what is wrong with them individually, and if possible please provide a correction rather than deleting the point. But if people choose to do otherwise, that is up to them; I've said my piece and I'm not interested in starting a revision war. Thanks, 6 Sun Feb 6 13:18:54 2005 (UTC)

To be honest i started to take a double take on your content to see if i was being unfair in my critisism but much of it is negative, why highlight that the accent is considered untrustworthy? what utter nonsense, obviously in the opinion of the people doing the research and maybe yourself but i have never known anyone to not trust me or my family because of how they speak, the fact you insist on adding little bits of pointless, negative text makes me wonder why your adding anything to the page at all so i have reverted it, sorry if that offends you but your content offends me! the amount of other examples of accent and dialect features. are also totally exagerated and out of date, maybe you should start a black country page and add the content there? Nick Boulevard 19:57, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Ok, just to back my theory up, i took a look at the link: Academic research highlighting prejudice against the Brummie accent (http://www.ebrummie.co.uk/brummie_papers.htm)
The beginning of the article reads as follows: The results suggested that the suspect was rated as significantly more guilty when he employed a Birmingham rather than a standard accent and that attributions of guilt were significantly associated with the suspect's perceived superiority and social attractiveness.
I like the bit where they say: when he employed a Birmingham rather than a standard accent inferring that the suspect was not neccessarily from Birmingham at all and here we are again, using someone elses opinion of what they perceive to be a brummie accent and then amazingly that is then scrutinized by just over 100 people and we have another fallacy that further perpetuates misguided predudice towards a complete region! The link must go :) Nick Boulevard 18:20, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Nick, I appreciate you disagree with some of the accent/dialect points but do you agree with others (such as /h/ and /in/, mentioned above)? My position is that I hear nearly all of them in use every day by the people around me (mainly in South / Central / East Birmingham), but obviously we're not going to convince each other by stating, "my friends do/don't say such-and-such". I'd very much like to hear which points you do and don't accept.
You say it offends you to read text claiming that the Brummie accent is considered "untrustworthy". Can we change the emphasis and/or wording to be less offensive, then, but still acknowledging that this prejudice exists?
If you read further down the ebrummie article it states that the actor "was a natural code-switcher who grew up near Birmingham and had lived in various parts of England". That is, he was a native Brummie speaker who could also speak with a standard accent. Far from being fallacious, the study documents its own limitations very carefuly. The authors of the article are trying to combat misguided prejudice by raising awareness: they've proved, under carefully controlled conditions, that this prejudice does exist.
I think the article should discuss the issue of prejudice against (genuine) Brummie accents, which is a documented phenomenon (e.g. the above research). Therefore, how can we explain this issue in the article in a way which is not offensive? Tue Feb 8 02:01:21 GMT 2005

Hi again :)

I know that you may be trying to create a realistic article on the accent, however i strongly dissagree with any negative connotation, sorry but as i see it, yes predudice does exist towards the accent in many circles but by playing the victim all the time it is not very endearing and could possibly create more of a knock on effect of predudice or even create a feeling of contempt by people who would otherwise not really care one way or another, like the vast majority of the population (they are not as shallow as we are led to believe).

As regards examples of dialect then maybe we could review them here point by point before including them in the article as well as a tidy up of the sayings etc :) Nick Boulevard 23:56, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

BTW.. you said ...who grew up near Birmingham and had lived in various parts of England". That is, he was a native Brummie speaker who could also speak with a standard accent ... you have totally just reinforced my point, i know of plenty people that "claim" to speak Brummie that grew up "near" to the city and yet they tork loike thayte maoyte when putting on an accent in their dumb belief that Brummies tork that waye" and even if he were a true natural speaking Brummie the research was of just over one hundred people, a true representation of the UK public... mmm... that study is an absolute load of... Nick Boulevard 00:05, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

On the 11/02/05 I added the words 'Crips' and 'Buz' to the list of Brummie slang and pointed out that many younger Brummies have adopted the Carribean pronounciations of 'this' and 'that' - 'dis' and 'dat'. Why were these entries removed?

  • 'Buzz', 'dis', 'dat' i can understand and have possibly used myself in the past but 'Crips' instead of crisps??? I don't think this is correct. I have no objection to thiose three words being included. 15:09, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I've frequently heard 'crips' used in the South Birmingham area since I moved there in 1981. However I have no intention of getting involved in an editing-war.

Well I was born in the south city and spent most of my childhood there and then later moved back for a couple of years, moved away again and then moved back, I am quite aware of other UK regional accents as well as my own.
Most of my immediate family reside across the city and i have many friends of all ethnic and social background there.
Never have i heard anyone refer to a packet of crisps as 'crips' in Brum, though i am sure some people may do, i have heard this used in London (as well as 'dis' and 'dat') and Gloucester but i wouldn't really consider it worthy of being included in any article. It's the same as 'innit' or 'later', in fact there are many words that may be worth removing from the article as they are too universal. Nick Boulevard 18:44, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

My sole intention in editing this article was to enhance it. If you know that any of my additions are so widespread that they can't be considered 'Brummie' then please remove them. That's what Wikipedia is all about!

I was born in Birmingham and moved to Bromsgrove when I was about 5 years old. Lived there for 30 odd years with a quick 4 year spell in Cradley. I can say that I and all my Bromsgrove friends use "crips". Maybe it was a phase at school I don't know, but it was the same period we called pennies "dec" (pronounced DESS) when decimal money came out. i.e. "Have you got 10 dec I can borrow for the tuck shop to buy some crips?" John L.

Will the real Brummie please Stand Up[edit]

My wife's Brummie. I work in Brum. Some of these comments seem to be from middle class folk who want to disassociate themselves from reality. She calls herself 'Mom' and even writes 'Mom' not 'Mum' in cards etc. Took me a while to understand this. I have only ever heard Brummies talk of gambols rather than gamboling (and yes there is such a thing as a forward roll). Something not highlighted is that Black Country dialects are far more 'sing-song' than brummie.

They used 'crips in South wales in the 70s...

The Yowser (talk) 12:43, 26 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Negative perceptions of the accent: NPOV[edit]

It's worth taking a look at Wikipedia's Neutral point of view tutorial, in particular the section on space and balance. This clears up two points discussed here.

  1. Prejudice against the Brummie accent does exist in many circles, so to attain NPOV the article should address it. It is not appropriate just to ignore this fact, however distasteful it may be.
  2. The research (http://www.ebrummie.co.uk/brummie_papers.htm) into the perceived trustworthiness of the Brummie accent is about as relevant a source as one could wish for. Why?
    • It was published in a peer-reviewed linguistics journal
    • It was authored by researchers at two UK higher education institutions.
    • It follows the common methods of the field of sociolinguistics. This includes the use of code-switchers (see references in the article) and using statistical methods to draw conclusions from a sample population. If you do not see how a small sample might yield information about the population as a whole, please look at this page. It's highly mathematical but you will note the words "sample of 100 people".

You may not agree with the conclusion of the research, but it is a credible source that would influence many linguists and should not just be ignored.

For these reasons, I have restored the paragraph discussing prejudice against the accent, and the corresponding link. Please feel free to improve on this -- e.g. by citing any evidence which may argue against it, by moving the information around in the article to change the emphasis. But please do not just delete all references to the issue or citations about it, because this would go against Wikipedia's Neutral point of view policy. --, 9 Mar 2005 03:24:06 GMT

On the contrary, I don't doubt that 100 people could find a 'put on' accentuated Brummie accent dodgy.
As we have already established, the "switcher" used in that report is not a Brummie, how ridiculous to base an entire research programme on the Birmingham accent and use someone who is not from the city and hence has to 'put on' the accent. 12:22, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I removed the following recent addition from the page:

==Fake Accent (used in advertising)==

There are many popular missconceptions over how people of the city of Birmingham actually "tork!. This myth is driven primarily by the use of certain actors that are not from the city or region but are forced to learn a similar type of accent, like for instance Benny from Cross Roads or Barry from Auf Wiedersehen Pet. These actors usually play the boring role or dumb loser role, the irony with Auf Wiedersehen Pet is that the true Brummie actor was the 6'5 tall former professional wrestler known as Bomber aka Big Pat Roach.
Today a prime example of inaccurate almost purposeful abuse of the supposed Brummie accent is on the Halifax bank adverts, a former black bank worker from the city was used initially to promote the Bank and it's new services, unfortunately his real Birmingham accent was shelved and over-dubbed to create an irritating almost imbecilic accent, this kind of abuse of the accent is fortunately ignored by most people but does tend to create an unfair bias or loathing of the accent by certain un- educated members of the British public.

There may be useful information here, but much of it is POV or unsourced. However, now that I read the rest of the page, the whole thing is almost hopelessly POV and unsourced. This page needs lots of help.

This article is fine thank you! I added the fake accent as a way of highlighting the points another member tried to get across but with in my opinion innacurate source. Please do not simply remove work, you could have discussed it here first, what do you know about the accent? Nick Boulevard 19:39, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Nick, I agree with the previous poster about that section. You need to rephrase it, at least. I'm pretty certain it's not deserving of a whole section to itself. Sort it out - NPOV, neutral choice of languauge - or I will do it. Knowledge of the accent and dialect is not relevant to the concerns I and the other poster have regarding this section. pomegranate 00:55, Apr 20, 2005 (UTC)

PLEASE do NOT tell me to: "SORT IT OUT"! I have already edited it down but certainly not because someone tells me to, are you a Brummie? What do you know of the accent other than what people are writing here? Nick Boulevard 23:34, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I apologise for being a bit sharp but as someone has already stated, accents are not good on wikipedia, I SAY THIS... YOU SAY THAT... it is down to the individual and their inteligence as to how they perceive a person to "be" merely by listening to them talk or watching them move and polls can prove what you want them to prove, I took a poll at work today when it was pissing down about what people think of the British weather, the majority said they hated it! Nick Boulevard 22:25, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This article is fine thank you! It most certainly isn't fine. Go to the British English page and look through a few of the linked pages on other regional accents and dialects: Geordie, Welsh English, Cockney, Estuary English and so on. What do you find? Concise authoritative articles, sources cited, mentioning negative aspects if they exist, along with phonetic descriptions and references to linguistic terminology like glide cluster reduction from professional linguists, multiple authors building on each others' work to produce something greater than their individual knowledge. In contrast, what have we got here? An article constantly chopped down to a single person's knowledge and personal opinion on the subject. GR 10 May 2005

Time up[edit]

I'm going to explain some of what I changed, because it's so out of whack that I don't think you understand what encyclopedic writing standards you should be working towards. Here's what I changed: removed 'black' (irrelevant), defined adverts to 'recent', removed extraneous details, 'irritating' and 'imbecilic' are your opinion, as is the last sentence. If you're going to put in such stuff, you need to have references/external links. Your own ranting isn't acceptable. "There are many popular misconceptions over how people of the city of Birmingham actually "tork!. This myth is driven primarily" What myth are you actually talking about here? The passage doesn't make sense. "driven primarily by the use of certain actors that are not from the city or region and attempt to learn a similar type of accent" Says who? This is your opinion, not something that you have substantiated. If you're going to include your opinion, DON'T state it as fact, this is completely unnacceptable. "the 6'5 tall former professional wrestler known as" Irrelevant in a paragraph that is already tenuous. Also, it is unclear why it is ironic. I don't understand why it's ironic, from reading the sentence. I'm assuming he doesn't play Bomber with a Brummie accent? If he does, then I don't see how it's ironic. Main thing to consider: Life is short. People shouldn't have to read content that is irrelevant, unhelpful or misleading when they are trying to find out factual information. But I can see you put a lot of effort into this article, so kudos to you. But it is by no means 'fine', and even if it was, it's not for you (as the main writer) to say so - that is very arrogant. If what I have hopefully demonstrated by editing the last section is clear, you could edit the rest of the article appropriately? pomegranate 19:20, Apr 20, 2005 (UTC)

I've restored two of the most egregious deletions - the IPA section which is one of the few parts of the article which may give people who don't know the accent some idea of how it sounds, and the link to research showing negative perceptions of the accent. I've also removed some of the sentences which didn't make sense, and corrected a few minor errors. The article requires a lot of work to make it an acceptable encyclopaedia entry. Certainly links to peer-reviewed research should never be removed - if you have an academic reference which shows that people don't have a negative view of the Brummie accent, add it but don't delete the first one. --Andrew Norman 09:06, Apr 25, 2005 (UTC)

The saga of the Brummie article continues.... Thanks for restoring the IPA examples - ideally this article would focus on example features of the accent, accompanied with sourced IPA examples, and examples of dialect words and phrases, also sourced from professionally-authored, peer-reviewed research. I think one of the main reasons for the controversy over this article was the misunderstanding that including information about the perception of Brummie by other English speakers, and its unfortunate and undeserved reputation, meant that Wikipedia was actually doing the accent down, when the real aim was to report objectively on people's irrational stereotypes. This article has wavered between egregious POV and something approaching NPOV, but still has a number of problems. I don't like the "Fake Accent" section: I find this business of Halifax adverts trivial and irrelevant, and more suited to a personal essay about "Why TV People Who Stereotype Brummies Piss Me Off" (a perfectly reasonable POV) rather than a decent encyclopedia article. The "Old Chat" and "Current Lingo" sections are pretty weak, not to mention amateurishly titled. I'm at a loss to know how to sort this article out, although it's currently looking in much better shape than I've seen it at various times before. I only hope some knowledgeable linguists and phoneticians will come along and sort this out once and for all, and back it up with some cast iron sources. Thanks to the two editors above for their efforts. — Trilobite (Talk) 18:14, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps a solution would be to create a whole new article, with a framework agreed beforehand, and salvageable content from the existing article transferred/adapted? Because I understand that it's pretty damn impossible to make proper progress when an article gets bogged down like this. Just an idea. pomegranate 21:52, Apr 25, 2005 (UTC)

I don't think that would work. The problem seems to be one which comes up quite often in discussions of local accents - some people think that they are the only expert and anyone who disagrees with them is wrong. There's been too much reverting of things which were perhaps not perfect, but not trash either (ironically, often by someone who gets extremely hot under the collar when anything he's contributed is altered even slightly), and I can't see that a new article would be immune to that. Dialect phrases are another problem - "our kid" is not a Brummie phrase, it's widespread across the UK (Liverpool springs to mind immediately, and I've also heard it in Manchester). People from Leicester will claim "black over Bill's mother's" as a unique local phrase, I first heard it from my Brummie mother, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn it was a music-hall catchphrase or something similar, rather than something originating from Brum or Leicester. "Up the cut" a uniquely Brummie phrase? I don't think so. The "current lingo" section is largely tripe, the "old chat" section contains far too many phrases which are not unique to Brum or even the West Midlands, and the "fake accent" part, as Trilobite says, is not remotely suitable for an encyclopaedia. What could do with expanding is the poor perception of the city and its inhabitants in the rest of the UK - I see the entry on Brummagem doesn't mention the fact that the word was used in the 19th century to signify cheap trash, as "made in Hong Kong" used to be a few years ago.--Andrew Norman 07:38, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)

More borderline vandalism from Nick tonight. Much of the IPA material removed is stuff that is clearly present in my relatives' accents, and the peer-reviewed research must not be removed. If you do this again, I will just restore it again, and next time I will take the matter to arbitration.--Andrew Norman 20:18, Apr 27, 2005 (UTC)

Life is short. People shouldn't have to read content that is irrelevant, unhelpful or misleading said Pomegranate - Why did you bother to ramble on about something you seem to know little or nothing about then? Do you speak with a Birmingham accent? Accents do not suite encyclopedias IMO :) Nick Boulevard 23:44, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Time down[edit]

Andrew, I am a Brummie, I have lived across this land and I have experienced all kinds of other accents many of which irritate me and some even that I do not trust but that is because of stereo-typing by people like your good self... please read my posts here to understand why i have reverted, I do not wish to fall out with you or anyone else but I feel EXTREMELY passionate that if an article about Brummie and the accent should exist it is represented in a positive light. :) Thanks Nick Boulevard 23:26, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

No, we should not set out to write an article that represents Brummie in a positive light, have you read WP:NPOV recently? As I said above, I think you are confusing reporting that studies have shown that Brummie elicits unfavourable responses in some people (an objective fact), with actually promoting the idea that anyone who speaks with a Brummie accent is untrustworthy (an obvious wrong-headed prejudice). No one is trying to do this. If research has shown that Brummie is ranked low on the list of regional accents that people like this deserves to go in the article. By all means be offended by the idiots who think that Brummies are not to be trusted, but don't be offended by the reporting of the fact that they do. Also, I have to question some of your removals. I'm sure I've heard rolling of prevocalic /r/ in certain cases. I'd be interested to see the published research you've evidently found which contradicts the pronunciation examples given in the article. — Trilobite (Talk) 00:01, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Reporting on stereotyping is not stereotyping, and encyclopaedia articles have no business presenting something "in a positive light", they are supposed to be factual. As Trilobite says, if you have evidence that people do not have a negative view of the Brummie accent, we'd all like to see it. Google suggests you are very, very wrong (is Clare Short a non-Brummie who wants to do the city down?). The author of the article which you insist on misquoting as saying the accent is "lifting and melodious" also says reactions to the accent from people in the UK were consistently negative. The prevocalic /r/ is one of the features of my uncle Bert's accent (born in Nechells, lived in various parts of south Birmingham). You are not the only person in the world with a knowledge of Birmingham and its accent and dialect. I'm now going to put this and the Brummagem article through the conflict resolution procedure, because it's clear that your answer to any attempt to correct your POV additions is simply to destroy other people's work without justification.--Andrew Norman 06:36, Apr 28, 2005 (UTC)

I totally agree that there is to some extent unfair predudice to the Brum accent, but this is already addressed at the beginning of the article (also in fake section) and I strongly believe that by including reference to the nagative predudices that a certain few idiots in the UK hold we are actually giving credence to their sophomoric behaviour which is completely unfounded. There are many missconceptions about many other UK accents but I do not need to see them in an encyclopedia, surely one cannot simply judge a whole city of people based on an accent which incidentally differs a great deal from extremely well spoken English to a faster more towney slang and in some cases (usually the older generation) slower and possibly stronger.

I have a strong Brummie accent and I have had many jobs out of the region that I gained because of my friendly out-going nature and because of the way I present myself, I have been told these things after gaining several positions and the interviewer usually cracks a joke about being from Birmingham which I turn to my advantage, it is by no means negative from my own real life experience and I do not need to carry out research to prove it, I am living proof :)

An example of a resent BBC poll which suggested that many from the West Midlands did not like the accent and it favoured poorly in UK perception, then we discover the poll was internet based??? also the accent from one side of the west mids to another varies a great deal.http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/voices2005/stats.shtml

Go and read all the proud people from the city that contradict this poll (of which we do not know of the questions or the exact answers) http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/voices2005/have_your_say.shtml

We can only base wikipedia on FACT, and from MY experiences the features of accent are NOT fact, some CAN be heard in my own accent but others are definately NOT brummie, maybe Black Country but that is another issue and another accent. I did not delete all of these only a few that I have never heard in all my experience of talking to REAL brummies i.e. people born and raised in that city.

The other issue is the guilty when interviewed link, I have already gone to great lengths to point out that the research was carried out on one man known as a switcher who was NOT a Brummie, he was merely putting on the accent, how ridiculous, I totally disagree that the evidence is relevant to the article because it is not authentic, how can it be??? Even if the interviewee was born in Brum, raised in Brum it still is irelevant, or are we saying that all people from Birmingham sound exactly the same? how crazy, you cannot base research into an accent by interviewing someone who does not posses the accent you are researching in the first place and even if you do, peoples voices do not all sound the same, I work with waveforms and I notice accents quite often, tones and pitches alter from person to person which can make people sound all types of mood and temperament that is not down to an accent alone and this does not belong to an encyclopedia IMO. :) Nick Boulevard 18:36, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The research is (according to colleagues who work in linguistics) perfectly fine, and shows nothing more than what you yourself admit - people from other parts of the UK have a poor perception of the Brummie accent. Just type "birmingham accent negative" into Google, and many different surveys and opinions say the same thing. Reporting this is not endorsing it. There is nothing about this in the version of the introductory section which you insist on reverting to, and the "fake" section (which is a badly-written POV rant) does not say anything about the fact that there is a negative perception of the accent, just that misrepresentation "may contribute to negative attitudes". I have reverted the article yet again to the fullest recent version. Please do not delete NPOV factual material before consensus has been reached that it should be removed, and try to accept that you are not the only Brummie in the United Kingdom. --Andrew Norman 13:28, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)


According to Wikipedia:resolving disputes the first stage in resolution is to talk to parties concerned. Nick does not seem interested in reaching a consensus position or in refraining from persistently deleting sections of the article, despite a lot of discussion. I'm now moving this to stage two, have requested that this page be protected, and have also asked for comment on Wikipedia:Wikiquette alerts. --Andrew Norman 08:47, Apr 28, 2005 (UTC)

I sincerely hope this page is not locked, you see the problem is that I work FULL TIME and I AM NOT SAT IN FRONT OF A COMPUTER ALL DAY and hence you need to allow me a little time to formulate my responses to your discussion, many thanks now read above :) Nick Boulevard 17:55, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
A locked article still allows contributions to the associated talk page, and the article itself has not yet been locked, though if you're going to persist in removing material from it I'm going to have to find a way to hasten the process. Please don't make any changes to the article - read the material at Wikipedia:resolving disputes next time you feel the urge to delete things. I will be back early next week, perhaps you'd like to think about this in the meantime. --Andrew Norman 13:36, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)
There seems to be a similarity in a select few people like yourself here Andrew, quite condesending, quite negative in your additions, extremely stubborn and not particularly good at looking at others points of view, why should the article stay just as YOU wish? what are your interests in adding the negative aspects to Brummie and Brummagem? I think that the pages were both fine but with need for removal of certain wording. BTW from experience by protecting a page all that happens is the party whose work is not included simply bides their time until it is unprotected or starts deleting work of the other person elsewhere, it NEVER resolves anything I can asure you, the ONLY way is by compromise, something I would hope you understand. :) 16:46, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Andrew: I know I'll get stick for posting anonymously, but frankly I'm nervous about the veiled threat about deleting other people's work in retaliation. I think you should call for full mediation on this one (or alternatively consider invoking Wikipedia's Vandalism procedures). The page is deadlocked, and nobody else is likely to contribute to improving and expanding it - which it sorely needs, over and above the aesthetics dispute - when their work would probably be wasted.

Solid references - articles at the BBC, Oxford Dictionaries, and ebrummie.co.uk - support the view that there are mixed reactions to the Birmingham accent. So, as, 9 Mar 2005 said, this page should therefore report it, just as Wikipedia elsewhere reports Received Pronunciation speakers' negative perception of Estuary English, and the stereotypes associated with the West Country accent.

It is, incidentally, utterly irrelevant whether contributors come from Birmingham as long as they can substantiate their information: Jespersen, one of the classic experts on the English language, was Danish. GR 10 May 2005

I feel Nick is finally (but still very slowly) moving towards an understanding of what encyclopaedias are about and the standard of proof and writing required. However, if he's still playing silly buggers by the end of the week I'll be formally requesting mediation on the matter. We can't allow one person to block development, especially by simply reverting to his own preferred version regardless of any subsequent additions. --Andrew Norman 08:26, 10 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Article Restructure[edit]

Ok, let us forget all the conflict thrust upon this very page, my sole aim is to create a Brummie accent article that is neither positive nor negative but 100% factual, based on a speaker who is from Birmingham, I am a great candidate for this research as I have lived my life talking with a strong accent, I HAVE experienced predudice (although probably no more than any other accent out of it's own water) and I HAVE experienced a friendly warm welcome by many also, I have heard it ALL i can asure you the reader here :) (hello BTW) accents are personal snf to be honest there is no such explanaition of the Brummie accent in any dictionary I have read of any substantiated merrit so here is our oportunity to rectify. Nick Boulevard 22:49, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

"Based on a speaker" is the central problem here Nick. It is a large city with a diverse range of accents, as you observe above, yet you feel you're entitled to have the final say on any material in the article. It is a shame that it's taken the threat of having the article locked and intervention from elsewhere to get you to discuss things properly. Incidentally, if you revert the article to remove material again, I'll take the dispute resolution to the next stage and request mediation. I'm not adding or removing anything (other than restoring your deletions) until this is sorted. --Andrew Norman 13:32, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)
It is a shame that it's taken the threat of having the article locked and intervention from elsewhere to get you to discuss things properly. - What ARE you blathering on about Andrew, I have tried discussing this but YOU are the culprit who keeps adding the negative bits, why don't we revert to MY last full version and then YOU can argue why you want to include certain parts, I am sure that the fact I was the first to start a discussion here proves that I am certainly willing to discuss things before reverting which is what I am about to do. Besides what makes you think YOU are right? thats a bit arrogant isn't it. :) Nick Boulevard 16:56, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
p.s. why would you want to search for words 'negative' and 'Birmingham' on the net? what does a poll prove? exactly what you want it to :) in future maybe if you are not so condesending you may find me more approachable. Thanks.
Your last "full" version isn't a full version at all - your removal of material without consultation and agreement is precisely the problem here (and elsewhere, your history in several other articles is very instructive). I'm not adding negative bits - in fact, I haven't added anything myself, merely restored parts of the article which you've taken it upon yourself to censor. You're persistently removing two sections - a guide to pronunciation which you personally dislike but others think is fine, and half a sentence about an academic study which is not itself negative, but reports on attitudes to the accent which are widespread and well-known. As has been said many times before, there's plenty of evidence that the Brummie accent causes a uniquely negative reaction in the rest of the UK, and unless you've got evidence to the contrary, that material (very little, in the context of the whole article) ought to stay. If you've got any proposals for restructuring (as opposed to blanket reverting), would you like to put them forward? --Andrew Norman 09:28, May 3, 2005 (UTC)
Stumbling upon this via Wikipedia:Wikiquette_alerts, it seems clear that Mr. Boulevard doesn't understand the nature of encyclopedia writing, Wikipedia standards, or collaborative efforts. He should leave the article to those who do -- although he doesn't appear likely to follow such a course voluntarily. 19:39, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
Oooh, who could this annonymous person be? agreeing with Mr Norman who only adds unsubstantiated links to an artcile that is supposed to be relevent to Brummie accent. Quite sad really, NONE OF MY POINTS HAVE BEEN ADDRESSED, THAT IS NOT A DISCUSSION, THAT IS IGNORANCE AND POMP ON BEHALF OF... oh i give up, maybe it's easier to simply revert seeing as you can't be bothered to discuss your reasons for adding fake material Andy. Nick Boulevard 22:45, 4 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
I think we can add DNS lookup to the list of things you need to learn about, Nick. That person is in Georgia, USA.
More anonymous replies? Nick Boulevard 15:46, 7 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not actually, but that doesn't change the fact that NB is fundamentally misinformed and lacking the temperament appropriate for editing.
Really sad, you don't even have the intelligence to leave a signature even if you are not registered, why don't you try and enter into discussion rather than throw sophomoric insults. Nick Boulevard 15:46, 7 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
What's more sophomoric than making baseless claims about someone's intelligence based on not signing their comments? NB once more demonstrates lack of appropriate temperament, as well as lack of knowledge concerning WP policy in re anonymity.

Plan to remove accent sounding guilty tosh[edit]

The supposed Brummie speaker that was used in the research as to opinions on whether Brummies are more likely to sound guilty or not to a police officer is not a Brummie, he is merely putting on the accent. :) Please read the article, the research is fundamentally flawed... the "switcher" is NOT FROM BIRMINGHAM HENCE HE IS NOT A BRUMMIE, CAN I MAKE MYSELF ANY CLEARER, (for gods sake).

This shall be removed becaue it is not true hence it is not worthy of Wikipedia which bases its content on fact, anybody can read the link in the article and be misslead unless they read between the lines, the switcher was not from Brum.... NOT A BRUMMIE, BRUMMIE ACCENT.. SPOKEN BY PEOPLE FROM BIRMINGHAM ONLY not relevent to article!!! Nick Boulevard 22:58, 4 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

For heaven's sake, get a grip. The person used for the research is a "switcher" which means he speaks using more than one accent depending on context, he wasn't "putting on" the accent, it's one of his natural accents. May I ask what your academic qualifications in this field are? As I've said before, I've talked to people who work in this area who can't see any problem with the research, and it was published in a reputable academic journal. Unless you've got proof that the article was flawed (your own opinion and TYPING IN CAPITALS do not constitute proof), it should stay. --Andrew Norman 09:18, May 5, 2005 (UTC)
My qualifications are irrelivant, what IS relevant is that the switcher did not use his native accent, he isn't from Birmingham nad hence IS NOT a brummie, I am honestly not being awkward and I am sorry if the research was a waste of time but maybe next time someone wishes to carry out research like this it would be advised that they choose an apropriate subject, you cannot disect a guinea pig then publish the results claiming it was a rabbit, you would be extremely stupid and no one would take you seriously. Nick Boulevard 15:52, 7 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Why does it matter that he is not a Brummie? If he could effect a realistic Brummie accent (and you haven't proven that he didn't), why does the fact that he's not from Birmingham invalidate his findings? If he's done a lot of work in this field, has extensive knowledge and experience of the accent, do you really think that he wouldn't be able effectively immitate the accent. It's very very arrogant of you to assume that just because some "IS NOT a brummie", their research into the accent is not worthwhile. I think this attitude totally justifies Andrew's questions about your academic qualifications in the subject (and leads to my ending comment here). What are you talking about by saying "I am sorry if the research was a waste of time... appropriate subject"? How is this comment supposed to be at all constructive? Are you trying to suggest that the research is irrelevant to the article? Do you think you have a chip on your shoulder about prejudice against the Brummie accent? pomegranate 21:02, May 7, 2005 (UTC)
Why does it matter that he is not a Brummie? - This is the problem, I have many friends who think that they can put on the accent who are from nearby Worcester, Coventry etc, I have heard many actors try but none seem to sound anything like a Birmingham accent that I recognise and considering I have spent much of my life in that city, working and mixing with all levels of the community from asian, west indian, irish, old Birmingham and so on I would hope that I am in a good position to speak with knowledge of the accent.
It's very very arrogant of you to assume that just because some "IS NOT a brummie", their research into the accent is not worthwhile. - Erm, I didn't mention anything about the researcher being from Birmingham? I said that the person he was basing his research on (about brummie accents) was not from Birmingham hence his research was invalid IMO.
Are you trying to suggest that the research is irrelevant to the article? - Well done, I am saying exactly that, the article is about the Brummie accent (people from Birmingham that speak with that accent) not a switcher from gof knows where who is effecting a false Birmingham accent.
I think this attitude totally justifies Andrew's questions about your academic qualifications in the subject (and leads to my ending comment here). - No lets take this further, who the blazes do you or anyone else here think they are to question my or any other persons qualifications on Wikipedia regardless of whether we are talking about the article or the Queen of England for that matter.
As I have said already, I have carried my accent with me across Britain and from literally thousands of people that I have met a few idiots have made their comments but the VAST majority of people do not even care, this is reality, real life experience from a real brummie, so why all the fuss about it being least favorable? Why the need to include a link to research about Brummies sounding guilty especially when the supposed Brummie is not from Birmingham, are we suggesting that there are more people from Birmingham in British prisons per head of the population because of their accent, when you look at it like that I think we can put this into perspective, the only place giving me a chip on my shoulder is this article because a couple of sentences here are bag of bobbins. :) Nick Boulevard 10:35, 8 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

I have reverted this article yet again to restore material censored by Nick. If references to surveys are going to be inserted, can we have references please? Also, just because a phrase is used by people from Birmingham doesn't mean it's a Brummie phrase. Qualifications are important because you're taking it upon yourself to rubbish a piece of academic research ("invalid IMO" - and why do you think your opinion should carry any weight?), and you seem to be entirely ignorant of the basis of the research and its implications. Mediation's next, Nick - stop removing material from this article unless you have a consensus agreement to do so. It would be nice if you also stopped adding nonsense, but I don't think there's much chance of that unfortunately. --Andrew Norman 09:07, 9 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Butter wouldn't melt in your mouth would it Andy, I am really trying to keep cool over this, the only nonsense in this article is what was added by Andrew Norman, so far I have seen two pages relating to Birmingham that you have added material to and both have contained negative, snide additions so please do not blame me for taking a real dislike to your worm in the grass attitide so far, you feel the need to state the truth, who's truth? Evrything you have added is generalisation about an accent, a link to a nonsense research about Brummies sounding guilty when interviewed by the police I mean come on man, what is your purpose in life if that is all you want to argue about, the switcher in the article is not from Birmingham and he does not speak with a Brummie accent, it's fake, put on so how can the research be valid? either you are bearing some grudge here or you cannot see the significance that the switcher not being from Birmingham totally shows up the research to be nonsensical and for that reason alone it should not stay on the page, I am only fighting this because I know I am right and there is not a doubt in my mind that if fairness prevails here that sentence will not stay Andy. I have no chip on my shoulder but at the same time I do not like people who talk pap especially when it is aimed at my own accent. The point that you are missing is that the Brummie accent is extremely difficult to imitate hence you get terrible versions like Halifax man, Wikipedia is where this can be addressed, Wikipedia is about straight forward truths and fact, so here it is...
fact - the research refers to the switcher as having a Brummie accent
fact - the person being interviewed was not from Birmingham
fact - the person being interviewed had to put on a fake Birmingham accent (fake ~ One that is not authentic or genuine; a sham)
possible - a poll only proves what the researcher wants it to prove (i.e. questions worded a certain way, certain people asked in certain places etc etc)
fact - the research is not relevant to an article about the Birmingham accent as it was based on someone who was not actually from that city. Nick Boulevard 17:45, 9 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Dare I make the observation that the switcher was putting on a Brummagem accent? (Sorry, I couldn't resist!) 18:45, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
:) It is a ridiculous thing to get so wound up over and I am sure that Andy and I can resolve this, I have taken the 'be bold' approach and removed Andy's link to the negative poll and fake research, I have also removed my own addition to the positive poll, I have removed the part about the accent coming bottom in polls, wikipedia is not based on polls, they can be innacurate and change over a period of time, we know that many people find the accent irritating but many also find it extremely warming not just from my own experience :) :http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/voices2005/have_your_say.shtml for those that still wish to include such negative connotations regarding the Brummie accent, firstly I am flattered that you are wasting so much of your precious time on my wonderful accent secondly you may like to read this persons argument, put much more eloquently than I could ever write: http://www.antimoon.com/forum/2003/3606-2.htm If we are still to have polls and my work is reverted again then I shall simply start to find other polls and articles that promote the accent in a positive light, because peoples reactions differ from one individual to another regarding ALL accents it seems pointless to include whether an accent is liked or disliked, you will never find a true answer and there is no hardened fact, how do we know that people questioned in these polls about Brummie accent aren't basing their opinions on Halifax man or Barry (see article) If I had come across many people in my life that turned their noses up at my accent or shunned me because of it then I would maybe understand the importance of including negative content but I haven't and I feel that to include it on an encyclopedia is almost propaganda on Andrews part. Nick Boulevard 22:17, 9 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
"I shall simply start to find other polls and articles that promote the accent in a positive light" Finally you get it! I don't think it's pointless to include whether an accent is liked or disliked, it's an important cultural issue (for all accents). Just because there may be no ultimate answer doesn't mean the discussion isn't worth reading. pomegranate 10:41, May 10, 2005 (UTC)
"Finally you get it!" - Get what? ;) Nick Boulevard 17:37, 10 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
"I don't think it's pointless to include whether an accent is liked or disliked, it's an important cultural issue (for all accents)." - Please explain how you believe that whether my family speaks with a strong Brummie accent or a soft nondescript accent effects their culture, thanks. Nick Boulevard 17:37, 10 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Finally we seem to be getting somewhere. Would anyone have any objection to the whining about Auf Wiedersehen Pet and the Halifax ads also being consigned to the dustbin of history? We might then have something vaguely resembling a factual NPOV article (with some of pruning of the dialect sections, which still contain far too many phrases which are not distinctively Brummie). --Andrew Norman 11:46, 10 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Maybe some of the phrases do need ejecting but which do you have in mind? I think that the halifax adds bit is actual fact, something to grasp hold of and with the help of the examples of world wide known genuine Brummie voices listed the reader can make up their own mind on whether they like the accent or not (whichever it may be) without the distraction of nagative or positive stereotyping being impregnated into their craniums beforehand. Does that make sense? Nick Boulevard 17:37, 10 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
I'd say prune dialect sections if there's multiple agreement that they're seen elsewhere ("having a doss", for instance, appears in WW1 trenches slang lists). The AWP and Halifax: I think that is a point worth including, if it could be expressed as less of a whine. (It's not the only time Timothy Spall - London-born - has played a negative Birmingham stereotype: remember his "you twonk" VR attendant in Red Dwarf's "Back to Reality" episode?). As to overall style, I think West Country accent is a good model for a page of this type; it shows how to handle the issue of stereotyping without whining or reinforcing the stereotype. 13:16, 10 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Having a doss probably isn't just Brummie then, I am ok with it's removal I will admit to adding a couple of words that I should have researching more before adding, I've heard "mad as a box/barrel of frogs" in the West Midlands but no where else?. Your edit to the stereotype article is excellent, it is less of a whinge. Just list the sayings words etc and we can discuss their removal Nick Boulevard 17:37, 10 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
"Mad as a box of frogs" is found all over the place in the UK, with no apparent regional origin. --Andrew Norman 13:27, 11 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Editing dialect examples[edit]

Rather than debating the list phrase by phrase, I think the starting point ought to be Wikipedia guidelines, which should have been invoked long since: no original research, including its sections Cite Sources and Verifiability.

A practical example of how this works: I've lived in Devon several years and have heard many people talk of twilight as "dimpsey". However, it's against Wikipedia policy for me to include this in a Wikipedia article (however true I know it to be, even if I'd lived here all my life) unless I can cite a reputable verifiable source such as John Germon's BBC Devon Dialect page.

Currently, most of the Brummie dialect examples - even the majority that we agree to be true! - are unsourced by Wikipedia standards and shouldn't be here. Can we find verification? "Bab", "bostin" and "the oss road" are in Steve Thorne's dictionary at ebrummie.co.uk. Are others in there? Another reliable reference would be "Proper Brummie: A Dictionary of Birmingham Words and Phrases", if anyone can get hold of it.

Same goes for the phonetic examples: what's the source of those? Steve Thorne's thesis Birmingham English: A Sociolinguistic Study would be a useful source too. 23:30, 11 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

This page is really starting to look good now, some of the words and phrases removed are definately Brummie but in fairness to the recent changes(editor) I will discuss them here first so as not to create another edit war :) Nick Boulevard 17:42, 12 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Well, there is no need for an edit war as long as everyone sticks to the Wikipedia guidelines: citation and verification! Thorne's thesis looks very worth checking out, as the blurb suggests it covers the ethnic influences (Afro-Caribbean influence would explain the "dis", "dat" and "lickle" used by younger speakers). That's a worthwhile and significant thing to mention - but for Wikipedia it needs a source. 19:46, 12 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
There is at least now an article worthy of wikipedia. Nick Boulevard 00:37, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]


OK - let's sort this. What's the conflicting agenda here? Nick: alphabetical order is generally viewed as good Wikipedia practice for lists of people; it avoids the hassles about accusations of sexism, racism, disputes over who's more important, etc. Pigsonthewing: what's the problem with the inclusion of Cat Deeley?

Fair enough, alphabetical order is fine and so is Cat Deeley :) Nick Boulevard 18:10, 19 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Please can someone sort this out or I will start to revert Andy Mabbets vandelsim, he was banned for this sort of thing a while back at which point I think he changed to someone else but I'm not 100% sure, he was warned for reverting my own personal user page at one stage??? WTF.
Andy has been blocked before [1] and even after many efforts of trying to get on with you Andy you still ignore people and discussion pages and you just edit, the sad thing is that you never ever learn and any good that you may do just becomes so void the moment you take it upon yourself to delete other peoples work without explanation. 23:08, 19 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
p.s. I think that Andy is a prime example of sterotyping Brummies, Cat Deeley is born and raised in Brum but you never know... folk in Sutton (a few miles north west of brum city centre) do tork aybit funnoi.. ;)
I just checked out this detail (never having heard Cat Deeley, I was assuming you were correct as no-one else had objected). However, here's a sample of Cat Deeley's voice. I agree with pigsonthewing: she speaks RP English with a hint of Estuary and a hint of Birmingham. It isn't representative of the Brummie accent as detailed in the Pronunciation section.
Durr... this is why I questioned the pronunciation section, at last the penny drops, majority of people from Burmingem deownt tork loik thiat.
I found another voiceover sample at [Curtis-Brown], where they describe the accent as RP/Birmingham. RayGirvan 01:57, 20 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Andy Mabbet has a real Bee in his bonnet here, see meaning of Brummie accent, Brummie (sometimes Brummy) is a colloquial term for the inhabitants at top of page, Cat Deeley was born and raised in the city and talks virtually exactly like my own sister who is proud to call herself a Brummie. :) 16:12, 20 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
The sticking point is the two slightly different definitions of "Brummie": 1) Brummies = people from Birmingham; 2) Brummie = the *regional* accent (the shared regional characteristics that make an accent recognisable as Birmingham). So, yes, of course Cat Deeley is a Brummie and has enough of an accent to be worth mentioning, but it isn't a definitive example of the undiluted regional accent - which I accept as reasonable objection to her inclusion in the introductory list of otherwise strongly accented speakers. RayGirvan 16:46, 20 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Well yes I agree, sort of? I asked my father and sister this very day, both ex-pat Brummies and level headed people, they were cool with the current inclusion of Cat Deeley, my own opinion is that Cat Deeley talks like me, or my sister or many other Brummies I know, mild midland but with a twang, others I know speak similar only their twang is more pronounced. Where do you draw the line, I was born and raised in the city so was Cat Deeley, WTF am I argueing about this for, she is a Brummie end of story. Nick Boulevard 01:06, 21 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Cat Deeley was born and raised in Brum, she talks like most if not all of the women I know in the massive sprawl of Birmingham, soft and fairly well pronounced with her words, maybe this is just an example of the people i mix with? Nick Boulevard 01:14, 21 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Nick, read Cite sources. Wikipedia works on authoritative references (their bold, not mine), not personal anecdote. Wikipedia doesn't care what you, I, or our cousin Cletus have experienced, unless it can be backed up by solid external reference. RayGirvan 03:09, 21 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Leave my cousin Cletus out of this right... I am backing up with my own solid external experience (real life) that Cat Deeley talks like most Brummie girls/women I know, soft and erm... brummie, that is what I know, some do talk quite deep accent, lets face it the city sprawls for miles and there are many forgotten estates that probably have phrases and styles of accent and talk that would be alien to me, I haven't deleted because I sort of agree but I have added a little bit extra and alse added ref to Pat Roach as he was true brummie in A.P. Nick.
Though a bit younger, I went to the same school as Cat briefly attended in the northern suburbs... her voice does sound typical of this area - however it's not deeply brummie at all. I have some family members with strong birmingham accents and it seems the divide is maybe not so much even brum vs black country (where there are definite similarities), as inner city vs suburbs (where it is far less pronounced and more generic, possibly due to greater mixing and travel). If I wasn't inured to it having lived here most of my life, she'd probably seem definitely midlands, but not in the way that, say, jasper carrott does. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:23, 7 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Pronunciation section[edit]

Some meat for the IPA pronunciation section. While the author(s) clearly know their linguistics, this too is currently unsubstantiated original research with no cited source. However, I've just found some excellent language samples, with SAMPA phonology and other annotations, at the British Library's Collect Britain website. I'm not sufficiently au fait with linguistics to rewrite the section myself, but this looks great material to tidy it up and verify the features noted. See the records for: Sue Long, Aubrey Walton, Harry Phillips and Billy Lucas, and Gabriel Gabriel of Castle Bromwich.

They also have plenty of Warwickshire samples (relevant to the Shakespeare bit) showing how accent drifts across the Brummie / rural southern isogloss. Here's a glossary of the symbols used (SAMPA, to get around the typographical problems of IPA). RayGirvan 00:03, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

You are doing some great work here Ray, nice work. Nick Boulevard 13:11, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

My reasons for adding the NPOV message:

  • It shouldn't be assumed that any non-standard accent is an alteration of the standard. It's true that in some cases Brummie has innovated, but in others it'll be more conservative, e.g. It's more correct to say that Standard British English replaced /ʊ/ with /ʌ/. The arrows should probably be gotten rid of, and just have correspondences between the dialects.
  • Similarly, the Standard phones shouldn't be in /slashes/ while the Brummie phones are [square brackets]. They aren't speaking mangled RP, they have their own phonology.
  • I can see that the written approximation of Brummie speech ("foiv" etc.) might be useful to people who speak RP, but what about everyone else? Features that RP and Brummie share but might not be present in other dialects need to be pointed out, too, e.g. it won't neecessarily be immediately obvious to an American, say, that Brummie is nonrhotic.

P.S. Doesn't conservative RP usually have /ɪ/ in "helmet" itself? --Ptcamn 17:01, 15 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I've tried to make some improvements based on this. However, I left the RP approximations in (except for "heo", which I don't think is useful; maybe Estuary hell would be a better example). A lot of readers aren't going to know what ɒi] sounds like, and giving an example of a similar sound in a well-known accent might help. I certainly think they should be referred to as RP rather than "Standard British English" though; as far as pronunciation is concerned there isn't really any such thing. JHJ 12:55, 18 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I'd like to point out that the whoohoo 'Brummie translator' in the external links (Although an amusing idea) makes some of the mistakes which are detailed in the article above e.g. translating 'I am' to 'I yam', which is black country dialect. This appears a sad error in an article which has such emotion and work behind it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:29, 6 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Cat Deeley[edit]

Check 13th post down on this page: http://www.menshealth.co.uk/talk/thread.phtml/post572036/

Check Ian Wood (second from last post): http://www.bbc.co.uk/voices/yourvoice/poll_results.shtml

Guardian quote Deeley as a Brummie (4 fks sake): http://society.guardian.co.uk/urbanregeneration/story/0,8150,534882,00.html

Also: http://www.bsy.dsl.pipex.com/cat/

I looked at the site and liked the pic but became immediately bored with the crap so I didn't check for evidence of the quote about the brummie accent?

Ray, Cat Deeley has a Brummie accent ragardless of what you or anyone else here may think, she talks extremeley like my sister (shock horror.. a brummie) and most other Brummie women I know, we cannot simply say that Brummie is one quantifiable thing. It is many versions of an accent and today... Cat Deeley talks like a person from Brum, hence Brummie connotation ;) Nick Boulevard 23:21, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Nick: as the Brummie page says, we're talking about two connected but different things:
a) Brummie = someone from Brum
b) Brummie = the regional accent (the overall accent that marks the speech of the region from others like Welsh and Geordie).
Of course Cat Deeley is a Brummie in sense a)! All I'm saying is that her accent is somewhere along the scale toward RP from the undiluted regional accent. (Having heard a few samples, I think she's also a code-switcher, but let's not get into that).
BTW, check out Cite sources to see what Wikipedia considers an authoritative source. What someone says in a chatroom is not a basis for a technical linguistic description. RayGirvan 23:48, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Ray, this is where you are going wrong, someone born and raised in Birmingham is going to have a Birmingham accent however that may sound, some examples are milder than others but are still noted as Brummie, I think the problem is still your expectation of a Brummie to sound like Timmothy Spall? Nick Boulevard 12:03, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

As I noted above ... she is to some degree a Suttonian ... which was until ~30 years ago a warwickshire town. Though it's now a brum suburb and certainly handy for the city, it's still a town in its own right and the most stereotypical/pronounced parts of the accent are a bit diluted as brum isn't the sole influence. When I went to uni, people could tell I was midlands, but had trouble pinning down which end; some of them got birmingham, but I obviously wasn't a stock brummie, and I'm not sure she is either, or if she'd have done as well on TV vs being a model if she had an "example" accent. Good example of middle-midlands, but not deep brummie.
By the way, what's this about the stereotype being something to do with a north-south divide? I'd just about had it with folk who can't tell that a/ the "Midlands" are in the middle, and b/ B'ham is pretty much in the middle of the midlands; a bit southwest if anything. Come on. Stop listening to Jeremy Clarkson already. The man is amusing, but his head is full of rubbish :D
Similarly it being flat and monotonal - the true brummies I've known, including some of my family, have had some of the most melodramatic and ... melodius? voices I've heard (i hestitate to use that term, but it's the best I have - it does not imply "musical", however! It can be a bit harsh despite the tonal range). A few can be flat, but only in the same way any other person's individual speech patterns can be rather than a generic thing. Brummie rivals Geordie for taking impromptu trips up and down the stave even in the middle of a word... compare the rather limited range of Cockney, for heaven's sake! Or the soft and agreeable, but lethargic West Country. (talk) 21:33, 7 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Negative perception[edit]

Source: University of Birmingham press release on Steve Thorne's thesis at the University of Birmingham Department of English.


One of the features listed in the pronunciation section was Merging of /o:l/ and /ol/ (so there is no distinction between "told" and "tolled"). In the dictionaries I checked (Chambers and the OED) the words toll and told are shown with the same vowel, so I'm not sure what was meant here. I've removed it, but if someone clarifies what was meant and has evidence, then go ahead and restore it.--JHJ 29 June 2005 16:31 (UTC)

I think - no evidence to hand - that this is probably about an old RP feature of pronouncing "told" as "toe-awled". Given their long and widespread use as homonyms (They went and told the sexton and the sexton tolled the bell - Thomas Hood) suggesting a distinction only confuses matters.

Headline text[edit]

Gillean666: Wikipedia requires you to cite reliable sources for assertions. Regional dialect articles are notorious for people posting unverified claims based on personal experience. As I said in the edit summary, here's an article by Carl Chinn, probably the chief authority on this dialect, which mentions the expression but makes no reference to "thoss". If you think we should believe Gilean66 rather than him, provide proof. 14:40, 14 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]

"Carl Chinn, probably the chief authority on this dialect". Says who? -Gillean666 16:48, 14 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]
See Carl Chinn and read the article references. Whether he is or not, it doesn't alter that you've provided no source for your claim. Here's the procedure: Wikipedia:Cite sources#When there is a factual dispute. I'm disputing it. So go find a documented source. 17:09, 14 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Not wanting to involve myself in the dispute, but Carl Chinn is almost certainly not the chief authority on the dialect. He knows his stuff when it comes to Birmingham and is probably very familiar with many features of the accent and dialect, but I don't believe he has any formal training in linguistics or phonetics, and if he does, I don't think he's published research in this area. There are bound to be linguists who would make better sources for assertions made in this article. — Trilobite 17:27, 28 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]


as a brummie isnt bostin more black country?

missing it appears are "owright" , "innit" and "flippineck"

also brummies say "dudley" wheraes the residents of that area say "daaaadleyyyyyyy" t ali 28/01/06

don't you mean dudloi? :D (that's the brummies) ... the most confusing was knowing a guy who lived in west brom, so had equal portions of brummie (taking his boike on the booz) and black country (full-on yam yam) in his voice and would switch between both at random. As he's the only person I know personally to use Bostin, alongside a number of brummies who don't, i vote it's also Black Country. The other words definitely need to go in however! Fliiiiiiiipineck. (The last one arguably is more nationwide however, pretty sure i've heard scousers using it :D) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:41, 7 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Creature Comforts/electricity adverts[edit]

Advertisements are another medium where many perceive stereotypes. Journalist Lydia Stockdale, writing in the Birmingham Post ("Pig ignorant about the Brummie accent", December 2, 2004), commented on advertisers' association of Birmingham accents with pigs: the pig in the ad for Colman's Potato Bakes, Nick Park's Hell's Angel Pigs from for British Gas

The Creature Comforts characters weren't used to advertise British Gas, but Heat Electric. However, I don't want to change that yet because it's a reference to a newspaper article, and if the article itself made that mistake (I haven't read it), I don't know if it should be changed. -- 20:07, 6 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

The hells angels pigs are not from creature comforts, they are from a different ad. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:37, 9 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

The original Brummie Pig was a character in Pipkins "Oi'm Pyg"" The Yowser (talk) 12:59, 26 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Crikey, it's getting a bit emotional in here innit???[edit]

I love this page - It's funny because I'm a southerner living in Brum for university. It's an usual sounding accent to begin with, not so much because of the pronunciation, but more because of the intonation, which gets more emphasised the further into the Black Country you go. I think that the traditional Brummie accent is quite charming, but it is getting badly influenced by the Estuary accent (particularly amongst young people) and is being changed for something that is rather trashy and quite grating to the ear. -And Yes, I would totally agree with anyone that Cat Deeley's accent is the the perfect example of the modern cut-glass Brummie accent; clear pronunciation without to much intonation.

It ain't all bad..... 03:41, 19 May 2007 (UTC) Ross[reply]

Try living round the corner from a shrilly brummie aunt, uncle, and their two daughters... not so much 'cut glass' as 'able to cut glass at 20 paces' hehe. Cath's is silky in comparison! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:43, 7 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]


Does anybody here remember Pipkins? If so could you help settle a dispute and let me know whether Hartley Hare had a Birmingham accent? Thanks.

Aynuk N. Ayli (talk) 12:09, 29 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]

No! Hartley was RP. It was Pig who was the Brummie see Pipkins

The Yowser (talk) 13:00, 26 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]


How do they pronounce this word with a Brum accent? HOW IS BABBY FORMED? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:57, 22 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Bill Odie?[edit]

Under the section called "Accent" in the second paragraph is a reference to "Bill Odie." Is this meant to be the bloke from "The Goodies?" If so, his last name has a double 'd' and there is a Wiki entry for him. Mathsgirl (talk) 21:30, 13 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]


I've noticed two contradictions articles here:

  • This page first describes the Brummie accent as being "markedly distinct from the traditional accent of the adjacent Black Country" but later "a Black Country accent and a Birmingham accent can be hard to distinguish if neither accent is that broad".
  • This page includes Adrian Chiles on the list of people who are "sometimes mistaken for Brummie-speakers". But the article on Chiles says that "[a] feature of his presentations is his Birmingham accent" - I've heard his accent described as being "Birmingham" in several other sources.

Anywikiuser (talk) 13:48, 18 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]

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Requested move 9 July 2018[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: move the page to Brummie dialect at this time, per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 00:34, 17 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]

BrummieBrummie accent – This article describes the accent and the title doesn't make this clear and suggests the article is about the word "Brummie" itself. IWI (chat) 20:12, 9 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Well maybe “Brummie Dialect” instead then? IWI (chat) 09:08, 10 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I would also support Brummie dialect, a redirect created 04:28, 9 January 2005‎ by User:Trilobite.    Roman Spinner (talkcontribs) 09:41, 11 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


The entire intro is undocumented. No references at all. I'm not doubting its accuracy, but for encyclopedic purposes, I would like to see some references to back it up. Hifrommike65 (talk) 15:02, 20 January 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Brummie Accent Vowels[edit]

Hello, here is a suggestion for the vowels of the Brummie Accent.

commA [ə~ɐ] TRAP, BATH [a] PALM [ɑː] LOT, CLOTH [ä~ɒ~ɔ̈~ɔ] THOUGHT [o̞ː~ɔː] DRESS [ɛ~e] KIT [ɪ~i] happY [əi̯~iː] FLEECE [əi̯~ɨi̯] STRUT [ɒ~ʌ~ə~ɤ~ʊ] FOOT [ɤ~ʊ] GOOSE [əʉ̯~əu̯] FACE [ɛi̯~aɪ̯~ɐɪ̯~ʌɪ̯] PRICE, CHOICE [aɪ̯~ɒɪ̯~ɔɪ̯] MOUTH [æə̯~æʊ̯~ɛʉ̯~ɛ̝̈ʊ̯] GOAT [ʌʊ̯~ɐʊ̯~aʊ̯] lettER [ə(ɹ)~ɐ(ɹ)] NURSE [ɵ̝ː(ɹ)~əː(ɹ)~ɜː(ɹ)] START [ɑː(ɹ)] NORTH [o̞ː(ɹ)~ɔː(ɹ)] FORCE [o̞ː(ɹ)~ɔː(ɹ), ʌʊ̯ə(ɹ)] CURE [ɘua(ɹ)~ɘʉa(ɹ)~ʊa̯(ɹ)~ʊə̯(ɹ), ɔː(ɹ)~o̞ː(ɹ)] SQUARE [ɛə̯(ɹ)~ɛː(ɹ)~ɜː(ɹ)] NEAR [ɘiɐ(ɹ)~iə̯(ɹ)~ɪə̯(ɹ)~ɜː(ɹ)]

Those are some of the sources I used :

https://books.google.fr/books?id=jFarBgAAQBAJ&redir_esc=y https://pronunciationstudio.com/brummie-accent/ https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.402460

Those are the samples I used to make these transcriptions (along with some videos of brummie speakers by the youtube channel AccentBase):

https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/brummy-accent-gabriel-new-house https://web.archive.org/web/20130812172251/http://classweb.gmu.edu/accent/english57.html https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.402460

I hope that you'll agree with those suggestions, thanks for your time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by YanisBourgeois (talkcontribs) 10:39, 19 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Extent of the Brummie Accent/Dialect Region[edit]

We should define Birmingham, Solihull, Lichfield, Tamworth, Bedworth, Bromsgrove, Redditch and even Smethwick/Bearwood to be the Brummie dialect region - much like we do for Scouse despite the differences in the broadness/strength of the accent. We could also mention that there are areas of Brummie speech like Stratford-upon-Avon and parts of Shropshire that have have many Brummie speakers despite being separated from Birmingham by other accent regions - for example the Black Country accent of Bridgnorth in Shropshire and Cannock in Staffordshire giving way to the Brummie accent of the comedian Greg Davies, raised in Wem, and the Coventry/Leamington/Warwick accent being spoken in the region between Bedworth and Stratford. Overlordnat1 (talk) 10:21, 19 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]


It is ONLY in the Black Country (and going out from there towards Stoke) where some people say things like ‘Ah’ll jine you theer’, it’s ALWAYS “I’ll/oil join you there” in Birmingham. Overlordnat1 (talk) 10:26, 19 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I was looking at the sentence in this article about “*In Brummie, some SQUARE words shift to the set of NEAR such as there and where, thus pronounced as /ðɪə/ and /wɪə/ insted of /ðɛə/ and /wɛə/ respectively.”, then I saw your comment here about this.
I don’t know what the source is for the statement in the article on this, and I cannot see anything obvious in Clark & Asprey’s West Midlands English: Birmingham and the Black Country about such pronunciations for Birmingham; though they do note such in relation to Black Country speech, particularly [ðiə]. As far as I can see it is not mentioned in Steve Thorne’s PhD thesis, ‘Birmingham English: A Sociolinguistic Study’, either (apart from a reference to an “old Birmingham folk-rhyme” in which “theer” appears), or in the dictionary, Proper Brummie, which he compiled with Carl Chinn.
Having said that, from an historical point of view /ðɪə/ and /wɪə/ are likely to have been formerly used in Birmingham. In 1889 Alexander J. Ellis recorded [ðɪə̝̄ɹ̱] and [wɪə̝̄ɹ̱] for Selly Oak, which was then still in north Worcestershire, whilst Graham Squiers’ use of the spellings “theer” and “wheer”, in his Aerbut Paerks monologues of the 1920s and 1930s, could well be seen an indication that /ðɪə/ and /wɪə/ were likely to be part of working-class speech on the north-western side of the City at that time.
Furthermore, the Survey of English Dialects, undertaken in the mid-twentieth century, notes [wɩə], [wɩəɽ] and [wɩəɹ] at Romsley, alongside [wɛːə], together with [wɩəɹ] and [wɩə] at Hockley Heath, alongside [wəː], these being the nearest locations to Birmingham on its south-western and south-eastern sides respectively. In addition to this a cousin of mine, who was born and raised in Alum Rock, and who is now in his seventies, occasionally uses /ðɪə/ and /wɪə/, at least emphatically (but mostly /ðɛː/ and /wɛː/). All of which might support the idea for a usage of /ðɪə/ and /wɪə/ in Birmingham into the mid to late twentieth century.
By now though, I would have thought such pronunciations as /ðɪə/ and /wɪə/ were definitely recessive in Birmingham, and, if they are still used, would be restricted to a limited group within the older generation. I certainly wouldn’t expect them to be used by anyone born in the current century – but, there again, maybe someone else knows different!? (talk) 13:20, 12 October 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I’ve just been checking the history of the article, and it seems that a gentleman called Yanis Bourgeois was responsible for adding the sentence “*In Brummie, some SQUARE words shift to the set of NEAR such as there and where, thus pronounced as /ðɪə/ and /wɪə/ insted of /ðɛə/ and /wɛə/ respectively”, which he put up on 29 May this year. So I’ve posted a question on his Talk page, asking him what his exact source is for this. (talk) 10:50, 13 October 2022 (UTC)[reply]
You can find a paragraph about it in the book West Midlands English : Birmingham and the Black Country by Urszula Clark and Esther Asprey. You can get acces to it via the link :
West Midlands English: Birmingham and the Black Country - Urszula Clark - Google Livres, click "Book Overview" and then go to page 54. However perhaps this particularity and the front realisation of the CHOICE vowel only apply in the Black Country (?) YanisBourgeois (talk) 20:14, 15 October 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It’s interesting to read that but it’s undoubtedly true that saying ‘join’ as ‘jine’ and ‘there’ as ‘theer’ is a recessive trait in Birmingham, if it still exists at all (though it would be original research to add that to the article of course). What it says on page 55 is curious, it says that words in the NEAR and SQUARE lexical sets get confused and it gives the word year as an example but this seems wrong to me as in Birmingham, for most speakers, year is in the NURSE lexical set, not the NEAR one, and it’s only because words in the NURSE set are sometimes pronounced like they’re in the SQUARE set that ‘year’ is sometimes said as ‘yare’ rather than just ‘yur’. This phenomenon, whereby people say ‘Birmingham’ as ‘Bairmingham’ seems to me to be more prevalent in the Black Country too for most words (though year is normally in the NEAR set in the Black Country anyway). Again it would be original research to disagree with this author on that though. --Overlordnat1 (talk) 17:43, 16 October 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you for the reply to my question, and my apologies for not responding sooner but I have not been in the library for a couple of weeks now. As to a possible ɴᴇᴀʀ-sᴏ̨ᴜᴀʀᴇ merger, as referenced in Clark and Asprey’s West Midlands English: Birmingham and the Black Country, p. 54, I did say that I could not see anything obvious here about such pronunciations as /ðɪə/ and /wɪə/ for Birmingham, and what they say in this respect appears, in fact, to be only for the Black Country. The reference they give to “Clark (2008: 153)” is to her interpretation of C. Painter’s 1963 ‘Specimen: Black Country Speech’ who, apparently, has /ɪə/ for the sᴏ̨ᴜᴀʀᴇ lexical set. Clark and Asprey’s other references are to Kate Fletcher’s spellings of “the’er” and “we’er”, in her 1975 biblical translations into the Black Country Dialect, and evidence presented in Asprey’s own 2007 PhD thesis ‘Black Country English and Black Country Identity’. Accordingly, as far as I can see, they are not claiming that /ðɪə/ and /wɪə/ are found in Birmingham today; particularly as there is nothing in Steve Thorne’s work about such being contemporary pronunciation in Birmingham English at the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first century. As I’ve said, however, historically it would seem that /ðɪə/ and /wɪə/ are likely to have been used in Birmingham, indeed Clark in her earlier work, ‘The English West Midlands: phonology’, p. 153, following comments on a ɴᴇᴀʀ-sᴏ̨ᴜᴀʀᴇ merger, says “A similar phenomenon can be observed for onset raising (apparently yielding [ɪə]) in Bm/BC <theer>/<thee’er> there, <w(h)eer> where, for which there is written evidence.” Unfortunately Clark is not explicit in this regard, but I take it that such evidence for the Black Country (BC) would be Fletcher, whereas that for Birmingham (Bm) might be the Aerbut Paerks monologues by Graham Squiers’; though the latter can only be an indication that /ðɪə/ and /wɪə/ were likely to have historically been part of working-class speech on the north-western side of Birmingham in the first quarter of the twentieth century but not since. All in all I personally think that the statement “*In Brummie, some SQUARE words shift to the set of NEAR such as there and where, thus pronounced as /ðɪə/ and /wɪə/ insted of /ðɛə/ and /wɛə/ respectively.” is somewhat misleading, in that it no longer appears to be a current feature of local speech in Birmingham, and so would advise it be modified to one indicating such as possible former historical pronunciations of these tokens only. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:36, 31 October 2022 (UTC)[reply]

On the subject of ‘jine’ and ‘join’, Thorne does not deal explicitly with the ᴄʜᴏɪᴄᴇ set, though does reference it under that of ᴘʀɪᴄᴇ, saying “For speakers with the strongest Birmingham accents ... a phonemic merger” is in operation between the two sets, resulting in there “being virtually no audible difference between the vowel sound occurring” in them. On the diphthong in ᴘʀɪᴄᴇ (and therefore, presumably, in ᴄʜᴏɪᴄᴇ) he says it has variants “ranging from [oɪ] in close-mid position to [ɔɪ]; the most common starting point being somewhere just below C[ɔ] in open-mid position (= [ɔ̞]) and moving in the general direction of /ɪ/”. As far as I can see he makes no mention of an unrounded onset here for Birmingham, though he references Anne Grethe Mathisen’s 1999 article on speech in Sandwell as having both [aɪ] and [ɑi], alongside [ɔɪ], in this regard (Mathisen actually gave “ai ~ ɑi > ɔi” for the ᴘʀɪᴄᴇ set, which she qualifies by saying “Occasionally [ɔi]”, alongside exclusively “ɔi” for the ᴄʜᴏɪᴄᴇ diphthong. However in Mathisen’s earlier 1992 thesis, which formed the basis of much of her later article, when it came to ᴘʀɪᴄᴇ words she clearly states that, although “Typical realisations” in Sandwell were [ɒɪ] and [ɔɪ], she did not actually “explore the phonetic variation” here, but rather the inclusion of schwa and “a phenomenon that might be called triphthongisation”, which seems to put into question her use of unrounded onsets for ᴘʀɪᴄᴇ, particularly with a onset as front as [a]). Historically Alexander J. Ellis’ 1889 data for Selly Oak gives an unrounded onset for both ᴄʜᴏɪᴄᴇ and ᴘʀɪᴄᴇ words, but this is more like [ʌɪ] than [ɑɪ]. Clark and Asprey, pp. 50-51, like Thorne note how “the ᴄʜᴏɪᴄᴇ set in Birmingham is linked to the realisation of ᴘʀɪᴄᴇ”, but here they reference Ray Tennant’s jocular works on what he termed ‘Brumslang’, from the early 1980s, interpreting his spellings of “ile”, “biled” and “vice” (for ‘oil’, ‘boiled’ and voice’) as containing the diphthong [aɪ]; though, personally, I would say this could quite easily be seen as [ʌɪ] or [ɑɪ]. I think it should be noted here that whilst Tennant, who looks to have lived around the Bordesley Green, Little Bromwich and Small Heath areas of the City, gives examples of ᴄʜᴏɪᴄᴇ words with unrounded onsets, like “tie”, i.e. ‘toy’ (he even has the ꜰᴀᴄᴇ word ‘nail’ as “nile”), he also has ones for ᴘʀɪᴄᴇ words with rounded onsets, like “poil”, i.e. ‘pile’, thereby, seemingly, keeping a distinction between the diphthongs. But it appears, from the nature of his booklets, that he was just attempting to highlight the greatest differences in local pronunciation from Standard English, so whilst the inclusion of forms of ᴄʜᴏɪᴄᴇ words with an unrounded onset could be seen as an indication such were in use in Birmingham during the mid to late twentieth century it is not possible to know at what level or over what geographical area of the City this might have been. Given the above, therefore, it seems likely to me, that, as with /ðɪə/, something like /dʒʌɪn/ is, by now, also a recessive feature in Brummie, restricted to a dwindling group of older speakers. But, if there is evidence of current usage, I would be glad to hear about it. Thank you. (talk) 16:26, 1 November 2022 (UTC)[reply]
One thing I forgot to mention here, which I think is worth noting, at least with regards to Black Country pronunciations of ᴘʀɪᴄᴇ and ᴄʜᴏɪᴄᴇ words (especially given what Mathisen put about such in both her thesis and article) is that in his 1988 retrospective survey of the Black Country Dialect, as spoken in and around West Bromwich in the first quarter of the twentieth century, Norman Marrow notes only [ɒɪ] as being found in both the ᴘʀɪᴄᴇ and ᴄʜᴏɪᴄᴇ sets. Though, interestingly, he also says, on the use of this diphthong, that it “leads outsiders to hear a Black Country persons ‘my’ as [mɔɪ] ... and his or her ‘boy’ as [baɪ]”, despite them, apparently, being actually pronounced with the same diphthong, i.e. as [mɒɪ] and [bɒɪ]. (talk) 13:12, 2 November 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Maybe so. There are some Brummies of Caribbean origin who say ‘voice’ as ‘vice’, though that’s surely the Caribbean influence. Listen to Benjamin Zephaniah here:- [2] Overlordnat1 (talk) 08:03, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Accent or Dialect???[edit]

I am from the Bristol area, not from Birmingham, but with the risk of offending Brummies, is Brummie (using the abbreviation for convenience) really a dialect, not just an accent? I know that there is no formal definition of what differentiates a dialect in the way that language separation is defined, but mutual intelligibility and number of different words in use is generally used. Whereas an accent would use very few or no different words, but the common words in use would be pronounced differently.

I would say that Brummie speakers are completely intelligible to pretty much all UK native English speakers. Whereas, say Glaswegian or some Northern Irish dialects are not, except to those more familiar with them. There are other examples which can be said to be dialects, e.g. some Yorkshire speakers and Geordies are probably not completely intelligible to all other native UK English speakers. Therefore I would say that Brummie is only an accent not a dialect. Maybe I am more used to it, knowing people from Birmingham, and other UK native English speakers have more issues understanding Brummie?

I have lived in southern Germany for a few years. German has several dialects, which have much more significant differences to German than most accents in UK English and are not intelligible to all native Germans, e.g. Niederdeutsch, Bayrisch (Baorisch/Bavarian), etc. All Germans are taught in school in Hochdeutsch (high German) or what we would term standard German.

Bayrisch / Baorisch is not considered by most linguists as a separate language to German, because the number of different words is too small, but it is definitely a dialect, not merely an accent. Niederdeutsch too, and Niederdeutsch shares commonalities and geographical area with Dutch, so I believe can be considered a dialect of Dutch and German, although German and Dutch are definitely different languages. Bavarians and Niederdeutsch speakers will speak, or even must speak Hochdeutsch to Germans from other areas.

I don't consider that UK English has many of such dialects with such big differences to standard British English. In the past there were often more differences as people travelled less and TV and radio has changed language, so modern speakers tend to be more mutually intelligible. When I have been asked by Germans, I have said that in the UK most regions would be said to have regional accents rather than dialects, as the significant differences, as the German dialects have to Hochdeutsch, are generally not common. Lkingscott (talk) 13:20, 22 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]