West Midlands English

Location of the West Midlands region in England.

West Midlands English is a group of dialects of the English language.

County accents

Certain areas of the West Midlands are stereotyped as having stronger accents than others, Dudley in the Black Country being an example. There are some local phrases in the Black Country that are renowned. People do tend to substitute a reply of "arr" for "yes". Generally, most words are shortened, most commonly being "I haven't" to "I ay" (which can be argued as an even shorter form of "I ain't"). In the south of the West Midlands (southern Warwickshire and Worcestershire), the accent is more similar to the general southern accent.

Dave Bradley, a presenter on BBC Hereford and Worcester said in 2005 that:

[in Herefordshire and Worcestershire] we have many different ways of speaking the English language, at least I think that's what we are speaking !!!

Go from Kington in North Herefordshire with the Welsh-border lilt, to Evesham in the south of Worcestershire where there's a very different sound.

From Kidderminster and the North Worcestershire area where many, but not all, have a Brummigum twang, and then off down to Ross where there's a hint of the rounded Gloucestershire tones.

Dave Bradley[1]

Varieties of West Midlands English


Further reading

  • Clark, Urszula (2004), "The English West Midlands: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive, A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 134–162, ISBN 3-11-017532-0 
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