Estuary English taking over England

Jason   Monday, November 01, 2004, 16:47 GMT
Why don't u try downloading some audio files of an interviews of your fav. charachters?
Mi5 Mick   Tuesday, November 02, 2004, 08:07 GMT
So, how many English speak Estuary?
Damian   Tuesday, November 02, 2004, 08:42 GMT
<<So, how many English speak Estuary?>>

Age group: 18-30:

95% of the cast of East Enders
97% of the population of Milton Keynes
99% of the population of Essex
Damian   Tuesday, November 02, 2004, 08:49 GMT
I don't know why I forgot to mention the glottal stop, just about the main feature of Estuary! You be'er know tha' one, yeah?

Also the letter "L" is suffering the same fate as "T" (this really belongs in the Dark L thread I reckon). In Estuary words like "table" have the "L" missing or barely enunciated. In "kettle" both the "L" and the "T" virtually disappear.

Tony Blair slips into Estuary as and when it suits him, and dependent on his audience. As a politician that is his prerogative.
Denis   Tuesday, November 02, 2004, 09:20 GMT
I read somewhere that in Estuary 'dark L' is replaced by 'w'.
Is that true?

belt -> [bewt]
fell -> [few]
kilt -> [kiwt]

Mi5 Mick   Tuesday, November 02, 2004, 09:23 GMT
Is it really taking over England? Roughly, how many speakers in absolute numbers, Damian?

>>In Estuary words like "table" have the "L" missing or barely enunciated. In "kettle" both the "L" and the "T" virtually disappear.<<

We Aussies get a touch of that, here and there, but not in any major way,
eg, table ~ /teibu/ sometimes... but no L and T in kettle?? Surely not /ke'u/ in habitual speech!
Damian   Tuesday, November 02, 2004, 11:06 GMT

I'm in a rush at the moment so I can't give guaranteed and accurate numbers. Living in Scotland it's not an issue here very much at all because the accents and intonations are different, but glottal stops are increasing even here to a certain extent. It's definitely more pronounced in southern England. In the Midlands it's less noticeable but spreading. I will attempt to get some info off the net.

From TV, chats shows, etc etc.. and meeting others it seems Estuary was most noticeable in the southerners I met at uni. When I went to a gig at a place called Milton Keynes (a large modern city that grew from a tiny sleepy village in the 1960s to a 350,000 pop city now) Estuary is definitely the lingua franca for people under 30 or so.
Damian   Tuesday, November 02, 2004, 11:09 GMT

Sorry meant to respond in last post. Yes, exactly right.

It's not "cold"'s "cOU-d". The "L" has melted away.
Mi5 Mick   Tuesday, November 02, 2004, 11:57 GMT
Interesting and surprising.
Jaro   Tuesday, November 02, 2004, 14:18 GMT
It's dreadful! The English are mangling their own language. Estuary speakers should be reeducated to speak pure RP.
Ben   Tuesday, November 02, 2004, 14:37 GMT
Here's a very dry, but very detailed and accurate explanation of what Estuary English is:

I have a friend from Nottingham who speaks entirely in Estuary (with barely a trace of Midlands). The expansion of RP reminds me alot of what happened here in the States fifty years ago, when Middle American English spread to other parts of the country.
Ben   Tuesday, November 02, 2004, 14:40 GMT
Sorry, I mean the expansion of estuary, not RP.
Agnes   Tuesday, November 02, 2004, 19:43 GMT

Where can I find sites which I can train my Estuary by? (audio samples, etc.)?
Jason   Tuesday, November 02, 2004, 20:02 GMT
Why don't u take my advice?
Damian   Tuesday, November 02, 2004, 22:07 GMT

I haven't been able to find audio samples of Estuary for you just yet but I will try tomorrow as I have a day off from work, and will be home doing research on here for most of the day.

Meanwhile you may find these links useful for info on the "dreaded" Estuary:

This has the Essex connection! LOL :

This may be interesting for you:

Agnes where are you located? The best way to pick up Instant Estuary is to go to Milton Keynes if you're here in the UK! I guarantee you'll be word perfect in a day. Surprise! Surprise!! - MK was mentioned in Ben's link which is cool. It's a fantastic place where it's all at, that's for sure.