do people in england they really speak "english"?

Liz   Mon May 07, 2007 1:13 pm GMT
Baaaaaaaaaaaahsilduhn! This town is Estuary all over... :-)

poor man's Cockney...or rather rich man's Cockney...Mockney :-)

How can anyone mistake an Essex accent for American? They're sooo different.
Damian in Edinburgh   Mon May 07, 2007 2:06 pm GMT
PUB LUNCH is quite right.....Scousers really are a great bunch of people and as friendly and straightforward and uncomplicated as they come. What you see and hear is what you get, no half measures. A bit like Yorkshire folk really, and they have their own distinctive dialectal accent as well.

Scousers/Liverpudlians do have this reputation of being scallies*, ever likely to nick the wheels off your car as soon as you've turned your back, but it's totally unwarranted in the case of the vast majority. Their sense of humour is amazing and at every opportunity they'll come out with a real funny quip or a one liner you've never heard before. For very many years Britain has drawn many of its most famous comedians/stand up comics from the Liverpool/Merseyside area, and the general reason for this is that merely to live in that area you've just got to have a sense of humour.

*Scallies - derived from the word "scallywags" - a rogue or a rascal or a scamp - irritating but irresistibly lovable and likeable at the same time. Scallywag - it does not have the same connotation over here as does the Southern USA meaning of the word.

Liverpool has gone through, and still is, quite a lot of transformation, environmentally and culturally and at one time was the European City of Culture. Also, over the years, a lot of Liverpudlians moved out of the city itself into the surrounding countryside and into new developments. They left the city behind and encountered the rustic local inhabitants in the rural areas and in typical Scouser fashion they called them "woolybacks", a clear reference to sheep.
Pub Lunch   Mon May 07, 2007 2:24 pm GMT
Liz, I can't explain it either. I have looked at the variables such as too much TV? Nope, I hardly watch the telly. Maybe it is my pronunciation?? Nope, my parents are sticklers for BrE (or should I say RP) pronunciations. My dad was born in Ceylon so maybe I picked something up from him?? Maybe.

I'll say this, while travelling around OZ, it was amazing how many times I met aussies that sounded so similar to a Cockney, that it was really hard for me to tell if they were English or Australian - I was shocked. So maybe the Australian mistake can be explained, but as for the American, hmmnn maybe it is a case of people getting an American and an Australian accent mixed up and so guess wrong (apart from the fact that I have an English accent!!)

It does do my brain in though, because it has been happening since I was at junior school. Even this morning, I got on the bus to town, and the driver cheerily asked me 'where’s that accent from then??' I just scowled and said I'm from Basildon MATE!! Being asked the same question everyday does that (I feel bad now).

Oh South African is another one I get mistaken for- arrgghhh. When people meet for the first time it becomes a game for them, to try and pin down where I am from - oh the agony.

Ok I am becoming boring now, sorry.

Damian, it must be said, your knowledge of Britain and the various cultures it encompasses is astonishing. For a young bloke (and a Scot :) ) I have no idea where you could have learnt this information from. Like I said before, you know your onions mate!!
Damian in Edinburgh   Mon May 07, 2007 9:35 pm GMT

1 Education - British history (as a whole and not just the Scottish) and English were my main subjects in the latter stages at school and later at university 2000/03 (Leeds - one of the best English departments in the whole world - check it out on the Leeds uni websites)

2 My present job in the early stages of a journalism career requires a fair knowledge of this fair island united nation of ours - (UK and not just Scotland), its peoples, its culture and history, its customs past and present and any possibly future trends - positive and pleasant and negative and not so pleasant - with plenty of both existing side by side.

3 A whole lot of reading, research, contacts - and to take advantage of any opportunity presenting itself to enable travel to as many parts of Scotland, England and Wales as possible. So far I've been to Ireland just once on a 36 hour weekend jaunt from Wales, and Northern Ireland not at all as yet.

Only a small fraction of the area so far covered - one day I'd like to pop down to Romney Marsh in Kent and see quaintly ivy covered Rye and imagine Quaint Irene and the other E F Benson characters like Mapp and Lucia bitching it out together in their inimitable pseudo friendly manner. Or head down to lovely languid Laugharne in South West Wales which Dylan Thomas turned into Llareggub (read it backwards) in his alcohol induced, highly inspirational Under Milkwood, all bible black and haven of poison tongued termagants.

To name just two.

I still have a lot of Scottish ground to cover - still plenty of scope available here on home ground. I see the Walter Scott memorial in the distance every working day. :-)

btw: should I feel some resentment at your inference that Scots are somehow a bit educationally challenged? FYI: We have the best higher educational results in the UK. That's gospel :-)

If you're ever up here in Edinburgh I'll stand you a pint or two and a wee dram, ok? You missed out on the chance when I was working short term in London's Canary Wharf area last year. Amazing experience.

Anyway, cheers for now.
Damian in Edinburgh   Mon May 07, 2007 9:50 pm GMT
PUB LUNCH (again - hee hee)

You're from Basildon???? Wow! The epitome of Essex itself and the area most linked to Essex Boy and Essex Girl. The reputation they have for being intellectually challenged, overly materialistic good-timers just has to be unfair. I think that's why Anne Robinson had a team of people on one program of the Weakest Link made up entirely of Essex Boys and Girls and I think one of them actually came from Basildon. They certainly blew all the popular perceptions of Essex people straight out the window with the quality of their answers - and their great humour and repartee and "no messing" replies to the Red Headed Acid Tongued Vixen's familiar barbed insults. :-)
Liz   Tue May 08, 2007 9:23 am GMT

Two weeks ago I met four Aussie girls on the bus (Dresden - Prague - Budapest) and I mistook one of them for English after she had uttered only a few words! I felt really ashamed when she told me that she was from Australia. What's more, after having heard her speak for a while, I could clearly tell the she was an Aussie. But her first few utterances sounded quite similar to a South-East London accent. I don't know why.


Actually, I've seen that episode of the Weakest Link - that was hilarious! These girls and blokes were not exactly the types of people you would assume to by *the* epitome of Essex girls and boys! I'm sure Anne bloody Robinson was taken aback! :-)
Liz   Tue May 08, 2007 1:14 pm GMT
<<assume to by *the* epitome of Essex girls and boys>>

to be
superdavid   Tue May 08, 2007 2:18 pm GMT
If you really grew up in Canada since when you are 5
then you are a native speaker of English.

But your English doesn't seem to be Native English speaker's to me.
Guest   Tue May 08, 2007 3:26 pm GMT
because most of the time he hung out with his Asian buddies than canadians. Hence, his English sounds okay not impressive if he had spent 20 years in the country.
Pub Lunch   Tue May 08, 2007 5:16 pm GMT
Liz - Exactly!! After a few sentences you cotton on, but some Aussies can really catch you off guard when first hearing them. Apparently Cockney is a big influence on the Aussie accent, not sure if this is true - but I believe them!!!

Dresden - Prague - Budapest - Blimey!! That sounds like a coach trip!!! I would love to visit Prague (St Vitus cathedral, the castle, Charles bridge and those mediaeval alchemists houses) I am not too familiar with Dresden; I have heard it is beautiful, but I am sure it was completely decimated in WW2??? I know they are rebuilding the cathedral (which might be finished by now??) and apparently is a must. Budapest looks ace as well.


Studying English and British history at that level would certainly explain your impressive knowledge geezer!! Starting out in journalism huh?? Well done mate - what a career!! I have heard that to get into Journalism is well hard due to such phenomenally fierce competition?? If so, that is a real achievement my friend - good luck!!! Again that would explain the fact that you are up to date on current events and such like. I worked for Ford news for a few months as an administrator, it was a monthly rag , but even then, you got a sense of the pressure these lads and lasses were under to meet deadlines and that – rather you than me!! I am really only just starting my education - about to start a degree in dietetics (if I pass my access course that is), sadly it does not improve my obviously poor English skills.

Yes mate, if I am ever in Edinburgh, I'll definitely give you a bell for a wee dram or 10. Scotch is my drink man!! Glenmorangie or Laphroaig all the way!!

I have family In Carnoustie, and should be meeting up with them soon, and then it will be off to the Highlands. When the time comes I 'll have to ask for some recommendations for places to visit, scenic routes etc if you don't mind.

Ok doke mate, must get back to my chemistry assignment (testing the purity of aspirin - dodgy discoveries my friend!!).
Liz   Tue May 08, 2007 6:02 pm GMT

Sadly enough, it wasn't a coach trip - it's just my routine trip as I'm currently studying in Germany. That's extremely cumbersome and not at all interesting because I don't see anything in, say, Prague, as I spend most of my time on the bus. However, the international company on the bus is interesting...I don't know what this Australian invasion was for...they're quite unusual over here.

Budapest looks ace - it's an indisputable fact! :-)

Yes, as you say, Dresden is a beautiful town...I daresay the most beautiful town in Saxony. Of course, Leipzig isn't lagging behind, either...
It was almost entirely demolished during WW2 and then was re-built again. It is really beautiful now but nowhere near as beautiful as it had been before the war. Leastways people claim so - I'm too young to remember, so I believe them. Even my parents are too young to remember.

You are right...Cockney is the basis of Australian English. To be more precise, it evolved from Cockney and other non-standard/ working class urban dialects. Hence the similarity between the two.


P.S.: I'm studying English and German linguistics and literature (and language pedagogy), too, but my knowledge is less than nought compared to that of Damian. Flattering is by no means my intention but it's a fact.
Guest   Tue May 08, 2007 6:07 pm GMT
<<I daresay the most beautiful town in Saxony.>>

"it's" is missing - I can't write a bloody post without missing something out or misspelling something!!!
Liz   Tue May 08, 2007 6:14 pm GMT

It's the most definitely boring journey without the "Blimey" bit, mate! ;-)

I'm planning a trip to Blimey, too! That must be an ace town (or probably a village)! ;-)
Pub Lunch   Wed May 09, 2007 11:24 pm GMT
<<Sadly enough, it wasn't a coach trip - it's just my routine trip as I'm currently studying in Germany.>>

That is one hell of a routine coach trip young lady!!! I mean Prague, Dresden and Bucharest - wow!! I think even Mr Gordon Bennett himself just said BLIMEY!!!


Yep, I heard that the town of Blimey is a lovely place to visit - especially this time of year ( lack of tourists and that). I told you my English was a bit dodgy!!

Living in Germany must be wicked!! !! I suddenly feel like my life is so blinking boring!!!!!!

<<P.S.: I'm studying English and German linguistics and literature (and language pedagogy), too, but my knowledge is less than nought compared to that of Damian. Flattering is by no means my intention but it's a fact. >>

Flipping hell, German linguistics and literature, that’s serious stuff!! How did you get into that??? What is it that you hope to get out of it job wise??? Translater??? Honouree German???

I have to say, that from my short time on this forum, Mr Damian does seem phenomenally brainy but I would also say that, regarding pure English skills (Grammar, punctuation etc) you seem to be WELL ON POINT (assuming you are the same Liz - I have learnt what a rhyming couplet and a euphemism is (as well as something else which I can't quite remember) and I have only been writing on here for a few months)
You know your onions lady!!!!!!! Damian just seems to have a freakish, almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the various cultures of our land (You are British - yeah???) That NO-ONE I know possesses (although my nan will run him close!!!).

My English skills are GCSE at best, so it is a privledge to write in such exhalted compnay!! When I write it is almost conversational, and I end up
chucking in the blimeys and geezers without even thinking. If I read my posts I do end up cringing!!!

Okay, must go - very sleepy (It was my mum's 50th today - HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUMMY!!!!)
Pub Lunch   Wed May 09, 2007 11:26 pm GMT
Apologies for the typos......