Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Weird Words!

Although England is a small island there are tremendous differences in local accents. When I moved, as a child, from Kent to Staffordshire, my accent was considered very weird! (And vice versa!)


'Cost kick a boh agin a woh, yed it and bost it?'
Can you read the words I've written up above?
It's a simple little phrase, you must agree.
But as someone from the South,
With a fat plum in her mouth,
The dialect was foreign as a phrase can be.
My father took a job in Staffordshire
So we all moved holus-bolus up from Kent.
And there, just as we feared,
Our accent was thought weird,
And we were laughed at everywhere we went.
I longed to speak the same as all my friends.
(Yes, peer-pressure was around in days gone by.)
So, to speak just like the others
With an dialect not my Mother's,
I gladly gave the phrase a little try.
I practised till it rolled right off my tongue,
As though I'd been a Midlander since birth,
Though, sometimes, my attempt
Was treated with contempt
And my school-mates couldn't quite contain their mirth.
My mother was appalled that I should try
To lose the accent that was mine by rights.
She simply couldn't face
A voice that wasn't 'naise'
And I'm sure she suffered many sleepless nights!
Now I listen gladly to the BBC,
And hear accents that have come from far and wide.
Voices don't have to be tamed,
They are welcomed and acclaimed.
And a dialect is now a source of pride.
Translation: Can you kick a ball against a wall, head it and burst it?'


Judy said...

Thanks for visiting me Living On the Other Side of the Hill. Please come back anytime. I enjoyed having you stop by. I am afraid I have no idea what you are saying in the phrase. I am from Kentucky and have often had my accent made fun of by people living north of our state! I enjoyed my trip over here and will be back to see you again.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda! I enjoyed the poem. I haven't figured out what the first line says just yet! Where I come from, we have our own little regional accent. It's called Pittsburghese. When we moved here, we had an adjustment too. (I now work with people who want to eliminate it.) If you would like to read about it, go to my blog. http://lyndastucky.wordpress.com/2008/04/15/the-regional-accent-of-picksburgers/
Have a great week! Lynda

Darlene said...

Accents are regional in the U. S, too. I had a friend visit from Massachusetts and we were at a National Park on a very hot day. She asked the ranger, "Where's the bubblah?" He looked confused until I told him she wanted the drinking fountain and was saying bubbler.

If you visit my blog I have something for you.

Jinksy said...

At a guess, 'Can you kick a ball against a wall, can you head it and boot it?' But that could be more ESP than logic...

Rinkly Rimes said...

Jinsky! Are you a linguist? Just the word 'boot' was wrong: it should be 'burst'.

mrsnesbitt said...

eeeeeeeeeeeeee by gum chuck! This was rate good! LOL!

Jinksy said...

Not necessarily a linguist - just a lover of words and music, although I admit to A level French, O level German and smatterings of Latin from time to time...
Once you say the words out loud, language common sense takes over.

Kat said...

This poem reminds me of my favourite film "my fair lady" :))))

--jenna said...

Thanks for stopping by! I admit, I had to scan to the bottom of your post for the "translation," as even reading aloud didn't help! Intriguing poem. Thanks for sharing.

George S Batty said...

great take on weird. loved every strange word. at least strange to me.

Old Egg said...

This was an utter delight. Even travelling a few miles from my native Surrey I was at a great disadvantage as a child in understanding the local dialects of neighbouring counties. What a challenge to go up north.

linda may said...

Love it Brenda. I don't see a big difference in this country but since moving to Canberra I have noticed one local difference. People here say yes 3 times. I don't know if it is because they are excited with what you said and are agreeing or if they want to hurry you along and try to tell you to get on with it. Hehehe. People from Q.L.D. and N.T say eh? at the end of their sentences/statements.
People in S.A. call toasted sandwiches, toasties. I am sure there are a lot of local colloquialisms here rather than accent differences. I am interested to know what else you have observed o this subject.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love British dialects. I remember as a child how we were told to 'speak properly' as though our dialect was something to be ashamed of...

Catherine Denton said...

How fun! And thanks for the translation.

floreta said...

interesting. i knew there were variations of accents. but i'm not good at the differentiations!

Tumblewords: said...

Thank you for the translation! Weird, but I just couldn't get it myownself. Don't you love dialects?