5 more British dialects English learners should know

Here are 5 more British dialects you should know

A few months ago we published a blog post on this topic. Here, we go over 5 more British dialects which are a good idea to know. These particular dialects are more of the most commonly heard and well-known in Britain.


This dialect is from Liverpool and probably the most distinctive in England. From a relatively small area as it only covers Liverpool and the surrounding Merseyside area. The word ‘scouse’ goes back to Liverpool’s fishing roots. It was short for ‘lobscouse’ which was a stew commonly eaten by sailors. In the 19th century the cheap meal became associated with Liverpudlians and outsiders started calling them ‘Scousers’.

Key characteristics:

  • With its clipped vowels, T-glottalization and interdental fricative (a sound produced at the back of the throat that resonates) consonants, Scouse has much a great deal in common with accents across north west England
  • Scouse words: Bevvy – Alcoholic drink; Chrimbo – Christmas; Sound – Okay; Ta-ra – Goodbye; Bezzy – Best friend
  • The accent was unusual courtesy of it being a busy port town. There were strong ties with Scandinavia and the Baltic states which had an influence


Mancunian is from the metropolitan area of Manchester. However, there are notable differences between the accents of the north and south with southerners sometimes looking down on northern accents. The Mancunian accent partly came to prominence through the vibrant music scene there. The likes of Oasis, Joy Division and The Stone Roses are from the area. Also, the British soap Coronation Street.

Key characteristics:

  • It tends to have an over-enunciation of all vowel sounds and the emphasis of the NG; words singer and finger rhyme perfectly in Manchester!
  • Mancunian words: Dead – Very / Extremely; Nice one – Excellent; Mint – Great; Now then – Hello; Mad fer – Very eager about
  • Manchester Metropolitan University carried out a survey on people’s perception of the accent throughout the Manchester metropolitan area. They found that the vast majority of variations in the Mancunian accent stereotype the people speaking them as common, rough or poor


R.P. or Received Pronunciation is instantly recognizable and can often be described as ‘typically British’. Although, people also refer to it as ‘The Queen’s English’, ‘Oxford English’ or ‘BBC English’. RP is regionally non-specific, therefore it doesn’t give any clue as to the speakers geographical background. However, it does reveal a great deal about your social and educational background.

Key characteristics:

  • For much of the 20th century, RP represented the voice of social status, education, economic power, and authority
  • The definition of ‘received’ conveys its original meaning of ‘approved’ or ‘accepted’ – as in ‘received wisdom’
  • RP is an accent and not a dialect as such, since all RP speakers speak Standard English


From London originally and considered to be from working-class areas in the east. A cockney is best defined as a person born within the sound of the church bells of St. Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside, in the City of London. Although, nowadays there isn’t a maternity hospital in this area so the definition is a bit more fluid. It is also well-known for cockney rhyming slang where you use rhymes in place of the intended word.

Key characteristics:

  • For words that start with a “th” sound, like “think,” change the “th” to an “f,” as in “fink.” “Thought” becomes “fought,” and “thirsty” becomes “firsty.”
  • Some examples of cockney rhyming slang: ‘apples and pears’ (stairs); ‘Barney Rubble’ (trouble); ‘dog and bone’ (phone)
  • The presence of the glottal stop instead of the /t/ sound; dropping the /t/ in what, get, out and it


Welsh is a dialect, however it is also a Celtic language of the Brittonic subgroup. Although, the majority of Welsh people speak English as their main language (92%) with there are only around 135,000 (0.27% of the population) who only speak Welsh.

Key characteristics:

  • Of the six living Celtic languages (including two revived), Welsh has the highest number of native speakers who use the language on a daily basis
  • Here are some English phrases that only Welsh people use: Lush – Very very nice; I’m not being funny – I’m about to say something serious; Pop – Soft drink; Alright or wha? – Hello; Shonky – Of low quality
  • Syllables are evenly stressed making it sound very melodical and rolled ‘r‘ sounds

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