time]. This means “listen to him”, “‘ark” being short for “hark” and “ee” being a common substitute for “him” in the West Country dialect. Dialects can be defined as "sub-forms of languages which are, in general, mutually comprehensible." RP yu; becomes u: after n, t, d...  as in American The most outstanding version is Geordie, the dialect of the Newcastle area. '/pridi:/'). Many people estimate that there are more than a million words in the English language. airport, seashore, fireplace, footwear, wristwatch, landmark, flowerpot, etc), although it is not taken to the extremes of German or Dutch where extremely long and unwieldy word chains are commonplace.The concatenation of words in English may even allow for different meanings … > Northern Irish. The first … oil, wife, It refers to a prominent hill in Shropshire called “the Wrekin” – pronounced “REE-kin” – which can be seen for miles around. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech. Part of Speech: adjective. Past tense (weak verbs):  -it after plosives (big the use of their facilities, and also contracts with tutors from those institutions, but does This means “to put up with less than was expected or promised”. this/thir, that/thae, thon/thon, yon/yon. here to learn more. You should also read… A Brief History of the English Language 14 of the Most Fascinating Word Origins... Getting to grips with the best of English-language literature can be hard for those learning English as a foreign language. We use cookies to ensure that we give you For example, an English person might say “I’m going to have a root in the wardrobe”, meaning that they’re going to hunt around in the wardrobe for something; but an Australian would laugh at this because to them, “root” is a rude word. singular (they wis, instead of they were). muin (moon), poor... /oi/, /ai/, and final /ei/ > /'i/, e.g. On the other hand, many verbs that are strong in standard initial f often becomes v (finger > vinger). poofter], China --  mate / friend  [from China plate = The Birmingham accent – part of the ‘Black Country’ dialect, which refers to the name given to this part of the Midlands, formerly ‘black’ from coal mining – is affectionately known as “the Brummie accent”. Common diminutives in -ie:  lass > lassie, hoose The British Isles is made up many, many different accents and dialects – more than 37 dialects at the last count. Street, Bristol BS1 4EF. ), a feature of Aussie life that forms a major part … Across the UK, a bread roll might be referred to in different regions as a “bun”, a “bap”, or a “barm cake”, among other things – all essentially the same thing, but referred to differently. It might surprise you to learn that all living languages change, all the time. American) The New Zealand English dialect has influences from the native Maori tongue. Psychoneuroendocrinological. shuin Kansas...), Appalachia (western Virginia, West Virginia, eastern only in The Northern dialect closely resembles the southern-most Scottish dialects. So, the expression means “I haven’t a clue”, or “I don’t know”. A “barbie” is a “barbecue” (not the Barbie dolls we’re used to in the UK! Interrogative pronouns: hoo, wha, whan, whase, whaur, This term is added to the end of sentences, particularly those in which a point is being made – “That’s mine, byrway”. It’s so famous for its rhyming slang that it’s difficult to find examples of specific words that don’t arise from it; but they do exist, as these three examples show. initial h is dropped, so house becomes /aus/ (or even aught and naught (pronounced /aut/ or /out/ and /naut/ or throat. That answer is similarly murky, but according to at least one study, the average 20-year-old native English speaker knows an average of 42,000 words. Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, together with its 1993 Addenda Section, includes some 470,000 entries. Standard Hawaiian English is part of the Western dialect family but shows less influence from the early New England dialect than any other American dialect. English as it’s spoken “Down Under” has many words influenced by the native Aboriginal language, and plenty of its own. This describes an angry reaction to something, as in, “He flipped out when I told him I was leaving.”, This means “a lot of money”, as in “he’s on megabucks in his new job”, or “I couldn’t afford the laptop, it was megabucks.”. It has many words borowed from the original Hawaiian as well as some from the other Asian languages mentioned above: aloha, hula, kahuna, lei, luau, muumuu, poi, ukulele . /ai/ and /au/ become /œi/ and /œu/, respectively. English speakers from different countries and regions use a variety of different accents (systems of pronunciation) as well as various localised words and grammatical constructions; many different dialects can be identified based on these factors. The Northern dialect closely resembles the southern-most Scottish dialects. The short answer is: about a million,” he told RD.com. This refers to someone very happy or content. It has been estimated that the vocabulary of English includes roughly 1 million words (although most linguists would take that estimate with a chunk of salt, and some have said they wouldn't be surprised if it is off the mark by a quarter-million); that tally includes the myriad names of … for many It retains many old Scandinavian words, such as bairn for child, and not only keeps its r's, but often rolls them. This was Anglo-Norman, a French dialect. No one knows. variants), where GA changes it to /d/. person (shoes), coo > kye (cows). Kentucky, boot, good, Like many languages, English allows the formation of compound words by fusing together shorter words (e.g. To this may be added around 9,500 derivative words included as subentries. about, house, cow, now... (often We start with an accent that doesn’t have many fans in the UK. After French, Latin and Viking (and Old English of course, but that is English), the Greek language has contributed more words to modern English than any other – perhaps 5%.. In some ways, English, French and German are almost like three brothers and sisters that grew up together. have a butchers -- take a look [from butcher's hook = spelled oo Over time, around 10,000 French words (typically with Latin roots) came into common usage in England. brave > /braiv/, etc. There are three articles in English, and they are some of the most frequently used words: 1. the 2. a 3. an final unstressed i is pronounced /i/, where GA uses /i:). Doubt you know anything even close to a million words? /ou/). Wales was a separate country before being incorporated into the United Kingdom, and as such, many of its inhabitants still speak the Welsh language. This means “walking” – “we’re taking the Waiwai express to town” would mean “we’re walking to town”. The English language is forever changing. In wider English vocabulary, a “teddy” is a toy stuffed bear. /ig'lz/, /eig/ > /eg/, so plague is prnounced /pleg/, /u:r/ > /or/, so sure sounds the same as shore, very and ferry become /vœri:/ and /fœri:/, /st/ > /sht/ at the beginning of words, so street is whit. Another word for “potatoes”. Jonnie Robinson is Lead Curator for Spoken English at the British Library. To demonstrate the enormous variety to be found in the way English is spoken in different parts of the country – and the world – we give you three illustrative words and phrases each from a selection of well-known English dialects. initial s often becomes z (singer > zinger). /toim/, When speaking English, the Welsh have a pleasantly lyrical accent often described as “sing-song”, and there are a few words that are often referred to as “Wenglish” – a hybrid between Welsh and English. The Essex accent is regarded as a milder form of the London accent, but this part of the country has also developed its own set of interesting words and phrases that people elsewhere in the country might not understand. The term “duck and dive” means hiding from trouble. Today, English Language has the largest number of speakers, somewhere around two billion on earth. A dialect is a variety of a language that differs from the standard language, in this case RP. would > I likes, we likes, etc. strong verbs, as in standard English). Although a Germanic language in its sounds and grammar, the bulk of English vocabulary is in fact Romance or Classical in origin. As well as subtle differences in spelling (for example, Americans write “s” as “z” in some circumstances, such as “realize” instead of “realise”), there are numerous specific words and phrases that are unique to America. The most outstanding version is Geordie, the dialect of the Newcastle area. For example, is the Ge… This essentially means “We’re all God’s children”, or, if “Jock Tamson” is seen as a personification of Scotland, “we’re all children of Scotland” – that is, “we’re all equal”. eastern Tennessee), Mississippi-Gulf (including Alabama, Louisiana, eastern There are lots more expressions along similar lines, too. This list of the longest words in the English language could score you major points on your next game — if you can remember how to spell them. For a good illustration of what the West Country accent sounds like, refer to the popular West Country band, The Wurzels. Some languages inflect much less. Absolutely. More than likely, each different country where English is spoken has a unique dialect, e.g. look], plates -- feet [from plates of meat = feet], trouble --  wife [from trouble and strife = wife], whistle -- suit [from whistle and flute = suit], Jimmy --  urinate [from Jimmy Riddle = piddle], Bertie Woofter --  gay man [from Bertie Woofter = /o/ > /a:/, e.g. are weak in Scottish English:  sell > sellt, tell "pure" vowels (/e:/ rather than /ei/, /o:/ rather than etc. This dialect is traditionally spoken by London’s working class. We’ve already covered Cockney rhyming slang in our previous post on English slang, but this article would be incomplete without a mention of this notable English dialect. This distinctive dialect, characterised by its rising and falling tones and the use of “youse” instead of “you” as the second person pronoun, has an extensive vocabulary of slang, of which the following are some examples. If asked what they have been doing, a Cockney might respond by saying “duckin’ and divin’”, which is simply a non-committal answer that someone might give if they don’t wish to be specific. The truth is, although it may be called Standard English, it is anything but standard. This site can help you evaluate your progress in English language learning, both ESL (learning English as a second language) and EFL (learning English as a foreign language). I like, we like, etc. This is an expression of negativity, broadly synonymous with the more widely used “gutted”. According to the “Oxford English Dictionary”, there are at least 350 words in English dictionaries (most of them thankfully quite obscure) that owe their existence … New Jersey), North central (upper Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, the This essentially means “oh my God”, and it’s the phrase all non-Yorkshire people say when they want to replicate this distinctive dialect. How many words are there in the English language? and many diphthongs change, sometimes dramatically: time > (ken > American English is often derided by UK English speakers, who sometimes see it as unnecessarily messing with the English language; the term “Americanism” is a derogatory way of describing a word or phrase originating in America that’s crept into use in UK English. ake (oak), bate (boat), hame (home), saut (salt), law, aw (all)... /ou/ > /a:/, e.g. Oxford, Imperial College London, and the Universities of Cambridge, St. Andrews, and Yale, for Source 1 and Source 2 English, as you know, has … luved). There are more than 1,700 true cognates , words that are identical in the two languages. head], dicky --  shirt [from dicky dirt = shirt], jugs  --  ears [from jugs of beers = ears], daisies  --  boots [from daisy roots = boots], bird --  prison [from bird lime = time, as in doing In English as a whole, the word “tidy” means neat and ordered, but in Wales, it takes on a whole new meaning. hoosie... Demonstratives come in four pairs (singular/plural):  Dakotas), Philadelphia area (inc. eastern Pennsylvania, southern New > “Bairns” is a Scottish word for children, and Jock Tamson – also known as John Thomson – is thought to have been a 19th-century vicar who referred to his congregation as “ma bairns”. It’s a bit like the general word “dear”, as in “How are you bab?”. This is a Maori greeting meaning “hello”, but it’s common to see it around New Zealand used in an English context. tide... final /ai/ > /i/, e.g. Some languages inflect much more than English. He has worked on two nationwide surveys of regional speech, the Survey of English Dialects and BBC Voices, and is on the editorial team for the journal English Today. Does that make Spanish richer in word count? Words from more than 350 languages have entered English in this way. English You should also read… 15 Great English Words You Probably Won’t Have Learned 14 of the Funniest English Synonyms This is the language of English... About the Author Stephanie Allen read Classics and English at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, and is currently researching an MA in English Literature. It retains many old Scandinavian words, such as bairn for child, and not only keeps its r's, but often rolls them. company registered in England as company number 6045196, registered office at 14 King The expression “wanged out” (or just “wanged”) means “exhausted”. Overview. It’s a dialect made famous – or infamous – by the television series The Only Way is Essex, with modern Essex sayings (used among the younger generation) including the vulgar “well jell”, which means “very jealous”. mate], Khyber --  buttocks [from Khyber Pass = ass], taters -- cold  [from potato mold  = cold], loaf  --  head  [from loaf of bread = “Wow, English has a lot of words!” Have you ever thought that before? t between vowels retained as /t/ (or a glottal stop, in This saying is common in and around the Black Country, including the counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and others. This site can help you evaluate your progress in English language learning, both ESL (learning English as a second language) and EFL (learning English as a foreign language). Statements phrased as rhetorical questions: Mad as a gumtree full of galahs -- insane, Happy as a bastard on Fathers’ Day -- very happy, Dry as a dead dingo’s donger -- very dry indeed, footy -- football (Australian rules, of course), t in middle of words pronounced as d's ('pretty' becomes Click This Glaswegian saying means “I haven’t a scooby”, which refers to the children’s cartoon character Scooby Doo – which rhymes with the word “clue”. Image credits: banner; Birmingham; Essex; Newcastle; Yorkshire; London; Somerset; Wales; Glasgow; USA; New Zealand. in aunt, registered trade marks of Oxford Programs Limited (Oxford Royale) in multiple countries. It’s actually slang for “broken”, so it’s roughly akin to the general English term “smashing”, which isn’t fixed to a particular dialect. Proper devoed ” would mean “ well and truly gutted ” accent sounds like, refer to any female.! In and around the Black Country, including the counties of Herefordshire,,... 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