Skyscraper City Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was taking to some friends from around the country the other day and they pointed out that I pronounce 'year' and 'tooth' strangely.

For me, Year rhymes with Fur (Yur / Fur), for them it almost rhymed with 'Weir'.

Also, for me tooth rhymes with 'tough', for them it rhymed with 'Booth'.

All of my family say these words the exact same way as me, even those who were from Birmingham but no longer live here, which leads me to think it's a Birmingham thing? So how do you pronounce these words?
Please only those who themselves and their parents have always lived in Birmingham respond.

Thanks,
marmite747.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
384 Posts
I was taking to some friends from around the country the other day and they pointed out that I pronounce 'year' and 'tooth' strangely.

For me, Year rhymes with Fur (Yur / Fur), for them it almost rhymed with 'Weir'.

Also, for me tooth rhymes with 'tough', for them it rhymed with 'Booth'.

All of my family say these words the exact same way as me, even those who were from Birmingham but no longer live here, which leads me to think it's a Birmingham thing? So how do you pronounce these words?
Please only those who themselves and their parents have always lived in Birmingham respond.

Thanks,
marmite747.
I'm a born and bred brummie and maybe I'm a strange one then as I pronounce Year like Fur, but Tooth like Booth!
 

·
.
Joined
·
2,426 Posts
Ear with a Y, and 'two-th' for me.
 

·
ENTJ 8w9
Joined
·
11,993 Posts
Some other odd words have a 'w' in them. 'Phone' become 'pho-own', my GF also says 'shower' with an extra w too. :S

Hospital become 'hos-pickle', rather than hos-pee-tal.

'Eight' and 'angel' always make me laugh too.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,829 Posts
I was born in London and lived there for 30 years, but moved up to the Midlands and married a lady from Birmingham.

We do pronounce some words differently, but I dont think there is an right way of pronouncing them.

I say "tooth" to rhyme with booth with the emphasis on the "oo", for her it rhymes with rough (almost but not quite) with the emphasis on the "th" at the end.

I say "bath" with the emphasis on the "a" to rhyme with "laugh" (roughly), for her the emphasis is on the "th" again and rhymes with lath.

The book Mother Tonque by Bill Bryson covers in a very readable way the development of our language. He does cover the fact that words are pronounced differently in different parts of the country.

In fact when our language was growing and developing (middle ages, tudor times etc) words could be spelt very differently by different people (there was no standard way of spelling most words), and pronounced differently all over the country.

Often the spelling standardized on one "proper" way to spell it, but this did not always match how people SAID the word, which is why we have many words that dont sound the same as they are written.

Well worth a read of the book if you are at all interested in how our language developed.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mother-Tong...0084/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1288260431&sr=8-1
.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,829 Posts
If you have seen the film Shakespeare in Love you notice near the begining Shakespeare is sitting in his house writing out his signature. He tries various spellings, and then screws up the paper and throws it in the bin.

This is a little in-joke because there are 13 different signatures that still exist for Shakespeare, but he spells his name differently almost each time.

So in those days even your name did not have a standard spelling.

Also a little story from the Bill Bryson book that illustrates how English words took a long time to be standardized.

The story goes that in Tudor times a boat left central London along the Thames, to go out to sea. But it got into problems and had to dock in the Thames estuary, just a few miles up river.

Some of the men rowed to shore to find a local farmer who could sell them some eggs and meat, but they found when they spoke to the person they could not make themselves understood.

This was just 20 miles up river from central London, and they were almost speaking a different language.

So while today we think we all speak and write the same English it took a long time to get to that stage, but local variations still exist.

I still have trouble understanding Alex Ferguson the Man. United manager, with his strong Glasgow accent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,695 Posts
No one in the UK can say devastated like a true Brummie, it always comes out as 'devustated', always makes laugh inappropriatly whilst the news reports a sad story....
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top