BBC Voices

Conversation in Garston about accent, dialect and attitudes to language.

  • Add a note
    Log in to add a note at the bottom of this page.
  • All notes
  • My notes
  • Hide notes

Richard CauldwellDon't talk like that, don't talk like yer from Liverpool," she said because we'll lose marks, it's like she was saying to us "... talk like you're from somewhere else" ... It's cos she just expects us to be posh ... when we're not.
Posted by Richard Cauldwell on 15/10/2012

Please click to leave a note

The British Library Board acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors to this recording and the rights of those not identified.
Legal and ethical usage »

Tags (top 25):
(No tags found for this item)
  • Type


  • Duration


  • Shelf mark


  • Recording date


  • Is part of (Collection)

    BBC Voices Recordings

  • Recording locations

    Garston, Merseyside

  • Interviewees

    Chamonix, 1992 Feb. 15- (speaker, female, school pupil), John, 1965 April 23- (speaker, male, self-employed), Lynnie, 1970 May 09- (speaker, female, project co-ordinator), Megan, 1993 March 07- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Campbell, Jodie, 1981 June 17- (speaker, female)

  • Producers

    Radio Merseyside

  • Abstract

    [00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves. Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Words used to mean unattractive, dispute over meaning of minging. Discussion of language used by different generations of speakers, mention words used by younger speakers and what they mean. Definition of scally and chav, both meaning young person in cheap trendy clothes and jewellery, what they wear. Words used to mean lacking money and rich. Comment that younger speakers would be critical of people lacking money, would call them names. Discussion of words used to mean annoyed.[00:09:44] Discussion of modern family situations, comment that benefit fiddlers make it seem like there are more one-parent families than there actually are. Differences between speech in front of friends/parents, at home/in front of strangers, in front of children/older people; comment that some young people she works with have no respect for anybody in the way they speak. Discussion of use of swear words, story of eight year old son swearing at football match/to his sister, where he picked up swear words; acceptability of various swear words, difference between naughty words/not nice words; young speaker thinks its fine to use swear words when recounting their use by someone else, her mother disagrees. Discussion of changing speech to suit different situations to show respect, this applies to both children and parents.[00:20:15] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Comment that word for drunk varies depending on how drunk a person is; words meaning moody are learnt from parents. Discussion of parents influence on their children, daughter similar to mother, son similar to father; anecdote about father and son ratting together.[00:24:18] Continuation of discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Discussion of use of American English, thinks this is caused by influence of American television and rap music on young peoples speech; anecdote about young speaker watching a lot of American music television; how new words are learnt from television and spread around friends, examples of these. Discussion about back slang, way to hide meaning of conversation in various situations, examples of it, how its formed, its origin and use, often used to disguise swear words. Meaning and use of open the window and get a room. Mention that parents never used to swear.[00:31:50] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. Description of ice cream van/mobile shop/candy floss shop coming round to house. Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING, words used to describe EMOTIONS.[00:35:01] Discussion of how people react to Liverpudlian accent; story of being turned away from hostel in Lake District because of accent, reasons why people like/dislike it; comment that reactions are affected by how Liverpool is portrayed in media, this is different to the reality. Description of different areas of Liverpool, each have their own image within Liverpool itself, examples of different dialects and types of Scouser, including Woollyback/Plastic Scouser, how dialects mix as families move around the area; where dialect is learnt. Discussion of reactions to other peoples accents, more important to younger speakers, comment that as you get older you realise that it doesnt really matter where people are from. Anecdote about purposely wearing Liverpool kit when using Manchester airport to provoke a reaction. Comment that accents shouldnt be discouraged, theyre part of where youre from; anecdote about being told to drop her accent when on radio show, she couldnt; being told by posh school teacher to avoid talking like theyre from Liverpool when singing in competition in order to do better, felt like she was ashamed of them; speakers are proud of where theyre from; comment that most people are welcoming, story of being suspected of intending to steal because they were Scousers.[00:45:35] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Description of local cinder-path, word learnt from father. Description of older speaker growing up in local area in comparison to now; mention egging when younger, began bird watching when he grew out of it.[00:49:01] Description of local nightlife, what speakers do in evenings; explanation of designated Section 30 areas, restricts where youths can go in city to combat anti-social behaviour, young speakers hate it, story of being stopped by undercover police on way home, anecdote about woman questioning police removal of two youths from bus stop because they werent actually doing anything wrong; comment that a large gang of youths might intimidate their grandmother, this makes them more sensitive to feelings of other older people. Mention different groups of youths in various local areas. Description of growing up under bridge in Garston, sing song about living under bridge in Garston, used to make up songs about other school when young and vice versa; story about playing in mud under bridge on Mersey river bank as children, people used to wear mud instead of shorts because they only had one pair, anecdote about brother enjoying playing under the bridge. Explanation of connotations associated with living under the bridge/by the park in Garston, description of how reputation has changed over time, affected by local industry, tan yards make it smell there now, regeneration has caused sharp increase in house prices; comment that he didnt notice shops/factories closing down as a child, affected each other; mention that it was the second most deprived ward in the country in 1996, that gave it a bad name, actually lots of really nice people live there who are committed to rebuilding community; area is being regenerated and unemployment has fallen so people are moving back there. Continuation of discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS.

  • Description

    BBC warning: this interview contains strong or offensive language. Recording made for BBC Voices project of a conversation guided by a BBC interviewer. The conversation follows a loose structure based on eliciting opinions about accents, dialects, the words we use and people's attitude to language.

  • Texts

    Linguistic description of this item

  • Metadata record:

    View full metadata for this item

User notes for this item


Don't talk like that, don't talk like yer from Liverpool," she said because we'll lose marks, it's like she was saying to us "... talk like you're from somewhere else" ... It's cos she just expects us to be posh ... when we're not.

Posted by Richard Cauldwell, Teacher, Author, Speech in Action on 15/10/2012 12:43:00