BBC Voices

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

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  • Is part of (Collection)

    BBC Voices Recordings

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  • Interviewees

    Arthur, Billie, 1930 June 29- (speaker, female, retired bus conductor), Gibb, Robert, (speaker, male, journalist), Richardson, Margaret, (speaker, female, legal secretary), Thomson, Sheila, (speaker, female, fish filleter)

  • Interviewers

    White, Claire, 1978 Oct. 29- (speaker, female)

  • Producers

    Radio Scotland

  • Abstract

    [00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves, mention where they have lived. Description of Torry (area of Aberdeen), how it has changed over time. Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING. Description of gansey (type of jersey).[00:06:46] Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Description of living in tenement housing in 1930s, close community, sharing facilities, washing clothes. Discussion about what their parents called each other, family nicknames used in past when local community was more close-knit, how way of life has changed over time in relation to change in housing, incomers integrating into local community.[00:22:09] Continuation of discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Anecdote about cousin from West Lothian misunderstanding Aberdeen word for boy; relative using Cockney word for woman which people in Torry found offensive. Discussion about meaning/use/origin of local words/phrases. Comment that people often add ie to the end of words in local area, for example bairnie for bairn. Anecdote about registrar getting angry because speaker named his daughter Kerrie. Discussion about prostitutes in Aberdeen.[00:36:21] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Discussion about names and uses of different rooms of house now and in past. Stories about living conditions in past, eating and preparing food. Anecdote about his birth.[00:49:32] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES.[00:54:50] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. Description of game played as children called kick a cannie.[00:59:21] Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS.[01:02:20] Discussion about use of swear words and attitudes towards swearing, how this has changed over time, use of swear words by fisher-people, trawler-men drinking and fighting when they were briefly back on land. Discussion about language used by fishing community, mention old word used to mean childs soft shoes worn for physical education, local Aberdeen pronunciation of words.[01:05:55] Discussion about attitudes towards their own speech, speaking proper English. Anecdotes about people thinking Scottish writing/speech was French. Mention connection between Scottish language and French and between Doric and German. Discussion about Doric language, other Scottish peoples inability to understand it. Speakers converse in Doric.[01:10:05] Discussion of words used to mean toilet/insane/annoyed/moody. Mention phrase used by mother. Speakers re-introduce themselves.

  • Description

    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. The four interviewees are all members of Torry Community Council in Aberdeen.

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