BBC Voices

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

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  • Is part of (Collection)

    BBC Voices Recordings

  • Recording locations

    Ballycastle, County Antrim

  • Interviewees

    Cunningham, Annie, 1981 Jan. 02- (speaker, female, marine biologist), Harrison, Dave, 1971 Nov. 13- (speaker, male, web developer), Hughes, Christine, 1972 Sept. 25- (speaker, female, doctor), Lafferty, Richard, 1943 Oct. 08- (speaker, male, taxi driver)

  • Interviewers

    Garrett, Conor, 1972 May 08- (speaker, male)

  • Producers

    Radio Ulster

  • Abstract

    [00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves, mention where they live. Mention words used to mean ‘mother/father’. Discussion about family life in Derry, importance of mother, father having to work away from home, memories of their parents, food their mothers cooked, washing day. [00:09:24] Description of memories of their Catholic upbringing. Mention word used to mean ‘to play truant’, derogatory words used by women in the past to describe men. [00:14:44] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Description of the houses they grew up in, memories of living there, bath-time on Saturday nights, smells of cooking. [00:20:50] Description of games they played as children. Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Discussion about lack of sex education when they were young. [00:24:32] Discussion about working in factories from when they were teenagers, not understanding the language used by older factory workers. [00:27:20] Mention words used to mean ‘attractive/unattractive’. Discussion about language used when courting. Anecdotes about courting boys when young, their boyfriends’ first visit to their family’s house, being physically punished by their parents. [00:44:57] Mention words used to mean ‘to rain lightly/to rain heavily/hot/cold/toilet’. Memories of home life in the past, how cold it was in the house, using outside toilet, life before electricity. [00:51:19] Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. Mention words used to mean ‘insane’. [00:55:43] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. Mention how they would describe women they don’t like. Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Attitudes towards men/women drinking alcohol in the past. Mention words for women who were perceived as being sexually promiscuous, language used to insult people for various reasons, nicknames for local people. [01:06:20] Speakers re-introduce themselves. Mention words used to mean ‘embarrassed’, various meanings of ‘scunnered’, uses of sarcasm. Mention words used to mean 'long soft seat in main room’, things that would have been in the main room of the house in the past, words used to mean ‘narrow walkway between or alongside buildings/moody’. More insults. [01:11:51] Discussion about language used at wakes/funerals, description of what happens at a wake, anecdotes about humorous incidents that happened at wakes. [01:19:18] Continuation of discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Description of clothes they wore when young, what was fashionable. [01:21:24] Stories about working in factory in the past, words for different jobs. [01:28:08] Discussion about language used in Derry, how they greet other people. Description of dishes/food eaten locally in the past. Mention words for parts of the body, words used to mean ‘hungry/word for something whose name you’ve forgotten’, words used to describe a person lacking in intelligence. [01:37:46] Discussion about their own speech, how they feel about it, changing their speech in different situations/when talking to different people, speaking quickly. Accents they like, other people’s attitudes towards their accent, Derry accent and what has influenced it. [01:43:39] Mention words used to mean ‘running water smaller than a river/pregnant/left-handed’. Discussion about attitudes towards pregnancy in the past. Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING. Mention words for various items of clothing, what they would say if they were going out without a coat. Speakers re-introduce themselves. Mention how local speech has changed over time.

  • 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. The four interviewees are all members of the Aquaholics Diving Club.

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