A is for Accents

I AM so posh I have eaten Beluga caviar sprinkled with saffron strands on a  bed of toasted olive focaccia. OK, it was fishpaste sprinkled with Sainsbury's dried mixed  herbs on toasted Mother's Pride - but at least I've heard of the other stuff. I have driven a Ferrari but dumped its owner in favour of the dearly beloved in his Morris 1100. Best move I ever made. The DB has now "upgraded" to a white Ford Transit van. That's social mobility for you.

Those who know me will  be completely shocked to hear I was not brought up posh. (No they won't.) My childhood was spent on a farm in the heart of rural Devon with two parents, six brothers and sisters and an extended family of lots of aunts, uncles and cousins. We all talked with a Devon accent. 

My father trained a few racehorses and as he became more successful had to mix with posher people but at no time did  he ever deviate from the accent he was born with and everyone loved him for it. Lord Oaksey once rode a horse of ours at Newton Abbot races and was unseated at the penultimate fence. When my father asked him in his broad accent: "What the bleddy 'ell 'appened?" Lord Oaksey replied in the poshest accent imaginable: "I fell orf the bugga!" They got on well, despite coming from opposite ends of the social scale.

So Dad always stayed true to his roots. Unlike me. I went to a grammar school after passing the 11+ and turned posh overnight - well, I didn't want to get beaten up. I am now a bit of a chameleon and my accent tends to match whoever I am talking to. I don't know I'm doing it and it can sometimes sound like I'm taking the piss but I'm not; I'm just crap at accents.

My foreign friends, especially those from America, think there are only two accents in Britain. We either talk like the Queen (my horsbund end I) or like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins (cor blimey, matey, let's get up them apples and pears). In fact, the accent changes about every 50 miles. 

So if you want to know what the Devon accent sounds like, here are April and June.


My favourite April and June video is the one below. I love the punchline!

If anyone wants a translation, I'm happy to provide it!
I have, probably stupidly, included two blogs in this year's A to Z Challenge. My other one is over here.


  1. Those ladies are a real hoot! Love that accent. Makes me think of one of my favorite movies Fargo. Yah! You Betcha.

    I’m exploring different types of dreams and their meanings during the #AtoZChallenge at Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Blogs

  2. Very Nice Post...

    Welcome in the letter "A"... thank you!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2016]

    Stop over and find a free "SIX STRINGS: BLOGGING AtoZ CHALLENGE" Here: http://www.jmhdigital.com/

    You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

  3. Hello Stephen - I've always thought the Devon accent bore a resemblance to some American ones. Maybe it's because The Mayflower set off from Plymouth, which is in Devon!

  4. Thanks for comment, Jeremy. I think I can guess who or what is nuts! Nothing wrong with being nuts - people or places!

  5. Grannies in aprons telling jokes - How could you not love that? Fits in well with my Apron post!

    Following along on your April journey ~

    www.thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com (No. 114 on the list)

  6. Thank you for the wonderful clips! Don't you just hate the stereotyping with accents, or that folks think only two exist in your whole country. I get teased by one cosmopolitan from Chicago who can here Kentucky in my voice. My partner and I here in the United States' Ohio region think we sound just like the neutrally voiced folks on the news. I wish I had a cool accent. Oh, well. She's not the only one who has teased.

    I’m on the A to Z Challenge list at #1340 today. Best wishes! - Darla M. Sands
    Awakening Dreams and Conquering Nightmares with a Pen

  7. Oh they are too funny! Thanks for educating me about the number of accents - you're right, I had no idea.

    Good luck on the challenge! We're doing “I’ve Got The Music In Me” this year on The Road We’ve Shared. – looking at how important music is in the Down syndrome community. I hope you’ll stop by and see/hear! http://theroadweveshared.com/category/a-to-z-blogging-challenge-2016

  8. Haha, love a Devon accent! I'm teaching abroad right now and I always come across the same phrase: "Oh, I love the British accent!" Like, which one? Then I have to explain different UK accents (and I'm crap at doing them myself) and the fact that mine is neutral with a hint of Northern in there. ;)

    Really enjoyed your first A to Z post and I look forward to seeing more of them! :)

  9. hehe, cute tale. Yes, accents are everywhere. I moved to Ecuador 18 months ago and was reading at a Spoken Word event. A lady came rushing up to me afterward and demanded to know where I was from. I told her a bit taken back and bewildered at her urgency, only to discover we were from the same state in the U.S. and she recognized my accent.
    Dropping by from the A to Z, I hope you have a glorious month!
    @ScarlettBraden from
    Frankly Scarlett

  10. Enjoyed your post. Never much thought about accents in a long time. Have a great month on the challenge. Look forward to more of what you write.

    @MontanaHens (Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter)

  11. I had to re-tune my ears to listen to those stories. Years since I heard Devon accents. I spent a week in Devon in '62 on my first honeymoon and thoroughly enjoyed the county. Second honeymoon was in Cornwall.

    I don't know if you realise it, but there are lots of accents on this side of the pond too. For instance, in Canada, the people from Newfoundland sound just like the Irish and I have no doubt they have differences between the various areas. British Columbia, I'm told, sounds more British. In North Carolina there is an area where they say the accent is the original British from the 1600's or thereabouts. I couldn't understand a word.

    Did you know the word posh comes from when people sailed out to India and always chose the side of the ship which was most comfortable because of the sun, they were known as Port Out Starbord Home passengers.

  12. I love to hear accents (most of them) and the Devon you posted is not exception. The worst is the Baltimore accent. You can look it up on youtube. I lived in a Baltimore (Maryland, USA) suburb for 11 years after getting married, and have spent the past 18 years trying to never sound like it!

    Happy A to Z-ing.

  13. Those Devon ladies were quite musical, varying their tone as much as the Welsh. Can you talk as posh as Lady Penelope? That would be something!

  14. I love April and June - the Devon border is so close to where I live but the accent is so different from Somerset's. Except that you hardly hear the latter amongst the younger generation....

  15. As a north Manchester girl who's lived in Spain for over 40 years, I so loved your post. Had total culture shock when I went to Bury Grammar School: couldn't understand the girls from the cotton towns - Manchester and Lancashire accents are so different. Love your humour. :)

  16. Screwed up my sign in. It's me of the A-Z of Bullshit.

  17. Thank you Valerie and Rachel. If you leave me your blog addresses, I'll visit!

  18. Laughed out loud with the Devon ladies. Didn't understand all the words but got the gist just fine.

  19. Love listening to different accents.
    I tend to pick up on some accents, not to be insulting but the more I listen the more I pick it up.
    Best of luck with the A to Z Challenge!!!

  20. Saw your comments on Valerie Collins's blog, liked your blog's name, and surfed on over as a fellow A-to-Z-er.

    I'm DYING!!! I laughed out loud! Lord, they're characters, and mighty fine storytellers! And their aprons are just about perfection. Thanks for this slice of joy tonight!