Why the West Country accent is actually irresistible
It sounds like cider in a rural pub garden
There’s a reason the hobbits in Lord of The Rings speak with West Country accents – like the Shire, the West Country is a haven of peace and quiet which doesn’t do drama.
Full of farms and village pubs and green fields, not to mention Stonehenge, the Jurassic Coast, the Roman Baths, gurt and crumbling castles, the West Country is where Britain’s past lies. And yet, despite that grandeur of years past, the West Country accent is quietly understated – it doesn’t make a fuss, like Essex or Newcastle.
It’s an accent that rambles on, wombling through country lanes, down the combes, through the dappled sunlight of willow bows and oak trees. It’s no wonder the West Country has produced some of the best English literature ever, all read in a broad, friendly voice, of course.
The West Country accent is also by far the best accent on the planet to grumble in. Grumbling is pure onomatopoeia for the West Country: the slow rumble of discontent, all muttered at a leisurely pace and pitch that leave you in no doubt that you’ve fucked up, but with no clue what you’ve done wrong.
As such, it’s not a clever or classy accent. It’s not slick and sexy like received pronunciation. Everyone sounds a bit slow, a bit drunk. But remember, most people who have a West Country accent are Tories.
And they’re the worst kind of Tories too – the compassionate ones, the ones who make you a lovely cream tea or bake you a cake, then go vote for George Osborne to destroy the welfare state. They’re the Tories you fall in love with, then hate fuck because they said that they thought Nigel Farage was an alright lad.
But the West Country accent is pure sex. It’s one of the last truly rural accents left – weekenders from London are infecting the schools and communities with their posh voices. It’s a sad day when everyone you meet says “alright” and pronounces the T. The West Country accent is slowly dying, and that gives it an exoticism that contrasts with its homeliness.
So when someone opens their mouth and no consonants come out, don’t think about that linguistic contortion. Instead, think about how they spend the summer under the sun, and the winter wrapped up with wood-burning stoves.
Think about how good-looking they are. They’ve got the muscles of a woodcutter, the farmer’s tan, and cooking skills unrivaled in Britain. It’s an accent where “lad” means young man, rather than something you scream out loud in Oceana.
You know when you sleep over that they’ve got a shotgun in the closet, that they’ve got their own food in the garden, and that the 4×4 in the shed will still run after the apocalypse happens. And that’s why the the accent works – when the apocalypse does happen, there’s no place you’d rather be than in the arms of a Dorset or Devonshire lass.
Let’s summarise that further: good-looking, good at looking after you, and running out of time. The hobbits lived the good life, but saved the world. It’s about time you let a West Country accent save your world too.
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