My Brummie accent doesn’t make me unattractive
No, we’re not from ‘Burrrrminnnum’
It was decided earlier this week that the Birmingham accent is the worst in the country. Brummies are used to this kind of hate. Not only is our dialect officially “worse than staying silent”, but we’ve always been stereotyped. We’re not the politicians or esteemed professionals, but the first shit act on the X-Factor, or the yob on the news in the Adidas tracksuit shouting at the camera. It doesn’t matter who we are or how clever we may be, our accent and hometown always makes people think we’re less intelligent by default.
People assume all of us have the same monotonous Brummie drawl. Not true. The amount of times someone has tried to impersonate my accent and have ended up sounding like Sloth from the Goonies is ridiculous. Everyone we meet feels an inescapable need to inflict their misinformed and terrible impressions on us: “Oh, so you’re from Burrrrminnnum?”. You wouldn’t mimic a scouser or cockney in the same way, so why do people see Brum as a free ticket to spout off their appalling attempt at our accent?
The worst thing about this is that my accent seems to demean my achievements, or at least makes them an exception to the rule. It’s ridiculous. I recently had this unbelievable conversation with a friend:
Friend: “What mark did you average in first year?”
Friend: “Yeah but you’re from Burminum so it doesn’t count.”
Don’t people know creative geniuses such as Wagner have emerged from the Black Country? But seriously, I’ve worked hard to get where I am, and I’m tired of people dismissing me just because of the way I speak. Besides, our accent is one of the most soft and soothing around – how could you not like it?
I’ve also lost count the amount of times I’ve been asked to repeat myself. It’s as if people deliberately make you say things again just for a laugh. This reaction is only reinforced by the sense that people play a game of avoiding the local Brummie. Wherever we are, you walk away. As soon as we open our mouths, you switch off. Is it because of our informality? Or are you all just judgemental pricks?
The worst is when we start conversations with new people. They often tend to skip the small talk and get straight to the point: “Burminum then? How shit is it on a scale of one to ten?”. Of course some parts of Brum are rough – but that’s the same for any big city like London or Manchester. There’s also some amazing parts which people forget. There’s a reason why we were named England’s second capital city and, more prestigiously, why we hold the title of curry capital too.
Why do people always insist on asking ask us if we are from the North? Yes, we are from the North if your location is south of Birmingham. If you live North of Birmingham, then we are from the south of your location. Literally speaking, we live slightly West in the middle of the country – you know, the West Midlands? No? Didn’t think so. Please refrain from ever asking a Brummie if they are “from the North”.
All this is to say that we’re really not at all dumb. Brum residents are down-to-earth people who look for the very best in every individual. If you can look past our accents and not judge us too harshly, I’m sure you will be surprised at just how intelligent and friendly we can be. So quit with the stereotypes and stop assuming we’re all dumb dole-dossers scraping the barrels of society. If you’re really in doubt, go and experience all the things that make Birmingham one of the best places to live in the country – from our shiny new library and train station to our legendary nightlife.
Oh, and by the way, we live in Birmingham. Not ‘Burminum’. Please get it right next time.