Why the Black Country shouldn’t be confused with Birmingham

Please don’t refer to me as a Brummie


Many university students with distinctive accents discover in the first ten minutes of freshers, people will often generalise that you come from an area that you don’t.

Us Yam Yam’s ALWAYS get called Brummies. We’re not – I repeat not, Brummies, and here are some reasons why…

Geography

We are north-west of Birmingham and up to an hours drive away.

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The famous Black Country Bus

Our dialect is different

In the Black Country we even have our own alphabet, which you can find a video of on YouTube. “How are you?” becomes “ow bin ya?”, “baby” becomes “babby”, “canal” becomes “cut”, “sweet” becomes “suck”. We’ve basically created our own variation of the English language, which often confuses outsiders but to be honest we dow fink yow spake propa neither.

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A cob

We got our flag before the Brummies

In the Black Country, we even have our own flag. Of course, Birmingham followed suit but we got in there first. It was designed by a student in 2012 and was the catalyst for the creation of Black Country Day which falls on 14th July every year since 2014. The date is the anniversary of the creation of the World’s first steam engine, the Newcomen Engine, built here in 1712.

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Black by day, red by night

Our food is miles better

Now there is something I myself am exceptionally proud of where I come from for, battered chips. To be the real deal, they’ve got to be orange in colour, mega crispy on the outside and super soft on the inside and covered in lots of salt and vinegar.

If you want a bread roll round here you’ll be asking for a cob and a faggot isn’t a derogatory term, it’s an pork offal made meatball that you eat with peas, mash and gravy. Our pork scratchings are world famous and chances are, if you’re a meat eater you’ve sampled some in a pub anywhere in the UK. Teddy Gray’s is the only place to get your suck from, or sweets to you non-Yam Yam’s.

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The holy grail of chippies across the country

Merry Hill beats the Bullring hands down

We have been shopping at Merry Hill since 1984. As children we threw pennies (or put bubble bath) in the fountains that ran through the centre of the mall, we rode on the Monorail, we spent ages watching the cartoons in the Warner Brother’s shop, and our parents took us to McDonald’s PlayDome for a Happy Meal and the play area.

Even with the revamp of the Bullring, we still prefer the ease and free parking of a trip to Merry Hell. Birmingham may have the Frankfurt Christmas Market but at Merry Hill we have the yearly funfair and the questionable safety of the Crazy Mouse, what more could a child want? Our emo years were also spent at the MOTH (Man on the Horse)in Wolvo, if Pigeon Park in Brum was too much of a trek (or you felt safer on the 256 than the 9). Yeah Birmingham had Oasis, but we had Rowfers…

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Topshop/Topman was the place to be, even better if you got a job there

We have Banks Brewery

The Black Country boasts a plethora of fantastic breweries. Banks’s is the oldest and based in Wolverhampton. But newer breweries such as Enville Ales and Kinver Brewery are fast becoming hot in the revived ale scene. Sarah Hughes, Pardoes, Bathams, Holdens and Sadlers are a few more to name.

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Sarah Hughes Pale Amber

Big up the Baggies

True Yam Yam’s are Baggies fans, or if you’re from the Wolverhampton end, Wolves fans. West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers are known for having a fiercer football rivalry than Milwall and West Ham, Green Street eat your heart out. More importantly, more of a rivalry than Aston Villa and Birmingham City. Although Baggies supporters still don’t like Villa supporters either. Dad’s across the region tell their daughters to never come home with a boyfriend that supports Villa.

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Boing Boing

Our history is richer

During the Industrial Revolution Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall’s pits produced so much soot, the skies and most the buildings were notably black. Hence, The Black Country.

The anchors for the Titanic were made in Netherton. Queen Victoria shut her carriage curtains as she traveled through, offended by the industrious landscape, and Charles Dickens even gave it a mention in The Old Curiosity Shop. Even as adults we’re all still impartial to a day trip to the Black Country Museum (filming location for Peaky Blinders; which isn’t historically accurate!), plus they sell bostin’ fish and chips!

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Our beloved Black Country Museum

Our celebs

Lenny Henry pretty much put the Back Country on the map in more recent times. Dudley born and bred, you’ve met him or someone you know has (he tried to get off with my mum once). Not to mention Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin and Noddy Holder from Slade.

Throw in minor celebrities such as Wagner (of X Factor fame, past Pensnett local) and chances are if you live round here you’ve met at least one of them. The Moran sisters grew up in Wolverhampton, and by the way the accents in Raised By Wolves are totally inaccurate.

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My 5 minutes of fame on Mark Rhodes’ Twitter account

Our Zoo is better than their SeaLife

Birmingham may have the SeaLife Centre but we have Dudley Zoo! Complete with Dudley Castle and the seat lift, our zoo has been around since 1937 has housed every animal imaginable and despite no longer having elephants, polar bears or an orca as an attraction; Dudley Zoo is still one of the main attractions in the area. The 11th century castle was once visited by Elizabeth I as well as Elizabeth II more recently, not too shabby for Dudley!

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Simples

We’re fed up of having to resign to being called Brummies just because people can’t actually be bothered to understand British geography. We’re proud Yam Yam’s, and if the Brummie’s can acknowledge that everyone else can. It’s bad enough already having to tone your accent down because nobody can understand you.