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Accent and expression - step five

Irish and Scouse pronunciation

Here are a few examples of how the Irish accent has influenced how we speak in Liverpool.

  • In  the Irish pronunciation of words like 'bought' the 'T' sounds like an 'S'. We Scousers do the same.
  • Scousers pronounce the 'TH' in the word 'the' to sound like a 'D', as in 'We're de greatest'. We Scouseologists think we borrowed this from theIrish pronunciation.
  • In Irish the 'T' in some words can sound a bit like an 'H'. Scousers do that too, for example with the 'T' at the end of the words 'chocolate' and 'ticket'.
  • The Irish way of saying 'got' with no real 'T' sound at the end of it, turned into an 'R' sound in Scouse. So 'got on' becomes 'gorron' in Scouse. You gerrit?
  • In some Irish accents the 'K' can sound a bit like someone clearing their throat. This is possibly where the Liverpool pronunciation of words like 'dock' came from, but it's used more often in Scouse than in Irish.

So that's how Irish people coming to Liverpool helped to create the Scouse accent.

But the story isn't over, oh no. Scouse isn't disappearing like some regional accents. It's actually getting stronger. And it's spreading. 

Find out how far the Scouse accent is spreading in Step six.

Cartoon illustration of Professor Dr Watson