Sheffield Dialect and Pronunciation

The Sheffield dialect is primarily a Yorkshire accent with heavy influence from North Derbyshire. The accent does vary from the north to south of the city, with people from northern parts having more of a Barnsley influence. The dialect is one most historic varieties of English, with roots in older languages such as Old English and Old Norse, with many words being traced back to the Viking occupation of Britain (forgetoday.com).

In the Sheffield dialect many words are dropped or shortened, and many letters are dropped from words.

The most noticeable example, and the reason for the nickname Dee Dah is the use of a d- sound instead of th-, and is particularly noticeable in second person pronouns, especially archaic words such as "Thee" and "Tha" becoming "Dee" and "Dah".

"The" is often dropped or shortened as in many other Northern or Midlands dialects. The sound is often represented by people outside these areas as a long T sound with the accentuation of the T as "tert" or "tu". For example, "Going to the pub" is often mockingly pronounced "Gun tert'pub" with the emphasis on "tert", however the "The" is actually changed to a "Uh" sound or a pause, as "Gun'ut' pub". However, a statement such as "I am going to go the pub" would be "I'm gunna gu tert pub", but with the emphasis on "gu" (go).

H is generally dropped, especially at the beginning of a word, such as Hello, becoming "'ello" or "'ey up". The lack of h- often causes an r- sound to be made when two words are spoken in quick succession, for example "Oolaroop" (Hula Hoop) or "Medderall" (Meadowhall Shopping Centre). 

T can be dropped or changed to an r- sound when two words are pronounced in quick succession, such as "Shurrup" (Shut up) or "Whorrabout" (What about).

The u- sound is very rarely a long dragged out sound as other Northern accents, nor is the a- sound like accents further South, The pronounciation of words like butter uses a uh- sound.

Like many Yorkshire accents are non-rhotic, ie they drop the r- before a consonant, as "father".

Vowel sounds are often extended and contorted to turn o- into "oy" or "oyer", and e- sounds into "ear". This particularly noticeable in the north of the city

Board becomes "Boo-erd"

Floor becomes "Floo-er"

Cheese becomes "Chayz" or "Chay-erz"

Grease becomes "Grace" or "Grey-es"

Hole becomes "oyerl". A place for storing coal, becomes a "Coyl oyerl". Oil is also pronounced "Oyerl"

No becomes "Nay-o"

There becomes "They-er"

Where becomes "We-er"

Some words with ake at the end may be pronounced with an e- sound. tek, mek, sek for take, make and brake, but not for cake or bake.

Many words with contractions ending with the negative "n't" are seriously shortened, for instance Would/Should/Does/Did/Have not/will not/Could not - Wunt; Shunt; Dunt; Dint; Ant; Waint, C**t. 

Plural markers are often dropped, as in ten pound(s).

Many words are mumbled, using "us" instead of "our", and "me" instead of "my". See the phrases section for examples.

As highlighted many words are shortened, but one of the most noticeable is the word was. The s- is dropped, creating the word "wa" and is often pronounced were, giving the impression of bad grammar.



This site will be developed over the coming few months. Please send any suggestions to deedahslang@gmail.com.  

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