Wednesday 31 January 2007

Birmingham: 'Brummie'

The word 'Brummie' comes from 'Brummagem' which was the way many locals pronounced and spelt 'Birmingham' from the Middle Ages.

It is not the only accent of the West Midlands, although the term is often used by outsiders to refer to all accents of that region. It is quite distinct from the traditional accent of the Black Country, although modern-day population mobility has blurred the distinction.

Some Famous Brummies

Ozzy Osbourne (rock musician)
George Cadbury (founder of Cadbury's chocolate)
Tolkien (writer of Lord of the Rings)
Julie Walters (actress, Billy Elliot)


-bus sounds like "buzz"
-five sounds like "foiv"
-train sounds like "trine"
-goat sounds like "gout"
-bit sounds like "beat"
-words like bath, cast and chance with a short 'a'
-been sounds like "bin": " Wair ya bin?" (Where have you been?)

Listen to a Birmingham English sample here

Examples of the dialect

"Bab" ... Used by older generation to refer to a woman.
"Bostin" ... Excellent, brilliant.

For more examples of Brummie slang go here.

Or to 'translate' English into Brummie go here

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