From Academic Kids

Scouse is the accent or dialect of English found in the northern English city of Liverpool and adjoining urban areas of Lancashire and the Wirral region of Cheshire. The Liverpool accent is highly distinctive, and wholly different from the accents used in neighbouring regions of Lancashire and Cheshire.

The word Scouse was originally a variation of lobscouse (probably from the north German sailor's dish Labscaus), the name of a traditional dish of mutton stew mixed with hardtack eaten by sailors.

Lancashire has one of the most diverse selections of spoken accents of any English county or region. This is thought to be due to the large amount of immigration into the Liverpool area from Ireland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Scotland, other parts of northern England, and the Caribbean in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The influence of these speech patterns was strong in Liverpool, distinguishing the accent of its people from those of surrounding Lancashire and Cheshire.

The characteristic features of the accent of the region (Wells 1982, section 4.4.10) include:

  • The phoneme at the end of a word is often pronounced , so that back sounds like German Bach and lock sounds like loch. Scouse also has distinctive realisations of the phoneme.
  • The th sounds are often pronounced . This feature is shared with Hiberno-English.
  • The phonemic differentiation between the vowels of nurse and square is often lost, so that fur and fair sound the same. Phonetically, the merged vowel is typically .
  • As elsewhere in the north of England, the accent does not use the broad A, pronouncing words like bath with the of cat, and the vowels put and putt are often the same.
  • Unlike most other northern English accents, the vowels of face and goat (Received Pronunciation and ) are pronounced as diphthongs similar to those of RP.
  • The velar nasal is usually followed by a hard sound in words where most other English accents have it at the end of a word or before a vowel, so that sing is as opposed to in Received Pronunciation. See Ng coalescence.
  • The sound is often a tap , similar to Scots.
  • A fast, highly inflected manner of speech, with a range of rising and falling tones not typical of most of northern England.
  • The definite article may be heavily elided, sometimes becoming just a glottal stop or being lost altogether.

Irish influences include the pronunciation of the letter 'h' as 'haitch' and the plural of 'you' as 'yous'. There are also idioms shared with Hiberno-English, such as "I know where you're at" (Standard English: "I know who you are").

Expressions include 'la', as an abbreviation of lad, used to mean mate or pal, e.g. "Yer arright den, la'?" ("You all right then, lad?"). This should not be confused with 'lah', an expression used in Singapore and Malaysian English, which has a different meaning. The interjection 'eh!' is equivalent to 'hey!' or 'oi!' in other parts of the UK.

Scouse has been officially registered with IANA, in accordance with RFC 3066. en-scouse can be used in web documents to indicate that a document is written in Scouse, for example by using XHTML code <html lang="en-scouse">.

See also


  • Wells, J. C. (1982). Accents of English 2: The British Isles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521285402.

External links


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools