Why yous are less and less likely to be having a barm for your tea: The Southern way of speaking is spreading say researchers... - Home News - UK - The Independent

Why yous are less and less likely to be having a barm for your tea: The Southern way of speaking is spreading say researchers...

Study into 'Language Variation and Change' conducted by the University of Manchester reveals spread of Southern words

Aye up! A lump of bread that can be cut in half and filled with food in order to create a sort of tasty bulky sandwich. Is it a roll, a bap, a bun, a barm or even a teacake?

The body part attached to the bottom of your ankle, a key component in the processes of standing and shoe wearing - does the word for it rhyme with strut?

And what of the perennial question over what to call the evening meal?

When you sit down to eat, are you having dinner, tea, supper or a combination of all three?

Vitally important questions no doubt, and questions answered by a range of respondents from across the UK for a study into 'Language Variation and Change' conducted by the University of Manchester.

1,400 English speakers, ranging in age between 10 and 87, were involved in the study which claims to have established that - in matters of language usage at least - the North / South divide appears to be diminishing.

The study found, to the likely horror of those who live anywhere above the Watford Gap (where the North begins is a whole other debate), that Southern usage is spreading North.

Take the example of the humble bread roll for instance.

36% of respondents referred to the bready lump as a roll, a word more commonly associated with Southern usage, with 18% referring to it as a bap (which is considered mostly Northern), and 16% as a bun - thought of also as Northern.

Other words in minority usage include ‘tea cake’ north of Manchester and ‘cob’ in the Midlands. The word roll, however, that used to largely be used by those in the South east is now used by a majority across the country.

The mainly Southern word 'trousers' is now used across the country to describe what Northerners might at one time have referred to as 'pants'.

A group of people is referred to as 'you guys' in the majority of the country, with the word 'yous' being a minority usage, once again in the North.

Speaking to Phys.org linguist Laurel MacKenzie said that the northern way of rhyming the words “cut” and “put” is in fact how they were pronounced centuries ago.

“Speakers in the South of England moved away from this pronunciation in the 1500s, but their way of saying these words didn't make it to the North,” she said.

“However, we've compared our maps to those put together a few decades ago, and it looks like the Southern pronunciation is slowly creeping northward.”

Can you name the meaning of these Northern words and expressions? Take our quiz

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior QA Engineer - Agile, SCRUM

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...

Marketing Executive - West Midlands - £28,000

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...

Retail Business Analyst

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

Senior C++ Developer

£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week