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West Country
One interpretation of the West Country, shown on this map as identical to the South West region of England, incorporating the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.
One interpretation of the West Country, shown on this map as identical to the South West region of England, incorporating the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.

The West Country is a loosely defined area of south-western England.[1] The term usually encompasses the historic counties of (from west to east) Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, and Somerset, and is often extended to include Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, in the South West region.[2] Some definitions also include Herefordshire. The West Country is host to distinctive regional English dialects and accents[3] as well as to the Cornish language.

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  • ✪ British Accents: West Country
  • ✪ School Of British Accents – WEST COUNTRY
  • ✪ UK Accents, Dialects and Mentalities - West Country


The UK sound is a rich array of many beautiful regional accents and some of them differ vastly from one another so it's no wonder that a non-native english speaker might find it difficult to understand the natives. In this series we're going to be going on a trip of discovery listening to lots of different accents from different regions learning the phrases that they use and finding out what are the key features of each accent. So who are we meeting today? This is Tom. Tom is from the West Country Hello Tom, say hello Tom, alright! Now the West country accent is wonderful and there are certain phrases that you would only hear from someone in the West Country for example - Alright my lover hello mate, gurt lush, very good, 'ark at he, listen to him haha in any case, anyway, skew-whiff, crooked Where be to? Where are you going? Chucky pig, wood louse. Now as you probably gathered the West country accent is lovely it's a very fun accent isn't it Tom? But some people will associate the West country accent with farmers which is bizarre but i think that potentially comes from the BBC radio program The Archers, and what was the other drama you were talking about?Poldark which is a drama all about farmers? That's true yeah, and they have this West country accent but you have to be aware that just because someone has this accent it doesn't automatically mean they're a farmer or from a farming family so let's look at some of the common features of the West country accent now so we're going to start off with a rhotic R as you probably know from some of my other videos a standard British English accent doesn't have a rhotic R we only pronounce the R if it's at the beginning of a word or if it follows something like a th but when you're speaking with the West country accent we do pronounce the R so for example if we were to say the following words farm so i do a long vowel AH but Tom did AR and made the R rhotic let's say that again, farm, I'm going down to the farm i'm going down to the farm, warm, It's quite warm today lover, now you notice the at the end of the world lover, I'm doing the schwa ending which you would normally do for an ER ending but Tom is curling into the R so lover it's lovely isn't it? He is my lover He is my lover. Is he really? He's not! And the final word we're going to look at is first. So you'll notice I'm doing .... nice and open and Tom does .... first, there we go. I come first. The next common feature we're going to look at is the I diphthong. In the West country accent this is more like ... it's more rounded with the OR vowel rather than the a vowel at the beginning so in standard English we have I, but in west country we have ..... okay so let's look at this in action so we'll use the words guide guide me home. White Is it going to be a white Christmas? Is it going to be a white Christmas who knows! Life I'll give him the kiss of life I'll give him the kiss of life (Giggles) who is this man? I don't know. The next feature is the ng sound only when we have an ing ending so for example I would say walking walking walking I'm out walking with my dog. I'm out walking with my dog you'll notice that Tom is doing an IN ending meaning he's using the tip of the time high upon the alveolar Ridge closing it at the front, in in, whereas i use the back of the tongue high closing it off at the back: in in. So let's try that again walking walking, there we go. You could also say talking I was talking to my mother. I was talking to my mother. Another feature of the West country accent is the .... vowel, so for example I would say up. So you'll notice Tom is making more of an .... sound whereas mine's more open and light good. That's have a look at some other words: above, up and above, love, I love it up and above I love it up and above. It's such a great accent. The final feature we're going to look at today is the west country accent relationship with plosives, particularly the T sound so when a T appears at the end of the word in west country they generally odmit it so for example I would say: this and that, this and that, also when a T is in the middle of a word mostly when it starts the final syllable it becomes a glottalised T, so for example in the word water, or butter and finally better That butter is better, that butter is better mm-hmm so there you have it five simple features and a handful of phrases to help you get along if you're ever speaking to someone from the west country. So all that remains to say is thank you very much Tom for coming along Tah-dah loves. Don't forget to subscribe and remember there's going to be plenty more in this series of accent discovery. Bye



The West Country is bounded by the English Channel in the south and (perhaps partly) by the Bristol Channel in the north. However the West Country's eastern limit is not precisely defined, as different definitions are used. Some definitions are roughly synonymous with South West England,[4][5][6] while others refer to only the southwestern part,[7] or in a wider sense to include areas such as Herefordshire (in the West Midlands region).

West Country Carnival events take place in Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire. ITV Westcountry is an ITV franchise covering the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, Devon and areas of Dorset and Somerset. Local news and sport website "This is the Westcountry", part of the Newsquest group, similarly covers Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.[8]

"West Country Lamb" and "West Country Beef" have EU Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status which can be applied only to lamb and beef products from animals born and reared in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire or Gloucestershire.[9] Similarly, "West Country Farmhouse Cheddar" is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) that can be applied to cheddar cheese made in the traditional way only in the four counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.[10]

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport-supported website "Icons of England"[11] defines the West Country as including Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire, and the former Avon area, but excluding Dorset (in "South England") and Gloucestershire (defined as part of the "West Midlands").

The "West Country" edition of the 2005 BBC TV series Seven Natural Wonders featured "wonders" in Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, and Herefordshire (Symonds Yat), but not those in Cornwall or Devon which were the subject of a separate programme on the "South West", nor Dorset which was covered in a programme on "The South".

The "West Country Clothing District" was an area that made woollen cloth. It covered east Somerset and parts of the counties of Wiltshire and Gloucestershire and at some periods extended into Oxfordshire and Berkshire. The clothing district around Tiverton and Exeter in Devon and west Somerset tended to make different kinds of cloth and is usually regarded as distinct.

Other uses

The term is also used to refer to sports matches between such cities as Bristol and Bath[12] or Gloucester and Bath.[13]

The former brewery in Cheltenham traded as West Country Ales; their ceramic plaques can still be seen built into pub walls.[14]

See also


  1. ^ "the West Country". Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Town Hall - The West Country". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  3. ^ "THE DEVON DIALECT CHALLENGE". Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  4. ^ "BBC - "ITV West Country staff to be axed", referring to Bristol and Plymouth". BBC News. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  5. ^ "Blue Badge Tourist Guides - The West Country". Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  6. ^ "The West Country". Pictures of England. 2 August 2007. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Latest local news from covering Cornwall, Devon and Somerset". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Latest local news, sport, what's on, weather, travel from Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, South West". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  9. ^ "West Country meat wins EU protection". BBC News. 8 November 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  10. ^ "PDO - our provenance". West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  11. ^ "West Country - Icons of England". Archived from the original on 27 August 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  12. ^ "Derby match excites Hill & Meehan". BBC News. 4 July 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  13. ^ "The Times & The Sunday Times". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  14. ^ "West Country Ales Ceramic Plaques". CAMRA Gloucestershire. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
This page was last edited on 24 November 2019, at 01:01
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