This post was sponsored by LNER.
You may or may not know that my lovely home city Hull has its very own lingo. An assortment of words that are lost on most of the UK. Couple these with a pretty distinctive accent, and you have yourself a recipe for “sorry, what did you say?”.
I quite often find myself having to adjust my accent over the phone when speaking to someone from other parts of our little island, and sometimes say words that will leave people I meet outside of Hull looking at me with a puzzled expression across their face (and sometimes a slight hint of concern for my sanity).
Am I bothered?
Nah. Not one bit.
I’m fiercely proud of where I come from and fiercely proud of our unique streak. So let me fill you in on a few things I say that you might not quite comprehend…
- Mafting: a word reserved for those sticky, hot conditions. “My god, it is mafting in this office!”
- Murbarrl pherrn: that handheld device none of us can live without these days. “I’ll call you on my murbarrl pherrn.”
- Tenfoot: a passageway normally found behind houses which has a width of (you guessed it!) ten foot. “We’ll take a shortcut down the tenfoot!”
- Breadcake: something often used to make a good sammich… you may know it as a roll or a bap. “Can I have that in a breadcake please, love?”
- Errhh nerrhh: our take on the common expression of concern, oh no. “Errhh nerrhh, there’s snerrhh on the rerrhhd.”
- Croggie: to give someone a lift on your bike. “Giz a croggie ‘ome!”
- Chip spice: a unique and incredibly yummy blend of spices that comes on our chips as standard. “Extra chip spice on mine, please!”
When given the opportunity to celebrate my accent, I will always jump at the chance. And so imagine my excitement when LNER got in touch for me to do just that.
LNER (London North Eastern Railway) is the new operator for the East Coast mainline, with journeys from Inverness and Aberdeen, winding through lovely Yorkshire, and down to the East Midlands and London. And they wanted to celebrate each and every regional accent along the way.
Have I ever been in a proper studio before? No. Have I ever performed spoken word before? No. Acted in front of a camera? Noooope.
Did I do all of that when working alongside LNER? Why, yes. Yes I did.
On a crisp Thursday afternoon, I made my way over to Brawl Agency, a very Instagram-worthy building full of recording space nestled in Leeds. After making introductions, having our faces touched up and touring the space, me and the rest of the accent-lenders for the day got ready to perform a spoken word poem written by poet Ben Norris in collaboration with broadcaster Edith Bowman.
Starting in North London and winding its way up through the East Midlands and Yorkshire to the North East and Scotland, the poem includes references to regional words and phrases, celebrating our unique quirks and words.
But don’t just take my word for it… Listen to it here!
I was pushed completely out of my comfort zone. I hate being in front of a camera, and also hate how my voice sounds on a recording… So this pretty much sounds like my worst nightmare, right? And yet I ended up having the best day.
And learned a few new things along the way… Who knew a stottie was a breadcake, eh?
Tell me: what’s unique about your hometown accent or vocabulary?