The Black country dialect

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The Black country dialect
Although many people think they know the "brummie" accent, the Birmingham accent is really only a "watered down" form of the black country dialect. A dialect has words of its own, an accent is merely altered pronunciation. Since the growth of Birmingham has mostly occurred in the last 100-150 years, it is easy to understand how job-seeking incomers to Birmingham would pick up some of the black country dialect, but since the population centres in the Black country are far older than Birmingham, it can be seen that the pure dialect would be likely to persist in these towns.

I intend to add audio samples of the black country dialect, so watch this space.


In the local newspapers, the names "Aynuck and Ayli" or "Anuk and Ali" can sometimes be found. These are fictional characters, which are used as a mechanism to allow comment on current events, in the local dialect. Like any area with a history, the residents enjoy their heritage, and enjoy reading these occasional pieces, which are written with strange spellings, to attempy to capture the correct black country dialect. I have found a cutting from 15th February 1952. It reads:

The letters of Anuk by Tom. H. Townson - Birthdays

Dear Ali,

As it ever occaerred to yer thot if yo'd never 'ad no baerthday you udn't be 'ere? Well, it's right. Ar, you con tek it from me thot baerthdays am very importont things.

Unless yo've got a baerthday yo cor get yer life insured cos they always wanten to know when yo was born. Ar, an' in yower case they'd also probobly wanten to know why yo was born.

Yo've 'aeard o' Mrs. Crumble as lives nayer we? Well, it was 'er baerthday yesterday. Although 'er never smokes, er's very fond of the smell o' bacca. In the caercumstonces thot Scotch bloke as lodges wie 'er bought 'er a pipe for a baerthday present. 'E tode 'er thot if 'er ud paerchase some bacca an find some motches 'e'd smoke it for 'er while 'er dat an' sniffed.

Don't mention this to our Baertha in case it puts ideas into 'er yed. Ar, I con see 'er buyin' me a pair o' them nylons an' then offerin' to wear 'em for me.

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