1940's accents?

Discussion in 'General' started by marcus69x, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian layabout

    DoctorD, thank you, that's brilliant :) The only bit of that I knew was what "bloke" meant!

    Canuck, that's quite ridiculous!
  2. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Glad to be of service, Chris, if a bit off topic.
    LesBit puzzled why my signature hyperlink has ceased to work. Can anybody help before the link is lost for ever?
  3. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    It is possible to be caught permanently in the middle.
    I have close friends who emigrated to Canada from Bathgate in the mid seventies. Her being Celtic and him Ranger made married life at home a little troublesome.
    To most Canadian ears, their accents and turn of phrase are as thick today as they day they arrived. Yet, when they go home the family is amused by their Canadianized speech.
    Neither fish nor fowl after 40 years.
  4. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    Met a few officers who acquired Sandhurst accents on being commissioned from the Sgt's mess ,never sounded quite right ,do not know who it fooled certainly not the other officers, that and the lazered out tattoos was usually a giveaway.

    Having said that I always give out the advice that if you cannot afford any thing else send your children to elocution lessons if you want them to get on.
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Sorted in admin area.
    Make another post.
    Then click link, should work.
  6. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    "How now brown cow, grazing in the green green grass" or perhaps "ver rine in spine falls minely onver pline".
    I await advice on restoring the hyperlink in my signature to its original thread as there's a glitch in this site's software that is preventing this means of attracting new visitors to ww2talk.
  7. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Apologies, for now, I just tried the hyperlink and it now works, at least from within the forum! So somebody up in the serried ranks of administrators is supervigilant and knowledgeable. I withdraw my reservations if I find it works from elsewhere and substitute my thanks.
  8. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    With a keen ear for accents, I love the old US documentaries that show few in the US spoke like John Wayne in the 40s and earlier. The movie and TV industry have a lot to answer for.
  9. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Watched Brief Encounter again the other day.
    Tempted to change the thread title to 'Nanetin Fawtis Eccsints'...
  10. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Giving this super thread a "bump" if only to remind myself of the immense pleasure ww2talk has given me over the years.

    If you haven't seen it before

    Enjoy !

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
    Chris C likes this.
  11. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    canuck likes this.
  12. rememberthem

    rememberthem ex member

    I think James Blunt went to Harrow so that accent was cemented on and aren't the Cavalry where those traditionalist older family young officers go?

    The Guards and the Cavalry - if going into the Army, in general? In the past, anyway.
    So the POSH accents would be found there in much higher numbers in those officers, I would think

    I recall reading something about officers having to have a private income over salary to live AS EXPECTED, to mix comfortably with their fellow officers in those regiments up until WW2, but I believe in some pockets, even today With polo ponies, shooting etc and if you had "no" money in the old days, you went to India where polo and horse owning and servants were able to be afforded with very small private incomes which was why there was a bit of a sly understanding of Indian army officer husbands as "Well tried. You did your best..." in novels written by Nancy Mitford or E F Benson or Evelyn Waugh and even Agatha Christie

    Benson's Major Benjie is the classic of what was expected of retired Raj officers returning to England in genteel relative poverty and often feeling they can barely keep up with their social equals and wanting to relive days when they had armies of servants etc in India
  13. rememberthem

    rememberthem ex member

    He might have been a real life Cary Grant in I Was a Male War Bride or a film with a very similar title, marrying an American woman
  14. rememberthem

    rememberthem ex member

    I know the Queen used to get so much flack for saying ORSTRALIA out here that she changed it
  15. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    One of my uncles was a tenant farmer in the Borders, where I spent most of my school holidays. When he was with the local shepherds he spoke broad Northumbrian. but I was with him once when he met the Duke of Northumberland, his landlord, and he spoke proper posh.
    During WW2 he had German POWs working on his farm, I don't know how he communicated with them.
    He died 2 years ago aged 99 - RIP.
  16. rememberthem

    rememberthem ex member

    Even with "POSH" accents there are degrees of POSH but a lot of them are slowly melting away or being sucked into rival classes

    The really old powerful families were whigs and THEY are the POSH that drop their gs as in huntin' fishin' and shootin' They also pronounced yellow as yallar (which is almost American South) and girl as gel etc and they used their language as identifiers of their politics and class and sometimes you will catch it in the speech of an elderly officer who is still at large from a war career and as a younger son had to leave the decomposing pile his brother still camps in

    Its said that a lot of Southern US pronunciations are an echo of a lot of Elizabethan and Stuart pronunciations that the UK left behind so long ago because new settlers tend to freeze a lot of pronunciations and change far slower than people who dont feel they need to cling to their language as their identity. They still have their locality and extended family and customs and icons

    A lot of these Whig things have been melded into their rival's, ( the POSH Tory type), POSH speak because the huntin shootin etc is almost shorthand for claiming old family old money conservatism and now Tory identity, (as the whigs as were, are effectively extinct).

    You get the last echoes of real whig speak from a lot of families that WERE powerful and are now penniless, tho still retain a crumbling home and estate because they tend to not travel or get much education and stay at home and mix in the very limited circles they mixed in 100 years ago They tend to be very earthy, almost 17th century in their complete comfort in swearing and in that, amusingly, they share much of their language with the most uneducated and poor classes - tho not necessarily in the pronunciation of it

    Almost universal television and large amounts of US programming are making the new generations lose the wonderful histories of the English accents

    But if a gifted person can still be held back just on how they sound, then maybe it is a price that we have to pay

    It always makes me laugh that there is barely a murmer if Stephen Fry or Joanna Lumley says Fcuk but if a non "posh" speaker says it, then they are unspeakably common and vulgar etc etc and get torrents of complaints
  17. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Dislike the word posh
    We all know people with different accents

    A gifted person no matter how they speak will get through.
    We all talk properly based on our own identity and geography

    Innit bruv you get me,sweet,laters

    onwards and upwards
  18. toki2

    toki2 Junior Member

    I worked for the BBC in the seventies and yes, I used the BBC accent on the telephone especially with the London chaps! I was taught to speak what was regarded as 'properly' by my school and parents. Slang was soon slapped out of you yet prizes were given for reciting Burns in Scots which was normally regarded as slang. Confusing??? Saying that, speaking 'properly' was a huge advantage when looking for employment in those days. I take great delight though in using obscure Scots words that are very descriptive.
  19. rememberthem

    rememberthem ex member

    I adore dictionaries and have an 18th century Welsh and the saddest small dictionary of Cornish language and I love to find words that I can use in my life that have tiny lives in older rural populations in, eg Yorkshire

    I use and explain heaffed to people I mix with in a sheep raising area because I think it only exists as a word in old dialects I think only recently I possibly heard it was huffed in Lancashire? But I can't confirm that as yet. Sometimes I get excited about differences only to find its because one of the speakers misheard it or guessed at a meaning, so I try to confirm it in studied published books.

    Heaffed is a term for sheep who can be allowed out of smallholdings, to graze on moors etc but can be relied on to come home at night. This happens when old ewes manage their flocks, who know where water is, sweet grass at different times of year and they have experience to lead their flocks to everything and away from possible dangers. Modern farming often culls those wise old ewes. Its very sad But also, here, apart from high country and stock routes, sheep don't leave the properties, even the paddocks they are in unless for shearing or slaughter

    There is a recording of the last 10 mins? of the crew conversation as they approach the target of a bombing mission that Lancaster G for George went on with 460 squadron, which is played regularly, at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, for actual 1940s accents.

    It is beautifully done They drop the lights around George and do a night sky and flash lights etc so that you feel you are with them in a disembodied way

    I love hearing a regional accent and asking about where people picked it up and where the accent flourishes but most people look at you oddly and say I dont have an accent YOU have an accent...

    I get confused with a lot of southern (English) accents and how far the z sound spreads across counties

    I have a small list of old rural speak for The Fens and they give me great delight but now if you went to the area, a lot of people would look at you blankly. And I am sad to say I dont know where that list is at present
    Chris C likes this.
  20. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Going off at a tangent, just "nearly" remembered an old joke about accents..

    Acting on a whim I decided to look it up in GOOGLE and found this ................

    Havaii or Hawaii

    Two men debate whether Hawaii is pronounced "HaVaii" or "HaWaii."

    They ask a passerby, who answers "Havaii."

    "Thank you," says the satisfied first man.

    "You're velcome," replies the passerby.


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