The Dialect and Heritage Project is a National Lottery Heritage-funded initiative based at the University of Leeds. The University is working in partnership with five museums to present a snapshot of dialect in England today. This vital aspect of our heritage will be shared with communities across England, and with a wider online audience through digitised collections.

Read on to find out more about the project and how you can get involved.


Word search

Here at the Dialect and Heritage Project, we want to know which words and phrases are still in use, and how they spread geographically. To find this out, we’re carrying out a survey. This follows in the footsteps of the original Survey of English Dialects which took place between 1951 and 61. It was made up of 1,300 questions, which were mainly addressed to older men living in rural areas. This time, we want to hear from everyone

Your answers will help us to build a picture of England’s dialect landscape today, and contribute to cutting-edge research into language change and linguistic identity conducted at the University of Leeds. Don’t worry, our survey is much shorter and takes just 15 minutes to complete! If you would like to help by sharing your dialect with us, we would love to hear from you.


Going digital

Another aspect of the Dialect and Heritage Project is the digitisation of key resources from within the Leeds Archive of Vernacular Culture (LAVC), housed at the University’s Brotherton Library. All new material gathered through the project will help us with ongoing research. This will create an even richer resource for the study, understanding and enjoyment of past and present dialect, culture, beliefs and daily life in England.

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The Leeds Archive of Vernacular Culture (LAVC)

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The original Survey of English Dialects

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Get Involved

Get involved

Learn about our Project


Meet the team

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Fiona Douglas

Project Lead

Favourite dialect word: offcumden (a newcomer)

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Kathleen McGrath

Project Manager

Favourite dialect word: queagle (a see-saw)

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Kerri-Ann Butcher

Research Assistant

Favourite dialect word: Diddlin' (How's it going?)

Rae Hughes

Project Assistant

Favourite dialect word: grummets (dregs)

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Caroline Bolton

Collections Archivist

Favourite dialect word: snicket (an alleyway)

Special thanks to...

Rosemary Hall

Research Assistant

Favourite dialect word: clinker-bells (icicles)

Amy Cooper

Favourite dialect word: upper-wummer (a hill-dweller)

Amelia Bradley-Newby

Favourite dialect word: ferntickles (freckles)

Leila Prescott

Favourite dialect word: dumbledore (a bumblebee)

Laura Kloss

Favourite dialect word: hodmedod (a snail)

Claire Midgley

Favourite dialect word: ice-candles (icicles)

Poppy Oldham

Favourite dialect word: fettle (Prepare/arrange)

Amy Stone

Favourite dialect word: flintermouse (a bat)