The west Midlands is a rich and diverse dialect area. While the distinctive vernaculars of Birmingham and the Black Country are probably the most well-known in the region, its borders with the north of England, Wales and the West Country are all reflected in the variety of accents, words, phrases and grammar to be found in this central part of England.
West Midlands dialects are rarely heard in the media, and the Birmingham accent is often rated in polls as the least appealing in the UK. This is probably to do with historic social class snobbery towards the area’s recent industrial past. It certainly has no linguistic basis. In fact, the dialects in the midlands have a long and fascinating history. They offer an insight into the way English may have sounded in the Middle Ages.
In the mid-1950s, researchers from the University of Leeds went round the Wrekin hunting for old forms of speech and they certainly had bostin’ results in the west Midlands. Read on to learn more about dialects from Wolverhampton to Worcester; Shropshire to Stoke-on-Trent!