We’re interested in three types of words: regionalinherited and adopted. Scroll down and watch our videos to find out more about each type of word, then get involved by telling us your words and where – or who – you got them from by clicking the button!

Your contribution will help us with our research into how dialect is passed from person to person and from place to place.

Dialect Words

Most of us have words and phrases that we have acquired early on in life because of where we grew up and went to school. These often help people to guess where we come from, because they are strongly associated with particular regions.

  • Why do you have this word, and where does it come from? 

Inherited Words

We also sometimes have words in our vocabulary that are more surprising, or more difficult to explain. Besides words from our hometowns, we can also have words that we have acquired by other means – like from parents or grandparents who grew up in a different part of the country. Sometimes this means we have words from places we’ve never been, or people we’ve never met!

  • Do other members of your family use this word? If not, who is it connected to?

Adopted Words

We also tend to pick up new words from partners, friends, or even work colleagues – especially if we’ve moved to a new place.

  • What does the word mean to you? Does it conjure up any particular memories?