Nothing annoys a Brit more than hearing somebody not-so local swooning: “oh, I love British accents!” … ok thanks, but, which one? Received Pronunciation (better known as the Queen’s English) connoisseurs such as Colin Firth, Hugh Grant and the Queen herself really do set the bar a bit too high for the rest of us Brits who are… well, not so posh. This time, this one is for us – folks abroad can’t even understand some of our accents, so let’s hope they won’t be engaging in this debate too! Here are the sexiest accents amongst us Brits (and our neighbours).
She was there before Essex; however, her sister certainly steals the limelight with this accent becoming a dying art that is left to the BBC dramas. Cockney rhyming slang is a traditional and inherent part of British culture, but it is certainly being taken over by a newer-dialect, Multicultural London English; it is equally as sexy (think Stormzy, or Dizzee Rascall) and is certainly re-writing the traditional London dialects as we speak. But I think we can all agree that there is nothing sexier than a cockney lad with his mates, being very expressional and equally as cheeky.
9. West Country
Folks from the West Country possess a unique but oddly sexy accent (think farmer, but DON’T assume farmer). The West Country certainly covers a lot of land – essentially most of South-West England, from Bath to Bristol, to Cornwall to Gloucester. You can guarantee upon entering one of their local pubs, you’ll be met with a warm ‘alright my lover’ and a friendly face. I would go as far as to say that the West-Country is like a little pocket of Northern niceness within the South of the UK.
8. Received Pronunciation (RP)
You cannot list the sexiest British accents without mentioning Queen’s English – it is the only reason the rest of the world bothers to ever listen to us. RP is a little trickier to dissect and locate around the UK for it is not specific to a certain region; speaking in RP used to be a classist statement in patriarchal Britain and is entirely rooted in very questionable debates of snobbery and classism. Nowadays, if you sound like the Queen, you will be momentarily ridiculed for being ‘too posh’ before you can carry on about your day. I know that if I could sound like Helena Bonham Carter every day, I would be a very, very satisfied Brit.
Glaswegians are brilliant. Scots are brilliant; everything they do seems to be just that bit better than us English. From politics to beer prices, university fees to free museums and stunning architecture, Glasgow certainly is thriving – not to mention their gorgeously unique and empowering accent.
A few years ago, Scotland and sexy would not have belonged in the same sentence however, changing times have certainly called for less Southern ignorance and more appreciation and understanding of our wider UK culture and dialects.
Geordies, they’re the most fun out of all of us (but don’t get too upset, they do have Geordie Shore representing them). Equally, they have Ant and Dec, which totally saves their skin… how can you not love those two national sweethearts? The party capital of the country resides in Newcastle, so if you’re looking for sexy then I would certainly look here.
Scousers are a controversial bunch – I think southerners are too ignorant to enjoy their accent because every Liverpudlian I have met is friendly and extremely down-to-earth (ok, perhaps not Hailey from Love Island but I haven’t met her so that does not count). They’d be ‘dead made up’ to see you, you could go for a ‘bevvy’ together, and the entire time you get to listen to the intricately beautiful words that fall out of their Liverpudlian mouths. It’s Abbey Clancy that does it for me, honestly. A little rough around the edges, but by far the most engaging and expressional accents within our country.
Although a region of accents that vary greatly within itself (Sheffield, York, Leeds, Bradford etc.), there is no doubt that if you were on a night out and you met a Yorkshire lad or lass, you won’t be swooning over their smooth voice in the club. Not only have they been voted Britain’s most welcoming and friendly dialect, but Yorkshire people all seem to maintain a calm and collected nature, in and out of the boozer. This accent holds legendary status within Britain, especially with the age-old debate of ‘bath’ and ‘grass’ being pronounced with an ‘ar’ or ‘a’ (shh, but it will always be ‘ar’ for me). Despite your personal opinion, I think we could all agree that if we got to sound like Sean Bean permanently, we’d all be quite happy.
Ahh, Manchester. It’s like London, but in the North and a lot nicer. Mancunian dialect is a harmonic northern accent with its own unique twist (think more nasality and over pronunciation of their vowels). Everything is ‘dead’ cute, or in ‘mint’ condition according to the Mancs, but who are we to disagree? Manchester is particularly famous for its growing music scene with some not-so-small famous names originating from this side of the North such as Oasis, The Smiths and our favourite Manny rapper, Aitch.
2. Northern Ireland
Not exactly British, but this accent is definitely one of the cheekiest, friendliest and hard to understand accents out there (move out the way, Scousers), but that is what makes it all so gorgeous. The British Library explains that the Northern Irish accent derived from settlers coming over from Scotland, the North of England and the Midlands – thus creating this oddly beautiful combination of dialects to produce Northern Irish. Northern Irish English speakers tend to raise their tone at the end of an utterance, so everything sounds like a question, and they have some pretty unique phrases too, including ‘Aye’ (yes) and ‘what’s the craic?’ (what have I missed?).
Am I biased because I was born here? Probably. But it doesn’t take away from the hidden gems of Essex – disregard your knowledge of TOWIE because these might be some of the funniest and friendliest people you will meet, especially on a night out. The likes of Mark Wright, Denise Van Outen and Gemma Collins are all Essex born and bred but you don’t need to be pre-warned about that before you hear the cheeky Eastern England accent that makes you feel invited, friendly and like you just really want to have a gossip with them. Plus, Essex is home to everything glam; if you’re looking for sexy, you have already found it here.