Released: September 2014
Publisher: Bradwell Books
Size: 180 x 110mm
Author: Rachel Atkinson-James
Although dialects are still evident in everyday speech from different parts of the country, they are nowhere near as common or as diverse as they used to be. This gradual extinction has been noted and mourned by writers and antiquarians over many years, and huge efforts have been made to capture the colloquial speech of men and women from various parts of the country. However, the Liverpool dialect is different – perhaps because of its urban heritage and its eclectic formation, the Scouse dialect is alive, vibrant and widely recognised beyond the confines of Liverpool itself.
The same is true for other urban dialects (cockney and Geordie, for example), and it has been a pleasure to explore how these urban dialects have grown into their wider usage in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Unlike certain rural dialects, which have preservation societies and books written about them to preserve and record them, there is no danger of the Scouse dialect disappearing any time soon!
The dialect continues to evolve, with old pronunciations and usages evolving into new ones influenced by Estuary English and received pronunciation from the media. However, this evolution is two-way, with words and phrases from the Scouse dialect making their way into wider usage and influencing the speech of the UK and the world. As a result, in the A-to-Z which follows many of the words are easily recognisable and appear in common usage across the rest of the UK; the intention here is to indicate their provenance in the speech of Liverpudlians down the years.
The second part of the book contains a collection of anecdotes, stories, rhymes and curiosities, all arranged by theme. The anecdotes may be long or short, complicated or simple, but all contain genuine examples of Scouse dialect as gathered by myself or recorded by historians and collectors over the years.