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Accents and describing accents

accent

noun

a way of saying words that shows what country, region, or social class someone comes from

accented

adjective

spoken with an accent

broad

adjective

a broad accent (=way of speaking) is very noticeable and typical of the area you come from, and may be difficult to understand

broaden

verb

if your accent broadens, you start to speak with a more noticeable accent

brogue

noun

a strong local accent (=way of speaking), especially an Irish or Scottish accent

bur

another spelling of burr 1

burr

noun

a way of pronouncing English where the ‘r’ sounds can be heard more strongly than in the standard way of speaking

cut-glass

adjective

someone with a cut-glass accent speaks in a way that is typical of people from the highest social class

drawl

noun

a slow way of speaking, with long vowel sounds

drawl

verb

to speak in a drawl

elocution

noun

the skill of speaking clearly and with an accent that is considered correct

Estuary English

noun

a way of speaking that many people from London and southeastern England have. It combines some features of standard English with others that are typical of London and areas around the Thames estuary, for example using a glottal stop for the ‘t’ sound.

lilt

noun

a pleasant rising and falling pattern of sounds in the way that someone talks or in a piece of music

rhotic

adjective

used for describing an accent in which the speaker pronounces the letter ‘r’ after a vowel, as most American and Scottish speakers do. In this dictionary the ‘r’ in a rhotic accent is shown in brackets.

slur

noun

a way of speaking in which the words are not pronounced clearly or separately, for example when the speaker is very tired or drunk

thick

adjective

a thick accent shows very clearly that the speaker comes from a particular place because of the way their words sound

thickly

adverb

spoken in a way that shows you come from a different place

well-spoken

adjective

someone who is well spoken has an intelligent and pleasant way of speaking

talk posh

to talk in a way that is typical of people from a high social class

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someone who studies the stars

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