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Why I’m not ashamed of my Teesside Accent.

I’m a Middlesbrough born and bred girl,24 lived here all my life I’ve always been very proud of my accent, I’ve often found when leaving Teesside and travelling to other parts of the country folk will misunderstand the meanings of my words, people wondering why we say certain words and meaning behind the saying, for an area like Teesside to have its very own saying and slang, I think within itself is beyond interesting to explore the language where did these saying come from. When you leave the Boro nobody understands what these sayings mean, I can count the amount times when I have gone travelling I discussed the Teesside accent and explained what the words mean, the Teesside accent has been seen in a negative light in the media and the rest of the UK, many people who are from Teesside often change the way they speak, when they move away or travel it’s like people are somehow ashamed about the way they speak, the accent their hometown has given them. I say it’s time for this to change I want everyone from Teesside to be proud of their accent, I feel the negative image of the accent will never change if people from Teesside continue to be ashamed of the way they speak, try and sound like something they’re not. I am myself guilty of doing this when I moved away at 18 to London, to try and fit into London life, I would find myself running from my true northern roots. 

Teesside Words and Sayings-If your not a Teessider ever wondered what some of the words mean here’s a brief guide to the words and meaning behind them.

Coz – Because

Canna – Can I

Claggy – Sticky

Cadge – Borrow

Chuffed – Well pleased

Dunno – Dont Know

Down Town – Visiting Middlesbrough centre

Gunna- Going to

Goosed – Shattered, really tired

Heavin – Really busy

Hacky – Dirty

Howay/ Awayy / Owayy– Come on

Laffin – Nice one, thats good

Lemon top – Ice cream with a tangy lemon top from Redcar .

Mam – Mum, Mom, Mother

Mint – Very good

Nor-  No

Nowt – Nothing

Necta– Amazing

Naff- Nothing

Our Lad/Our Lass – Other half, partner

Our ‘ouse – My house

Parmo / Parmesan – A breaded cutlet dish originating in Middlesbrough

Proper/ Proppa – Very much

Pilla – Pillow

On my radio show this week the Project Middlesbrough hour – I was joined by local and proud Boro Lass /Teesside born Lucy Franklin 24, we both believe that nobody from Boro should be ashamed of their accent, Lucy believes we need more people in the media, TV, Radio with a Teesside accent, Lucy also believes the only way for our accent to be accepted is for people to take pride in it, and not be ashamed to speak in a Boro voice. We both ourselves have experienced negative comments when leaving the area, people saying they couldn’t understand us or just look of judgement. I’m sure everyone in the Boro when they left the area has had some bad experiences or comments being made about the way we speak. Myself only last year visiting a friend in Norwich, asking for a table in a restaurant being told by the waitress couldn’t understand me, asked what country I came from, my reply this one, something I will never forget. 

The Future of Teesside Accent–  To all Teessiders yes we talk very fast, maybe at times people from other parts of the UK may not be able to understand us, We should be proud of our accent push to get more people from our area, into the media, politics getting our Teesside voice heard by the rest of the UK, it’s the only way I believe the negative image attached to our accent will change. Be proud of your accent and fight for our voice to be heard. I will never be ashamed of the way I sound. No more of you don’t sound very educated or intelligent speaking all that, we must be the force of change to make the change happen. You can be anything you want with your Teesside accent I mean Brian Clough and Steph McGovern. So far I’m managed to get myself a good job working for the NHS, my radio show, a blog so never let anyone tell you being from Teesside and sound the way we do you cant achieve your dreams.

Article By Chloe Tempestoso

2 comments

  1. I left Norton for London at 16 and was always told I had a lovely accent. 40 years later it’s never left me. I came back to Teesside with a toned down version which was probably due to the job and people I was mixing with but that’s changing again now I’m back where I was born..I’ve learnt a few things on my journey but the one that will stay with me is, who cares what anyone thinks of your accent, the image you present to the world or whatever else… Know your worth, love or at the least like yourself and just be kind to everyone that crosses your path..Don’t sweat the small stuff!

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  2. Loved listening to yous on BBC TEES this morning ☆ I feel the same as you that the beauty of MIDDLESBROUGH is not recognised because of all the negativity at present ☆☆☆
    I would love to hear back from you ‘nice 1 🙂 xx

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