Written Rambles

Favorite Words Said with a British Accent

I have a plan. In the future, when I finally decide to give up my strenuous life of trying to be Kate Middleton, I will stalk every one of my male celebrity crushes until one of them (preferably Joseph Gordon-Levitt) finds my numerous Twitter messages endearing and allows me to bear him many offspring. When the children are born, the core part of my plan will take effect: I will only speak to them with a British accent until they develop ones themselves.

You think I’m crazy. Whatever. When we’re all in nursing homes watching our sons and daughters spawn mini-mes of their own, my grandchildren will all inherit the British accent that I created and I can sit back and watch my absurd science experiment unfold. Best of all, I can force them to say anything I want them to, including these phrases which I’ve always found to be particularly entertaining.

Water Bottle
I want to say that from 5th grade to 9th grade I played soccer but if I did, I’d be lying. Not because I actually played baseball or I only started in 7th grade or anything like that but because 10 percent of our practices involved actually kicking the ball around and the other 90 percent involved us cornering our British coach and forcing him to say this word multiple times. Why? Water bottle, when pronounced by an American, sounds like “wah-ter bah-tull.” In contrast, water bottle, when pronounced by a Brit, sounds like “wah-uh buh-ull.” Besides the fact that most of us never even brought our own water bottles (everyone opted for Fruit2O at the time), this was always the most rewarding parts of playing soccer.

The only thing I like more than David Beckham ordering a milkshake in the new Burger King commercial is how he orders it, specifically, how he says “strawberry.” Because strawberry, when blessed with the gift of being said by an attractive British man, sounds more like “stro-bree” rather than the American “strah-ber-e.” And don’t even get me started on “banana.”

Neville may have brought sexy back in the last Harry Potter installment but Oliver Wood was the original Hogwarts heartthrob. In addition to good looks, Mr. Wood knew how to use that British accent to his advantage which is why I swoon during the scene where he explains Quidditch to Harry and describes the bludgers as “nasty little boo-gahs.” (It sounds like “nasty little boogers” when I describe it but I assure you, Ollie makes it sound delightful. Don’t let me ruin it for you.) Anyone that can make a word that includes the word “bug” is simply magical.

Rubbish, meaning something that is worthless, trumps the American equivalent “stupid” any day. Not only is it classier but it even sounds better. “Roob-ish.” This word is so beautiful, I wouldn’t even be offended if someone called me rubbish with a genuine accent. In fact, I might even like it. (Cue creepy winking face.)

Bloody Hell
Not to make another HP reference but if it weren’t for Ron Weasley, this phrase would not be nearly as fantastic. Pronounced “blue-d el,” this British catch phrase sparks images of puppies and rainbows in my stomach instead of an actual bloody hell (which, as I’m thinking about the literal translation, would be terrifying).

So maybe I can’t be Kate Middleton but if I can master her accent and brainwash my children into mastering it too, we as a family will all be one step closer to drinking tea with our pinky fingers up and adopting a fashion sense straight out of a Burburry magazine. What are your favorite words said with a British accent (or any other accent that you may fancy)? Because when JGL is ready to commit to his future wife and give me some offspring, we’re going to need plenty of ammunition to fire up this language endeavor. After all, those accents aren’t going to develop themselves.

Image via AllMyPosters.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=540313198 Emma Jones

    Hold on a sec! Mr.Wood is Scottish! And Neville is Northern (England). I think we would all say we had a Scottish accent if we were Scottish, English accent if we were English (and corresponding region – newcastle, liverpool, birmingham, yorkshire, lancashire, manchester goes on and on!), Welsh if we were Welsh before we would say we were British or had a British accent. Now I have to give you credit for including a Scot because I think some Americans think all there is to British is London/English but just to make it clear…since if you said you loved a Scot’s British accent youd probably get punched in the face!
    Mr.wood is saying ‘buggers’. But this is also used like ‘Oh bugger! I forgot to post my letter’. The way I say stuff is normal so instead…I love how Americans say ‘alluminium’ like ‘ill-uuu-minum’!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=532312326 Lisa Weston

      Actually, Oliver Wood was played by an Irish, not Scottish actor, so isn’t British at all! I agree with the generalisation of ‘British’ accent, as there is literally no such thing, Britain is made up of 4 different countries, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, all with totally different accents. When Americans refer to people having a British accent, 9 times out of 10, it is an English accent, so just call it that!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=532312326 Lisa Weston

        Aargh, ignore that, Wood was Scottish, not Irish, I apologise for my idiocy! It’s Sunday and my brain isn’t working!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=611542237 Tyler Vendetti

      Oops! I guess I should’ve done my research a little better then. Oh well. It’s okay though. I love all accents equally (and by equally, I mean I like the Australian accent the most). :)

      Sorry Mr. Wood! (And any Scots offended by my mix-up…)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=540313198 Emma Jones

        hope I didn’t offend anyone either, I love this article!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=587117467 Amber Anderson

      As an American I’m glad you love our pronounciation of the word “alluminum” but now I wonder: how do YOU pronounce it with your beautiful English/Scottish/Welsh accent?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1517404862 Stephanie Parker

        I’m not British but they pronounce it ah-loo-min-e-um

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000072075927 Kyisha Thompson

      Emma, we Americans say “uh-loo-min-um” because that’s how it’s spelled here. We don’t have the second ‘i’. OMG, “twat” and “bollocks” are foul language gold! I’ve always loved how “fanny” means something different here then it does there. And Amy, you are correct. A proper cup of tea is hard to come by in the States. It’s hard, sometimes, to find someone outside my immediate family who even likes tea.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=540313198 Emma Jones

        wow I didn’t know we had different spellings! (I can’t even spell it our way anyway 😉 ) all makes sense now

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=540313198 Emma Jones

    ‘Rubbish’ also means ‘garbage’ and if you call someone rubbish it means theyre bad at something ‘you’re rubbish at that!’ but JGL would never say that to you hes too sweet!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=207600354 Lauren Elizabeth Purse

      I love that you find any accent from the British isles endearing, we do try our damnedest in elocution lessons to perfect our regional accents you know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=506585130 Colleen Sweeney

    My favorite word to say in an English accent is “really.” I don’t know why, it just is. In an Irish accent it’s either feck or Jaysus.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1374510109 Angela Bove

    i like “beer can” because it sounds like “bacon” with a jamaican accent. thank you, tumblr.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1548011455 Shar Rowell

    I like how they say “I”, it sounds like “oi”. I also LOVE how they say “anything”, because it sounds like “enny thin”. The English accent is amazing. Every word sounds like it’s being sung by choirs of [English] cherubs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=602503065 Jacquina Imdb Lee

      That’s a London accent not an english one haha. I don’t speak like that, I’m from then North of England.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=14702977 Mackenzie Barrow Warren

    I love the British pronunciation of “literature” LIT-TRA-CHA!!! I wish I could say it like that all the time without getting weird looks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1507308816 Polly Bickford-Duane

    I love the word “literature” in pretty much any accent. In the French language it sounds really beautiful, and with the British pronunciation it’s elegant.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001656333261 Serena Stampfer

    Ohhh much as I love that Americans love our accents, there is no such thing as a British accent! An English accent is very varied in itself, as I’m sure the American one is. ‘Bugger’ can be said ‘buh-ger’ like I’d say it (Queen’s English, mainly Southern England) or ‘boo-ger’ which is more Northern or Scottish, as an example. Come visit more parts of England and rest of Great Britain and learn the many different accents we have :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001046605194 Katherine Wheeler

    I have a British friend, and she got really tired of being asked to say “Tuesday.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001776792727 Jaime Sutton

    OMG if you love British accents you need to hear Jeremy Irons read Lolita. I melted when I first heard him……ay ya ay:)!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=598245881 Amy Louise Wright

    Aww I love how Americans think we’re quaint, it’s one of the only things that inspires national pride in me. That, and coming home after a holiday and FINALLY getting a proper cup of tea.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=587117467 Amber Anderson

    I love the accents of the UK, but I think my favorite word of theirs is “bollocks”, as an American I found it the perfect word to say in place of “s%!t” when dropping an item or messing up on something in front of family or guests. Sure you still get the funny stares but you’re NOT going to get a serious reprimanding from your mom or dad for cussing in front of guests 😀

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004200271587 Ailish Simone

      I love that word (because of Jaime Murray) even though it means bulls#%$.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1036617366 Karina Pinera

        Bollocks means balls not bullshit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=613351154 Deshay Terrell

    When they’re old enough to swear, “twat” is a great one and definitely one of my favorites thanks to the show Misfits.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=537075320 Laurel Copus

    This article is brilliant!!! I’m a self proclaimed Anglophile so I would so do this!! I love Britain!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=882170486 Lauren Maria Kerr

    Lol I love that Americans say British accent! I’m Scottish and I have lots of English friends that don’t know what I’m saying half the time because my accent is so different from theirs. I think you are talking about a posh English accent. Also amber do you know what bollocks literally means? I don’t know that I’d say it in front of children and guests lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502808472 Claire Willis

    Thank-you Lisa Weston! I’m Australian, but it really bothers me when people talk about ‘the British accent’ or ‘the British flag’ because no such thing exists!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000290310150 Tara Ormonde

    When my friend’s adorable English granny came to visit, I was delighted to hear the word ‘garage’ pronounced so that it rhymed with ‘carriage.’ It was the cutest thing I’d ever heard!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504852593 Lexine Pishue

    Aluminum. Al-you-minium!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=39900383 Phyllis Cammiso

    Personally, I think any word sounds better with a British accent (or Irish). I have to agree with another poster though – i think my favorite is “really”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=593436407 Abbie Currie Lee


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