Want for nothing

animal-1347755_1920I’ve been working through the Survey of English Dialects data over the past couple of weeks.  As I’m looking at changes in the accent in Somerset, this means looking at the phonetic data associated with the responses the participants (who were predominantly older men) gave back in the 1950s.

Some of those responses haven’t changed too much, but some of them have.  Many of the words, or ways of pronouncing the words haven’t changed a great deal, whereas others are words I haven’t seen before.

‘Want’, for example.  In Somerset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset, this word is either the majority term, or is almost exclusively used by the participants.  So, those counties that would be included in the South West.  Other Southern and South-Eastern counties used only ‘mole’, and there was no sign of ‘want’ in there at all.

I’ve not heard of ‘wants’ or ‘want-heaps’ (mole-hills) before, but maybe you have….

Enjoyed this post, and interested in Somerset Dialect?  Would you like to take part in my Somerset Speaks project, and perhaps even win a £50 Marks and Spencer voucher?  Sign up to take part in an informal interview here!


5 thoughts on “Want for nothing

  1. Certainly have heard of both wants and want heaps, both my father and grandfather used these terms in relation to moles

      1. Sorry for taking so long to reply, only just found out that you had asked a question!!, I use the term Mole now as I don’t think many people would understand what I was talking about if I used Want!!

  2. Hi,
    I think,perhaps, that I replied to the wrong place yesterday, just to let you know that I had certainly heard moles being referred to as wants, both my father and grandfather used that name for them and want heaps or hills for mole hills.
    I hope all is going well with your research.

    Jim Winzer

    Sent from my iPad

    1. It is, although if you know anyone else who you think would like to take part, I’m still looking for participants! I’ll be over mid-June, and also in July and August.

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