Smoove Oane

This is less a post about words specific to Somerset, and more a gentle reminder to myself that even dialectologists don’t know everything about dialects all the time! I spent a wonderful weekend on Exmoor over the UK August Bank Holiday, and stayed in Porlock Wier for the night.  In the morning, I took a […]

Read More Smoove Oane

Recruiting for participants

Life for a PhD researcher is, almost by definition, hard work.  For those who have to use data derived from human participants, it is extremely challenging, because you have to find participants who are willing to give you their time in order for you to have any data.  The equivalent for a chemist, for example, […]

Read More Recruiting for participants

Accentuating prejudice

This post popped into my Twitter-Feed the other day: Anonymous hard right accounts attacking my accent again saying l am thick etc, l will reiterate l am proud of my accent and will not change! — Angela Rayner MP (@AngelaRayner) July 9, 2017 It’s deeply distressing that in this day and age someone should be […]

Read More Accentuating prejudice


I have to confess, this one is a new one on me.  I have Emma Tett, a reader of this blog (and published author), to thank for this one! Despite having grown up in Somerset, I have never heard ‘Billy Baker’ as the name for woodlice.  I’ve heard ‘Pill-bug’, I’ve heard ‘Doodlebug’ (although that one […]

Read More Billy-Bakers

Want for nothing

I’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 […]

Read More Want for nothing