Whether you’re taking your tentative first steps towards speaking English or you’re just looking for some colourful dinner conversation, learning the lingo will certainly help you integrate into life in the UK. Not only that, but it’s a worthwhile endeavour as most jobs will expect you to have a decent level of spoken and written English.

Ranging from amazingly insane to insanely mundane, there are so many facts about the English language that we could probably dedicate a whole article to it. But here are some of our favourites:

If you strive to achieve ‘The Queen’s English’ – the absolute pinnacle of expression when it comes to the English language – then you will be lonely. This isn’t because people from the UK aren’t capable of grasping the language on such a level; it’s just not really feasible given the melting pot of different cultures and the reality of how English is actually spoken.

London City View – Home to Huku Kwetu



There are roughly 37 dialects in the UK and beyond this, a staggering amount of colloquialization. Of course, this is true of many countries. In fact, in certain parts of the UK, colloquialisms are so (over)developed that it’s almost as if the language has taken on a life of its own; to the point where every town (and in many cases, different parts of that town) has its own version of how English is commonly spoken, conversationally, at least.

That said, there are some fairly self-explanatory, ‘umbrella’ dialects, such as Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish; although these, especially Scottish, become so different as you move through the country that it’s almost disingenuous to label it all as one. But there you go.


The most famous English dialect – and it’s a risky move to even declare one as being more famous than the others – would be cockney. The traditional dialect of the working class in London’s East End gave the world rhyming slang and is notoriously difficult to impersonate. Just watch any non-Londoner try and attempt it!

Outside of the nation’s capital, Brum (Birmingham), Scouse (Liverpool), and Georgie (Newcastle) are arguably the three most famous dialects in the UK; representing an escalating scale of ‘northernness.

Estuary English

Here’s another dialect that is London-based. The ‘Estuary’ in question is the Thames Estuary, and this dialect is spoken by people who live along its stretch. It’s now becoming one of the most widely spoken accents down south. It’s not as posh as RP, but it’s not as ‘common’ as Cockney. Here’s a little video guide to teach you more!


Yorkshire is a big county in England, and lots of people speak with a variation of the Yorkshire dialect as a result. Known as ‘God’s Own County, Yorkshire has a delicious dialect. One of the biggest differences between this dialect and RP is that words ending in an ‘ee’ sound, like ‘nasty’, are pronounced with an ‘eh’ sound, like ‘nasteh’.

Northern Irish

The Northern Irish accent is quite a beautiful one, and a strong one too. The first thing you’ll probably notice about Northern Irish is how many letters seem to be missing from words when people speak it. For example, ‘Northern Irish’ would be pronounced more like ‘Nor’n Ir’sh’! Here are some great tips.

Scottish Parade- Huku Kwetu


The Scottish dialect varies hugely from city to city, town to town, and becomes increasingly like the Irish accent in the Western Isles, and increasingly like Nordic languages in the islands to the far north. The more remote the area, the stronger the accent seems to become, so people from the Shetland Islands can be hard to understand at first. And Glaswegian can be tricky too – even for Scots themselves!


If you come from Birmingham, you’ll speak the Brummie dialect – like Ozzy Osbourne. He may have been living in LA for years, but he hasn’t lost his accent – which goes to show just how strong this dialect is. It’s quite soft and elastic, and lumpy sounding!


If you come from Liverpool, like John, Paul, Ringo and George, then you’ll speak Scouse. The Liverpudlian accent is one of the most famous British regional accents thanks to the Beatles, and it’s a very nasal dialect that can be hard to copy at first!


People from Newcastle speak the Geordie dialect, and they’re called Geordies too. One of the biggest differences between Geordie and RP is that the ‘r’s at the end of words aren’t pronounced, and tend to be pronounced as ‘ah’ instead. So a word like ‘sugar’ becomes ‘sug-ah’. And a word like, say, ‘Space Centre’ becomes ‘Space Cent-ah’!

What British dialects have you encountered so far? What are your favourites and which do you find the hardest to follow? Let us know in the comments!

Similar article: English Around Britain

Written by Karibu Qwetu • January 7, 2022
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