How To Do A Scouse Accent

In this blog post we will look at how to do a scouse accent, comparing the Liverpool, scouse accent to the standard British English accents. 

Scouse accent pronunciation

What is a scouse accent?

A scouse accent is the regional accent often found spoken by people from the UK city of Liverpool.  People from Liverpool are also known as scousers and therefore, a scouse accent is the accent of scousers. 

What is the difference between a scouse accent and a Liverpool accent?

There is no difference between a scouse accent and a Liverpool accent.  People from Liverpool have a Liverpool accent and people from Liverpool are also known as scousers.  Scousers have a scouse accent and therefore the scouse accent is the Liverpool accent.

Scouser accent video

Below you will find a video with our head Accent Coach, Anna from her series on UK accents: the Scouser accent, with a lovely guest, Rebecca.  Rebecca is a real scouser and a good friend of Anna.  She grew up in Liverpool and is therefore a Liverpudlian – the name for people from the city of Liverpool.  Aka, a scouser. 

The video will include a review of the scouser accent and we will look at some common Liverpool dialect and slang words.

Scouser accent video transcript – Introduction

Anna: Hello and welcome to another episode in our accent discovery series. This series is all about discovering regional British accents. To give you an idea of the difference between the regional accent and the standard British English accent, sometimes they are so different, even us natives find it hard to understand. So who are we meeting today? This is Rebecca. Rebecca is from Liverpool. That means she is a scouser. Hello, Rebecca. 

Rebecca: All right, babe. 

Anna: People from Liverpool are very friendly and down to earth, but if you find yourself in a conversation with a scouser you might find that you’re a little bit confused because they use some words that we don’t normally use in standard British English. We’re going to go through some of the common ones with you now. 

Liverpool dialect: Bizzies meaning

Rebecca: Bizzies 

Anna: Police 

Rebecca: Look out, it’s the bizzies. 

Anna: Look out, it’s the police. 

Liverpool dialect: Kecks meaning

Rebecca: Kecks! 

Anna: Trousers. 

Rebecca: I bought some new kecks. 

Anna: I bought some new trousers. 

Liverpool dialect: Made up meaning

Rebecca: Made up.

Anna: Really happy. 

Rebecca: Oh, I’m made up with that. 

Anna: Oh, I’m really happy with that.

Liverpool dialect: Cob on meaning

Rebecca: Cob on.

Anna: Bad mood. 

Rebecca: Have you got a cob on?

Anna: Am I in a bad mood? No. 

Liverpool dialect: Beve meaning

Rebecca: Beve.

Anna: Drink or beverage? 

Rebecca: Uh, fancy a beve.

Anna: Do I fancy or drink? Yeah!

Liverpool dialect: scran meaning

Rebecca: Scran.

Anna: Food. 

Rebecca: He’s got a cob on cause he wants some scran. 

Anna: He’s in a bad mood because he wants some food. 

Liverpool dialect: bifters meaning

Rebecca: Bifters. 

Anna: Cigarettes. 

Rebecca: I’m just going to the offie to buy some bifters. 

Anna: I’m just going to the off-license to buy some cigarettes. 

Liverpool dialect: Gegging in meaning

Rebecca: Geggin in, 

Anna: Being nosy.

Rebecca: ‘Ere, are you geggin in? 

Anna: Hey, are you being nosy? Not me. 

So there’s a small selection of some of the words you would typically hear from a scouse.

Liverpool scouse accent

Scouse accent pronunciation

So let’s now look at the actual accent and some of the differences in pronunciation between a Scouse accent and a standard British English accent. The first thing we’re going to look at is the fricative T.

So when a T ends a word, and sometimes when it’s in the middle of a word, then rather than having a plosive ‘t’ sound. A scouser might make it fricative, which means it vibrates like this ‘tsss’. So if I said right, a scouser would say, 

Rebecca: Rightss. 

Anna: Right. Let’s get going. 

Rebecca: Right. Let’s get going. 

Anna: Don’t.

Rebecca: Don’t.

Anna: Water.

Rebecca: Water.

Anna: I need a bottle of water. 

Rebecca: I need a bottle of water. 

Anna: Another typical feature of a Scouse accent is the K sound. So when a word ends with a k, a scouter may constrict this sound and make it a ‘kkhhh’ kind of sound. So for example, if I was to say back, a scouser would say. 

Rebecca: Backkh.

Anna: I’m coming back later. 

Rebecca: I’m coming backkh later.

Anna: Look.

Rebecca: Look.

Anna: Look at him. 

Rebecca: Look at him.

Liverpool dialect: fake bake meaning

Anna: A fake bake. 

Rebecca: Fake bake. 

Anna: That looks like a fake bake. 

Rebecca: That looks like a fake bake. 

Anna: Sounds like you’ve got a hairball. 

More Liverpool accent pronunciation

Anna: One of the differences in vowels is the ‘uh’ vowel. In standard British English, we have ‘uh’. But in a Scouse accent you have, Oh, So for example, if I was to say, Come

Rebecca: Come. 

Anna: Come here.

Rebecca: Come here.

Anna: Up.

Rebecca: Up.

Anna: Come up here. 

Rebecca: Come up here. 

Anna: Shut. 

Rebecca: Shut. 

Anna: Shut the door.  

Rebecca: Shut the door. 

Anna: All right, keep your head on. Another feature that may sometimes change is the, th in standard British English, it’s ‘the’. But in the scouse accent, we have, Duh. For example, though.

Rebecca: Though.

Anna: They. 

Rebecca: They.

Anna: They do though, don’t they, though?

Rebecca: They do though, don’t they, though?

Cilla Black, a lorra lorra laughs

Anna: Great. Sometimes when a T has a vow on either side, some old school scoucers may change the T for an R, and a very famous example of this is the lovely Cilla Black. If you don’t know who she is, Google her, check her out. But she had a catchphrase, and the catchphrase was:

A lorra lorra laughs.

She’s saying a lot of, a lot of laughs, but she’s changing that T from ‘lot’ to an R. Lorra lorra laughs. 

Liverpool dialect: Norra Lorra Laughs

Anna: What if I was to say not a lot of laughs. 

Rebecca: Norra Laura laughs. 

Anna: Norra Lara laughs.

Rebecca: Norra Laura laughs. 

Anna: It’s so funny. 

Scouse pronunciation of something and nothing

Two more words that you come across regularly but are pronounced very differently by true scousers, are the words something: 

Rebecca: Sottin? 

Anna: Something.

Rebecca: Sottin? 

Anna: It’s very different. And nothing…

Rebecca: Notten. 

Anna: Nothing. 

Rebecca: Notten.

Anna: Notten. Notten to worry about.

Rebecca: Notten going on. 

Anna: Nothing going on. 

Scouse accent pronunciation

Liverpool accent video conclusion

Great. Lovely. Well, we’ve had such a great time today. Should I do it in a scouse accent? We’ve had a great time today learning all about the Scouse accent. Sorry, in standard British English…

We’ve had a great time today learning all about the Scouse accent, so I want to say a huge thank you to Rebecca. You have been wonderful. 

Now, if you are interested in other regional accents, then do be sure to check out some of the other videos in this series.

What to do next?

You can see my full pronunciation course for the British RP accent by clicking the link below.

The British Accent Specialist Series

If you like this accent lesson, you'll love my other lessons on beautiful English accents.  Just click on the links below to find out more!

Finally, if you want help with your pronunciation, you can apply for an Accent Assessment with our Head Accent Coach, Anna.


Pronunciation Course

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