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ARE ISLANDERS SNUBBING WORDS LIKE ‘GURT’ AND ‘NAMMET’?

The UK looks to be facing a regional identity crisis with more than two-thirds of the population snubbing their regional dialects, but can the same be said for the Isle of Wight?

Ahead of National Dialect Day on 20th October, a survey entitled Words That Suit Your Region by Suit Direct has gathered results from 2,000 participants from around the country to determine the most popular words for items that spark debate across regions, and to see what the existing attitudes are towards regional words ahead.

71% of the country claim that they aren’t interested in continuing with their region’s unique words.

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On the Island words like Gurt, Nipper, Mallishag and Nammet are still heard fairly frequently. The same can’t be said for the more obscure words like queal in, mumchance and cocksettle though.

Findings from the study suggest that regional language is on the way out with nearly a quarter of people (23%) saying that they have lost part of their original accent since moving location, while 13% revealed that they have had to defend their region’s name for an item during a debate.

Founder of National Dialect Day, Lancashire dialect historian, Sid Calderbank has said:

“I’m not shocked or surprised at all because dialect has changed over the centuries with necessity as people find a need to communicate more widely beyond their own village or valley.

“Originally it was travel or trade. I can’t sell you a sack of corn unless we call it the same thing. There are loads of words that are particularly to a region, a town or village or common to a particular industry, like agriculture, coal mining or fishing.”

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