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24 September 2014

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You are in: Southampton > Voices > Dorset Dialect
Brian Caddy

The Voice of Dorset

Dorset's rich local dialect is gradually losing it's voice. Locals like Brian Caddy and Sue Worth still value the words and sayings that form part of their heritage, and part of their identity.

The way we speak says so much about who we are. Our accent points to where we are from, our social background and our heritage.

"Dialect is a richness of language... and I like the rhythm of the language" Sue Worth

Growing up in Dorset, Brian Caddy speaks with a natural local lilt. Like his contemporaries, speaking with the dialect comes natually for Brian - a tradition passed down through generations. But is the dialect still as widespread today?

"The dialect is still quite strong with village people", Brian said. "On Market day you'll probably hear it more in Dorchester than you would any other time during the week."

The migration of people from elsewhere in the country, coupled with the a pervasive mass media has diluted the strength of local dorset identity.

"You lose a bit of your identity", added Brian "Even in the villages a lot of the inhabitants aren't Dorset born and bred so consequently I think you do lose a bit of the identity of Dorset."

GLOSSARY: How do you say it? Slang Term Definition of term aggy to gather eggs a-stooded sunk into the ground ballyrag to scold bit-an'-drap a meal dewbit - the first meal of the morning joppety-joppety nervous trepidation noggerhead blockhead tinklebobs icicles

Sue Worth loves the rhythm of language

Dorset Drowners
Sue Worth - also a Dorset local - remembers the tales that were told to her as a child.

"We were warned to keep away from water meadows when they were in full flood", she said. "Not for the very rational reason that you might drown but because of the beautiful creatures that lived in the water.

"They would leave toys or trinkets for the children to reach into the water - and as the children reached in they would get sucked further and further into the mud.

"If they were lucky somebody would see them and run and save them. If not they would be taken by the Drowners and their family and friends would never see them again", added Sue.

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