The Brummie accent is one of the most characteristic accents heard in the UK. Associated with the City of Birmingham, which is also the country’s second largest city, the Brummie accent is one-of-a-kind.
Over recent years, a spotlight has been shone on Birmingham thanks to popular TV series Peaky Blinders, which follows a gang in post-war era Britain with a strong Brummie accent.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the different variations of a Brummie accent and how to speak with the accent. However, if you’re looking for an authentic Brummie voiceover, GoLocalise is happy to help with your voiceover project!
Read on to learn more about the English Brummie accent and what makes it so unique when compared to other accents in the UK (learn why we find the British Accent so charming).
Where is the Brummie Accent From?
As mentioned above, the Brummie accent originates in Birmingham, a city located in the centre of England.
It is also spoken in the surrounding areas of Birmingham, though the most strong Brummie accent is found centrally.
There are many features of the Brummy accent which is renowned for being dry and matter-of-fact in tone.
One of the most famous people known from Birmingham, with a Brummie is Ozzy Osbourne. The Ozzy Osbourne brummie slang accent is a typical example of how monotone the accent can sound, and the way in which certain words are pronounced.
Strong brummie accent variations are most commonly found in the working class people of the area, whom’s dialect traces back to the industrial revolution.
Birmingham was a leader during the industrial period during the 19th century, which saw many factories and canal dependent trades flourish during this time.
Today, you only need to walk around the city to hear the original Brummie accent and some of the funny colloquialisms such as ‘smashing’ and ‘cracking’.
You’ll love this post about the impact of the different English Accents on Pop Culture. Check it out!
Why is it Called Brummie?
The Brummie accent’s name derives from its rich history, which dates back thousands of years.
Originally founded in 600 AD and named Brummagem, it’s clear to see where the word ‘Brummie’ has derived.
Despite the city’s original name altering over the years, the ‘Brumm’ aspect still remains strongly in place today.
Brummagem is still often referred to as the slang of Birmingham, and shortened to Brum within local communities (check out our British Slang Guide).
Now you know where the term ‘Brummie’ comes from!
How to Speak with a Brummie Accent?
How to do a Brummie Accent? Unless you’re from Birmingham, speaking with a Brummie accent will be a challenge.
Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered with a few tips and some advice – in no time, you’ll be speaking just like one of the Peaky Blinders.
The Brummie or Broomie accent is quite different to the Queen’s English or to the Cockney.
First of all, the accent uses intonation, with a downward intonation at the end of each sentence. This means that in general, the pitch of a Brummie speaker’s voice lowers towards the end of a sentence with the word fading away as it does.
Brummie is often perceived as monotonous. Brummie accent words are pronounced quite dryly and there is no variation when it comes to notes.
Of course, the pitch of words may be emphasised if somebody with a Brummie accent is speaking excitedly, but otherwise, the tone of a Brummie accent generally stays the same.
Here are some more tips on how to replicate the accent of Birmingham:
- The letter ‘u’ is often changed or emphasised to sound like ‘oo’;
- The vowel ‘i’ is generally replaced with an ‘oy’ sound. For example, I went shopping, changes to Oy went shopping.
- Sometimes, the letter ‘i’ also becomes an ‘ee’ sound. For example, ‘hit’ becomes more like ‘heat’.
- Some broader versions of the accent replace a ‘ou’ sound with a ‘ow’, a good example is the word ‘you’ which would become the word ‘yow’.
- And, finally the letter ‘y’ when at the end of a word becomes an ‘ay’ sound. For example, lovely becomes love-lay.
If you’d like to have a go at speaking Brummie, we recommend checking out Thomas Shelby’s accent in Peaky Blinders and listening to clips of rockstar Ozzy Osbourne.
As the saying goes, ‘If you’re not listening, you’re not learning’.
Native British English Voice Actors
GoLocalise would love to assist you with your audiovisual project. We work with authentic Brummie voice actors (and Received Pronunciation, Cockney, and Scouse Accents as well!) who can deliver excellent accent voice overs based on your requirements.
We are linked with voiceover artists in Birmingham, who can speak with a genuine accent too.
Contact GoLocalise to speak to one of our friendly assistants about your English Voice-Over project.
Submitting your query via our online form and receiving a quote only takes a few minutes.