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ESL forum > Ask for help > British Accents -Pickwick Papers    

British Accents -Pickwick Papers



EstherLee76
Peru

British Accents -Pickwick Papers
 
Hi there,
 
I am reading the Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens.  Many of the characters in the stories switch V for W and W for V.  Can anyone elaborate on why that is?
 
Thanks so much!

Esther 

7 Jul 2019      



spinney
United Kingdom

Hi Esther!
I think you will find that it is a dialect thing. Dickens was mimicking accents based on class and regional accents. He may have got a couple of them wrong but I think, at the end of the day, he was fairly close to the mark.
If my memory serves me well, I think he may well be trying to mimic the accent of working-class/lower-middle-class Londoners from the early 19th century.  

7 Jul 2019     



almaz
United Kingdom

Thereīs an interesting article on Sam Wellerīs accent from the people at Grammarphobia. Among other fascinating nuggets about the cockney accent, the authors note that Wellerīs particular dialect (with its switched Vs and Ws) had all but disappeared from the London area well before George Bernard Shaw wrote about the cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle and the phonologist Henry Higgins (in Pygmalion):
 
 
 

8 Jul 2019     



EstherLee76
Peru

Thanks Dale and Almaz.  I am fascinated by these obscure diddies.  That article is spot - on!  Thank you!!!!

8 Jul 2019     



spinney
United Kingdom

By the way, talking of British accents, I have used this a couple of times with students when explaining the glottal stop and the "cha" sound for "tu" words. I have found it very useful for comprehension lessons, even though this is a strong Scottish accent the same thing happens in most British accents. Itīs also very funny.
By the way, not for children. Not by a long shot. 

12 Jul 2019