Britons prefer the Geordie dialect to all others. Yorkshire is second, followed by West Country, Welsh English and Mancunian, a survey for Travelodge found.
The Essex sound, Brummie and Cockney were the least liked.
The Geordie accent is described as friendly and upbeat, which is certainly how I found it when I worked up there many years ago. It reflects the friendliness of the people although it can be a little impenetrable.
It took me six months before I understood the landlord of the pub next to the newspaper office in Durham City. And I went in every day and was a member of the domino team. I was glad to discover it was not just me who needed an interpreter.
He had served in the Merchant Navy on a Canadian ship during the war and the rest of the crew thought he was Norwegian.
Since then, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Ant and Dec have helped make the dialect popular. Sean Bean of Sheffield and Kimberley Walsh of Bradford have helped boost Tyke.
Apparently 76% of people in Huddersfield say more should be done to preserve dialects. To help, Travelodge has a series of regional guides that can be downloaded free at www.travelodge.co.uk.
Paul Kerswill, Professor of Sociolinguistics at York University and an expert on Multicultural London English, said: “It’s great that Travelodge has taken this initiative to help raise awareness of both our regional dialects and our regional languages. We live in a globalised world and many Britons have adopted terms, such as ‘ciao’, into their everyday speech, whilst our local dialects die out.
“Britons need to maintain the phrases that survive to ensure they continue to be a source of local identity. A lot of people feel a sense of pride in their speech, and we should celebrate that.”
The hotel company’s Yorkshire guide has such words as eeby gum (shock) and put wood in t’ole (close the door).
Which makes me recall a young lady who was visiting my grandmother’s very working class house in Wakefield many years ago who was trying to impress a couple she considered posh.
Normally, she would have nipped out to the chip ‘oil for a fish supper but, being polite, she said: “Does anyone want anything? I’m just going to the chip hole” with ‘theh’ beautifully pronounced.
Posh and dialect obviously didn’t mix.