I love my kids. I really, really do. But if I could change one thing, it would be the accent they’re picking up.
Now I’m a Yorkshireman by birth but if you met me you wouldn’t encounter the traditional flat-cap-off-out-wi’t-whippets accent of North Yorkshire. There might be the odd turn of phrase that gives it away but they’re few and far between. And please don’t misunderstand me! I have nothing against the Shetland accent. It’s a lovely, lilting, slightly Norwegian twist on the Scottish accent. I could listen to it for hours on end (and still not understand a word) but it’s doing dreadful things to my kids!
A few examples.
“I’m off ooooootside!”
“That’s what I said. Oooootside.”
Yeah, basically anything with an “ow” sound becomes an “oooo” sound. Or shooold that be sooond?
Rs. Farrrr morrre than you need in any worrrrd. Or rather, worrud, as there’s also this wonderful thing called “The Scottish Intrusive Vowel.” This little gem turns forms into forrrrums, worms into worrums.
Then there’s the interesting local habit of dropping the “y” from the end of worruds. Bugger! Words. See? They’ve got me doing it now. The town of Scalloway becomes Scallowaa. Bressay -> Bressaa. I heard my middle lad trying that on in his reading homework tonight. The girl, Sally, definitely became Sallaa.
I know there’s a strange craze to preserve these dialects. The Shetland dialect has a whole website devoted to it, and I encourage you to have a Google for it if you want to encounter, as Mel Brooks might’ve termed it, genuine frontier gibberish.
The worst part of it? The kids have started doing exaggerated impersonations of me when they’re speaking “proper“.