• Bethany Welsh

The BlackCountry Girl

Updated: Mar 10

Stopping at a service station on the way to my new life in a Northern city, a trip to Costa for a cup of tea and three sugars was completely necessary. It was all fun and games until the server hadn’t a bloody clue what I was saying. All I wanted was my tea, nothing more, nothing less. Then I realised that this was the beginning of the language barrier. It never occurred to me that the rest of the country dismissed the fact that the Midlands did actually exist. The Midlands is a part of the country too, you know? So ar think its time ar introduce yow to a Black Country girl. But first, let me just take this moment to apologise that there is no Google translate for the Black Country accent. So then, am ya ready bab?

Ar welcome yow to the Black Country world, and what it's like being a Wolverhampton girl in a Northern city. Ar vividly remember mar first day in Leeds, it wusn’t a great one I tell ya. Poor me, tryna mek some new friends and all I gor in return woz a laugh in the face from a cheeky so n so. Ar could tell by just lookin’ into ya eyes that you were so bloody judgmental and wor takin’ me serious at all. Well how about I laugh at yow and yow bloody posh accent? Just because I ay tryna sound like the Queen dow mean yow can sit there with that sly grin finkin that I’m stupid. Well, the Black Country guz down in history. I bet yow ay heard of orange, battered chips have ya? More fool yow, coz them chips am just what dreams are made of.

So as months n months went by, and ar’m still livin’ in Leeds, spending mar days with those who dow even understand what ar’m sayin’ to em. Recievin’ a load of glares even when ar just say one word, it was gerrin quite annoyin’, cheeky buggers. It woz startin’ to really grind on me now, ya know sometimes ar just want a normal conversation without someone avin’ a barmy. Ar tell you what though, ar bloody loved gewin ‘ome back to mar roots. Sometimes a little bit of Black Country ay half needed. Ar felt like ar was in me element just walkin’ along avin’ a chat with mar Black Country mates. But it woz kinda funny, cos me mates told me that ar was losin’ me Black Country touch. Telling me that ar av lost me accent! Ar couldn’t quite believe it, surely bloody not. Me mates were sayin’ to me that ar was pickin’ up a load of these Northern terms now and that they day know what ar were gewin on about. Ar didn’t even realise me self that ar was sayin’ em. Ar began to feel completely bloody alienated in me own home town now, so where did ar belong?

Ar just sat there to me self after this conversation, thinkin’ ‘I car believe this’. Ar never even noticed that me accent woz gewin. But am sure a day in the Black Country would sort me reyt out anyway. I just felt like ar was crossed between Leeds and Wolverhampton and how bloody confusin’ it was. It woz funny cuz ar struggled to understand me Grandad’s strong Black Country accent now he car understand marn! What a bloody tragedy ay? But ar am out there in the world ay I? I am doin’ what ar wanna be doin’, pursuing a life in the English Lit world, which is what ar av always bloody loved to do. (But dow worry, ar dow do me essays like this, this is just yow takin’ a step into mar Black Country brain, which probably gid me lecturers a shock when they met me). Ar’m alright at the grammar n all that, ar can be a poshun if ar wanna be. Ar can hide away the Black Country in me just like the black smoke covers all the bloody city.

So here ar am, four years later, a Black Country lass in a Northern town. Am just dealin’ with the fact that no matter what am always gonna be a yam yam. I gotta tell ya though, I am alreet with tha. A mean, ar always get me uni mates callin’ me now when am at ‘ome telling me that they need a Wolverhampton ‘gal’ back in their life. So ar like to fink that maybe a Midlands girl has had some kinda impact on people. Ar even got mar mates talkin’ in mar accent now, it's bloody brilliant. Me bezzie Emma always sez now “how am ya?”. So ar asked her if she heard what she just said and she day even clock on, the bloody barmpot.

Even though there are several boundaries with all these accents, a debate between the term ‘Mom’ and ‘Mum’ and all of tha bollocks, ar am really startin’ to feel like am bein accepted for being a yam yam. Fings am changin’ and all me mates and lecturers are startin’ to realise that maybe I ay actually stupid. Ar am just a normal girl with a strong accent. The way ar speak is mar identity and what makes me an individual, it's just who ar am.

The Black Country girl shall never leave me bab, ar’m gonna tek her everywhere.

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