Standard English

- “By the end of the 15th century, "Standard English" was established in the City of London.  A mixture of London speech with elements from East Midlands, Middlesex and Essex,”
- Non-rhoticity, meaning the r at the ends of words isn’t prounounced (mother sounds like “muhthuh”).
Trap-bath split, meaning that certain a words, like bath, can’t, and dance are pronounced with the broad-a in father. (This differs from most American accents, whic pronoune these words with the short-a in cat.
The vowels tend to be a bit more conservative than other dialects in Southern England, which have undergone significant vowel shifting over the past century.

- Raised vowel in words like trap and cat so these sounds like “trep” and “cet.”
Non-rhoticity: see explanation above under Received Pronunciation, above.
Trap-bath split: see explanation above under Received Pronunciation.
London vowel shift: The vowel sounds are shifted around so that Cockney “day” sounds is pronounced IPA dæɪ (close to American “die”) and Cockney buy verges near IPA bɒɪ (close to American “boy”).
Glottal Stopping: the letter t is pronounced with the back of the throat (glottis) in between vowels; hence better becomes IPA be?ə (sounds to outsiders like “be’uh”).
L-vocalization: The l at the end of words often becomes a vowel sound Hence pal can seem to sound like “pow.” (I’ve seen this rendered in IPA as /w/, /o,/ and /ɰ/.)
Th-Fronting: The th in words like think or this is pronounced with a more forward consonant depending on the word: thing becomes “fing,” this becomes “dis,” and mother becomes “muhvah.”

Estuary English

- Similar to Cockney, except in general Estuary speakers do not front th words or raise the vowel in trap. There are few hard-and-fast rules, however.

West Country

- Rhoticity, meaning that the letter r is pronounced after vowels. So, for example, whereas somebody from London would pronounce mother as “muthah,” somebody from Bristol would say “mutherrr“. (i.e. the way people pronounce the word in America or Ireland).
Otherwise, this is a huge dialect area, so there’s tons of variation.

Midlands English

Midlands English can be broken into two different types, East Midlands and West Midlands. The East is characterized by how the dialect tends to drop r’s and and pronounce strong h’s. The dialect also has a tendency to change “ou” to u. Aside from these characteristics the dialect tends to stick to Received Pronunciation, also referred to as “posh” English. West Midlands tends to differ from RP more than the dialect of East Midlands. The most famous person with a West Midlands accent is Ozzie Osbourne. In this dialect am is usually substituted in for are. And bin tends to take the place of “have been.” Specifically Brummie is the version of West Midlands spoken in Birmingham. It demonstrates all of the above characteristics.

Northern England English

Northern English is dominated by the dialect referred to as Geordie. This dialect is prominent in the Newcastle area. It also resembles the southern Scottish accent. Some specific ways this accent is expressed is in the substitution of “our” with “wor.” The you plural also takes on the pronunciation “youse.”

Welsh English

Welsh English is the dialect of English most commonly found in Wales.  It contains words and grammatical styles that are derived from Welsh, causing many people to consider it a hybrid language.  A common feature of Welsh English is ending sentences with the subject instead the predicate, as in “Fed up, I am.” or “Running on Friday, he is.”  Over time, Welsh English has become less of a dialect and more of an accent as many Welsh words have fallen out of common use.

Mr. Brownlow

- “I only say this because you have a young heart; and knowing that I have suffered great pain and sorrow, you will be more careful, perhaps, not to would me again. You say you are an orphan wihtout a friend in the world; all the inquiries I have been able to make confirm the statement. Let me hear your story - where you came from, who brought you up, and how you got into the company in which I found you. Speak the truth, and you shall not be friendless while I live.” pg. 86 Ch. 14
- Use of “your” vs. “yer”
- Elegant sentence formation
- Longer sentences without exclamatory punctuation
- Points towards the Queen’s English
- “By the end of the 15th century, "Standard English" was established in the City of London.[12] A mixture of London speech with elements from East Midlands, Middlesex and Essex,”

Noah Claypole

- “‘Yer don’t know who I am, I suppose, Work’us?’ said the charity-boy... I’m Mister Noah Claypole... and you’re under me. Take down the shutters yer idle young ruffian.”
- Use of “yer”
- Short punctuated sentences
- Work’us = Workhouse aka someone from a workhouse
- Cockney Accent - the use of yer and the fact that Noah is lower class indicates that his accent is probably Cockney. The 1948 version of the movie confirms that.
- full length 1948 Oliver Twist movie
- 16:25 Noah says “On the box work’us on the box”


  • Character’s accent: Cockey
  • Fagin’s den located in Field Lane - southern extension of Saffron Hill
  • south eastern corner of the London Borough of Camden, between Farrington Road and Hatton Garden
  • Jewish Communities in London
    • Jewish settlers in East End
  • “but very neat and nicely made. Ingenious workman, ain’t he, Oliver?” (pg 97 chapter 9)
  • “ that is, unless they should unexepectedly come across any, when they are out; and they won’t neglect it, if they do, my dear, depend upon it. Make ‘em your models, my dear. Make ‘em your models,” (pg 100 chapter 9)
  • says “my dear” frequently in his sentences when he is referring to Oliver or Dodger. Chapter 9
  • When Oliver first meets Fagin
  • Actor, Mike Reid, plays a Jewish character:

Oliver Twist


- "That's acause they damped the straw afore they lit it in the chimbley to make 'em come down agin," said Gamfield; "that's all smoke, and no blaze; vereas smoke ain't o' no use at all in making a boy come down, for it only sinds him to sleep, and that's wot he likes. Boys is wery obstinit, and wery lazy, gen'lmen, and there's nothink like a good hot blaze to make 'em come down vith a run. It's humane too, gen'lmen, acause, even if they've stuck in the chimbley, roasting their feet makes 'em struggle to hextricate theirselves."
- Mr. Gamfield seems to mostly display an uneducated slang.
- He may be using a slight East Midlands accent as witnessed by how he pronounces “extricate.”


-“I thieved for you when I was a child not half as old as this (pointing to Oliver). I have been in the same trade, and in the same service, for twelve years since; don’t you know it? Speak out! don't you know it?"
- Nancy also shows little sign of an accent.
- She, more than any other manner of speech, displays the Queen’s English, also known as Received Pronunciation.


  • Cockney accent
  • First introduces Oliver to Fagin
  • Although no older than Oliver, he dresses and acts like an adult

Bill Sikes


- “‘I’b dot certaid you cad,’ said Barney, who was the attendant sprite; ‘but I’ll idquire.’” p. 277
- “‘Aye! Ad rub uds too,’ added Barney. ‘Frob the cuttry, but sobthig in your, or I’b bistaked.’” p. 277 Ch. 43
- Use of ‘b’ and ‘d’ to replace ‘m’s and  ‘n’s
-  Aye = yes
- Stuffy nose or accent?
- Identified as a “young Jew”... is this a Jewish accent?
- Link to jewish accent sound clips:
- Full length 1948 version of
- The jewish accent sounds more throaty; there is no distinct change of ‘m’ and ‘n’ s to ‘b’ and ‘d’ s in the jewish accent

Rose Maylie