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18th Feb 2021

The UK’s most and least annoying accents have been revealed

Wayne Farry

uk accents

Which category does your accent fall into?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or the ear, more specifically, if we’re talking about sounds. Which we are, namely accents.

What is a beautiful, lyrical accent to one person is an incessant, annoying droll to another – which makes the frequently discussed ‘best and worst accents’ a difficult subject to really nail down.

It’s all opinion, but so is much of life, so let’s just roll with it. On that note, the people at skills training company The Knowledge Academy decided to poll thousands of British people to find out what their favourite and least favourite accents are.

Polling 2,357 adults, they decided to gauge the annoying-ness of an accent by seeing how long people were willing to happily sit listening to it. The longer the listen, the less annoying the accent. It is actually rather good science. I guess.

Here are the listening times for the accents that they provided, with the least listenable at the top and more enjoyable tones towards the bottom.

The Cockney accent is the least liked, according to the list, quickly followed by the Queen’s English, which is defined as “the English language as written and spoken correctly by educated people in Britain”.

People are willing to listen to more than two minutes of the south Wales accent, and more than three minutes of people from Yorkshire talking.

Geordies, however, have been deemed to have the least annoying accents, with participants willing on average to listen to it for a whopping 4 minutes and 19 seconds.

Cockney: 58 seconds

Queen’s English: 1 min 32 secs

Essex: 1 min 51 secs

South Wales: 2 mins 17 secs

Birmingham: 2 mins 34 secs

Liverpool: 2 mins 41 secs

Yorkshire: 3 mins 1 sec

Glasgow: 3 mins 27 secs

Plain English: 4 mins 11 secs

Geordie: 4 mins 19 secs

So there you have it. Cockney accents are annoying, as are posh accents. Glaswegian, Scouse and Geordie ones, though, are very palatable indeed.