Friday, 3 August 2012

The Boston accent.

Boston has its own unique accent, below is an extract from "Highways and Byways of Lincolnshire" published in 1914 which describes how the fishermen and farmers of the town spoke.

Boston, having the Marsh farmers as well as the Fen-men meeting in her market, preserves a more racy dialect. I was once in the Boston Station, three people of the sea-faring class were there a tall, elderly man standing up, his son asleep on the floor, and the son's wife sitting and apparently not much concerned with anything.

The father, seeing me look at the sleeper, said " He'll be all right after a bit. My owd son yon is. He's a bit droonk now, but he's my owd son. A strange good hand in a boat he is, I tell ye. They was out lass Friday i' the Noorth Sea and it cam on a gale o' wind, they puts abowt you knooa, an' runs for poort. The seas was monstrous high, they was, and the gale was a rum un, an' the booat she was gaff-hallyards under. The tother men ' She's gooing ! they says, ' She's gooing ! But my owd son he hed the tiller. ' She's all right,' he says,and mind ye she was gaff-hallyards under, but ' She's all right,'he
says, and he brings her right in. Aye he's a rare un wi' a booat
is my owd son, noan to touch him. He's a bit droonk now, but he's my owd son."
On another occasion at Boston I heard one farmer greet another with " Well, Mr. Smith, how's pigs ? " a very common inquiry, for in Lincolnshire pigs fill a large space on the agricultural  horizon.
Witness the reply of an aged farmer, probably a little unmanned by market-day potations, to a
vegetarian who, with a cruelty hardly to be suspected in the votary of so mild a diet, had attacked him with " How will you feel at the day of Judgment when confronted by a whole row of oxen whose
flesh you have eaten ? 'Taint the beasts I'd be scared on ; it's the pigs ; I've yetten a vast o' pigs.'

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