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Kentish dialect: Wikis


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Location of Kent within England.

The Kentish dialect combines many features of other speech patterns, particularly those of East Anglia, The Southern Counties and London. Although there are audio examples available on the British Library website and BBC sources, its most distinctive features are in the lexicon rather than in pronunciation. As Estuary English is spreading in the area since at least 1984, some discussion has been made about it replacing local varieties in Kent, Essex and Sussex.



  • Yod-coalescence, i.e., the use of the affricates similar to /dʒ/ and /tʃ/ instead of the clusters /dj/ and /tj/ in words like dune and tune. This is a common feature amongst East Anglian speech patterns.
  • Diphthong shifts, e.g., the diphthong in words like I becomes [ɑɪ] or [ɒɪ]. A good example would be the word take.
  • A lengthened [æ]. This appears often before voiced consonants such as in ladder.
  • Loss of dental fricatives in many words. In this dialect father is pronounced with a /d/.'
  • H-dropping, i.e., Dropping [h] in stressed words (e.g. [æʔ] for hat). This is thought to have first started amongst Londoners some 300–400 years ago.

Examples of the Kentish Dialect

The pattern of speech in some of Dickens books pertain to Kentish Dialect, as the author was familiar with the mudflats near to Rochester and other areas in Kent, having lived there.

Dialect words and phrases

The Kentish dialect appears to have been very colourful in the past, with many interesting words for use in agriculture, that have become lost in the 21st century.

Further reading

See also



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