52 residents # 46 Different Language

To the best of my knowledge no Springhill resident has had any language other than English as their mother tongue. There is English and English however and up until about 40 years ago there were many people in the area who spoke the Lancashire dialect often known as 'Lanky'.

Alexander Ellis conducted a phonetic study of English in the 1890s and placed the speech of East Lancashire in an area he called 'western north Midland'. Apparently (i.e. according to Wikipedia!) this is characterised by the following:

eː in FACE words. ʊə in GOAT words, although ɔɪ occurs in words such as "coal" and "hole". ɛɪ in some FLEECE words (e.g. "speak")

Ellis has this dialect covering a broad area from Halifax in West Yorkshire through East Lancs over to Ormskirk and Preston in the west. However there is a lot of variation within this area and seasoned dialect listeners can identify variations down to individual towns. Some examples are on the Rossendale Family History website, comparing Rossendale and Rochdale variants, together with examples of local words. Thomas Newbigging, author of the 'History of the Forest of Rossendale' also wrote a book on 'Lancashire Humour' which he published in 1900.

Probably the best known dialect author is Edwin Waugh of Heywood, Rochdale, who is immortalised in Waugh's Well on the moor above Rossendale. The Edwin Waugh Society is still active. Also commemorated there is Harry Craven, with the following memorial:

Harry Craven 640

My favourite is a conversation, overheard between two women on the bus: circa 1975:
'Did 'oo? Oo, oo'd have thought if of 'oo.'

'Oo' has three meanings in this sentence:
'Did she? Oh, who would have thought it of her?'

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