1. ITV Report

#LoveIt or #HateIt? 'Welsh accent' tweets studied

Comedian Rob Brydon and singer Sir Tom Jones both have strong Welsh accents. Photo: Suzan/Suzan/EMPICS Entertainment

Attitudes to the Welsh accent appear to be improving, with more people thinking it's attractive than ever before, according to research by Cardiff University.

Sociolinguist Dr Mercedes Durham analysed nearly 90,000 tweets from September 2012 to May 2013 containing the words 'Welsh' and 'accent' to see what people were saying about it.

And it's good news for those with a Welsh lilt, with people on the social networking site more likely to think that the Welsh accent is sexy rather than ugly.

What’s really interesting is that there are far more tweets from people who love the accent than any other type. People on Twitter are much more likely to think that the Welsh accent is sexy rather than ugly. This contrasts with earlier research, which found that Welsh accents were often judged negatively.

– Dr Mercedes Durham, Senior Lecturer at the School of English, Communication and Philosophy
The Twitter study showed attitudes to the Welsh accent were mostly positive, in contrast to earlier research. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Some representative tweets from the study:

  • If the Welsh accent was a person we would be dating
  • Dad said if I ever pick up a Welsh accent I’ll be banished from the family
  • *Welsh accent* "Your voice is well lush"
  • I don't get how people can say they like the British accent: English, Northern Irish, Welsh and Scottish accents are all so different

These findings are important because people’s linguistic attitudes can affect the way they treat others with certain accents. Attitudes also affect whether people with some accents might try to hide them in some situations. If Welsh accents are viewed positively, they are less likely to become more similar to English accents.

– Dr Mercedes Durham