HOW be on? It be a bit dimpsy, bain't it? Gi's a gurt big pint of thee best zider.

Did you understand that sentence? If you did, the chances are you're fluent in the Somerset dialect.

If you don't have a clue what the words mean, I asked the person behind the bar how they were, said it was going a bit dark outside and asked for a large pint of their best cider.

Over the years, most of us lose our accents as the world becomes a smaller place and you interact with people over the telephone that live hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away.

But the native tongue of “ooh-aars” still survives in the school playground, and reference to “Zummerzet Zyder” in the bars of village pubs and the homes of farming communities.

The West Country lingo is popular among film writers and television programmes and became most famous after The Wurzels topped the UK music charts with their rendition of Combine Harvester.

To pick up the Somerset twang, which dates back to the Anglo-Saxon period, actors learn 'Mummerset' which is a mixture of dialects from across the South-West by replacing the 'S' in words with 'Z' and changing an 'F' with a 'V'.

In films, the Somerset accent can almost be described a 'pirate talk' with the ooo-arrs and is most famous in the action comedy movie, Hot Fuzz, which was filmed in Wells.

Other characters, including Hagrid in the Harry Potter series and Little Britain character Vicky Pollard are also portrayed with a thick West Country accent.

To get you started, here are ten words or phrases that prove you're from Somerset and while you're at it, have a go at our quiz below.

If you can think of any more add them to this story by commenting below or tweet reporter Daniel Milligan @GazetteDMilli

1 - GURT - “big or very”

Usage: That's a gurt big pothole.

2 - DIMPSEY - “That murky half-light which comes at the end of the day”

Usage: It be a bit dimpsy, bain't it?

3 - SPUDDLING - “To cause trouble, to bicker”

Usage: I told him off for spuddling with his brother.

4 - GROCKLE - “A holidaymaker or someone from out of town”

Usage: I wish those grockles would all go home, 'cos I can't find anywhere to park thee car.

5- PROPER JOB - “Great work or good job”

Usage: I passed my exams today, proper job.

6- G'WOAM - “Going home”

Usage: I'll be g'woam after work.

7- ZUMMERZET ZYDER - “Somerset cider”

Usage: I'll be down the cricket drinking zum Zummerzet Zyder.

8- HOW BE ON? - “How are you doing?”

Usage: I've not seen you for a while, how be on?

9- WHERE YOU TO? - “Where are you?”

Usage: I'm just going out to the shops, where you to?

10- INNIT SNUGH - “Yes it is, isn't it?”

Usage: The weather is bad tomorrow innit snugh?


1 - Wha' be gwain 'ave?

A: What are you going to have?

B: What are you doing?

C: What are you looking for?

2 - Whirr zer bin to?

A: What have you been doing?

B: What has he been doing?

C: Where has he been?

3 - Sright nottlin, sno. Spec me rumatics'll zoon be yer

A: It's really cold, you know. I expect my rheumatism will soon be here

B: It's snowing. I expect Christmas will soon be here

C: It's expected to snow heavily soon, but I have lost my spade

4 - S'getting dimpsey so you d'mind y'doan go vallin auver they ruckles on yer way cross mower.

A: I'm feeling tipsy. Do you mind giving me a lift home on your tractor?

B: It's just getting dark so mind you don't fall over the peat stacks on your way across the moor

C: It's just getting dark. Do you mind giving me a lift home?

5 - Eye sorer war shin

A: I've got a sore, raw shin

B: I saw her washing

C: Her washing is an eyesore

6 - Cordin eye, stimey wenoam

A: According to me, it's time he went home

B: According to me, she is a very drunk woman

C: Come and now, it's time to drink up.


Answers: 1) A 2) C 3) A 4) B 5) B 6) A