The North/South Divide – through the voice of a little girl

When I was at university, I quite enjoyed playing into the north/south stereotype.


It was great then and it’s still great now to work and be alongside people from all sorts of different backgrounds and experiences.

I like to think I am highly tolerant and welcoming of different viewpoints, opinions and ways of doing things.

(You couldn’t really pretend to teach in a classroom if you weren’t!)

However, I’m starting to see something in Sophie which hasn’t come from me and has originated somewhere else that I’m not so sure about.

That I’m keen to discourage.

That needs addressing- and fast.

The influence of my wife’s speech.

Let me explain.


While all that stuff about tolerance is all well and good, there’s clearly only one correct way to speak.

Our way!

Path. Grass. Laff. Etc

My wife on the other hand, who spent most of her school years in Cambridge, has understandably been accustomed to the stranger way of speaking.

Parth. Grarse. Larrf.

I can accept this in her. I love her and these things are part of her. I couldn’t expect her to change (although there have been times where she has slipped into northern dialect – I was so proud).

My two and a quarter year old though? Who lives in the north? Who is just finding her way in the speaking world?

Clearly I’ve not interacted with her enough if she is speaking in such an unusual manner. I’ve been unguarded and allowed my wife’s speech to infiltrate.

It’s not too late to take emergency action but it’s at times like these when patterns get fixed and she needs to know the correct way.

As for our second child; well lightning doesn’t strike twice and I’ll be making sure this baby is fully exposed to northernness.

Perhaps a recording of Jim Bowen reading to lull the baby to sleep?

Instead of a winnie the pooh baby bath, wash it in a tin container so it can identify with its ancestors?

Plenty of trips to the Northern Riviera (Morecambe, Fleetwood, Lytham)?

Ideas on a postcard please.

(Just don’t tell my wife…)


  1. Hey up lad, a Box set of Bradshaws CDs is high on ‘t Christmas list for you and yours – sorted!

  2. Where does the midlands come into this?!! Baath , ay up me duck, etc xxx

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