UCL News


Cows with Brummie accents? Pull the udder one

23 August 2006

Despite their limited conversational skills, cows appear to 'moo' in regional accents, farmers say.

Herds in the West Country have been heard lowing with a distinctive Somerset twang, prompting some to claim the sound is more 'moo-arr' than moo.

Brummie accents have been noticed in cows in the Midlands, Geordie tones abound in Tyne and Wear and there are overtones of Estuary English around the South-East. …

Professor John Wells [UCL Phonetics & Linguistics] said: "This phenomenon is well attested in birds.

"You find distinct chirping accents in the same species around the country. This could also be true of cows.

"In small populations such as herds you would encounter dialectical variations which are most affected by the immediate peer group." …

Andrew Levy, 'Daily Mail'