Anyone growing up in Katesgrove, Whitley & Tilehurst will be aware of the Reading accent, even though the accent has been bred out of most of Reading folk to be replaced by Thames mockney. These three areas retain some of the country burr and poetic rolling vowels of the Reading brogue often used when ordering larrrdy cake !
The one really useful way to know if someone is from Reading is to get them to say “Thursday”. No matter how modern their speech, it will come out as “Fursdee”. There is, of course, no such day. The main feature of the accent is the replacement of most vowels with an ‘a’ sound and the abandonment of the end of word ‘g’, as in “lend me a payned so I can go dayn tayn” and “Reading” pronounced as “Reddin”.
I have been collecting Reading-isms for years and really enjoyed a man on the bus refer to “dark clayds gathering over Europe” the other day. Anyways, see you Fursdee maybee.
Matthew Farrall, the author of this article, died on 20 April 2018.
We are grateful to his family for allowing us to continue to display his work online.