There is still a great deal of debate about what constitutes a true Scouser. Certainly, the accent varies quite dramatically even within the city. Those from the central and northern districts of Liverpool tend to boast a much stronger and harsher accent that those from the more affluent southern districts. A kilometre is a long way in Liverpool, at least linguistically!
To appreciate the variations in the scouse accent, it is worth listening to natives of the northern and southern areas of the city. Here are two English celebrities who demonstrate the differences between the accents. Actor Stephen Graham hails from Kirby in the north of Liverpool while actor Michael Starke is from Halewood to the south.
Scouse words and phrases
It isn’t only pronunciation that makes Scouse so difficult for non-native speakers and even the English to understand. It also possesses its own vocabulary and grammar. As with some European languages and certain American dialects, Scouse has a second person plural pronoun – yous. Instead of saying “what are you all doing tomorrow?” Liverpudlians would say “what are yous doing tomorrow”. In addition, the object pronoun “me” is commonly used in place of “my”. For example, “me pants have fallen down” instead of “my pants have fallen down”.
A word to the wise
It would be impossible to explain every idiosyncrasy of the Scouse accent here. Like most accents, dialects and languages, Scouse is continually evolving. While all native English speakers will recognise Scouse immediately, they may have trouble understanding much of what is being said. Non-native speakers might well find themselves completely mystified. It can take time to tune your ear to the linguistic oddities of Liverpudlians, particularly as they are constantly inventing new ways to confuse the rest of the world! Some might say that Scousers aren’t speaking English at all!