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Smiling Ted
05-11-2008, 07:01 PM
Does anyone have a bead on the accent of John Oliver, the token expat on The Daily Show? I've just heard it duplicated for the second time, and I'm wondering if it's the product of a particular school or county - as opposed to being generic "posh UK."

Mr Flibble
05-11-2008, 07:12 PM
Lol, he's not posh.

Sounds a bit northern to me, but then if I go any further south I'll be in the sea.

Edit: I've had a listen to a couple of you tubes to refresh my memory -- definately northern, though it seems a bit diluted. Possibly Liverpool, or a hint of Brum? It's not all that strong so it's a bit difficult to tell.

Sophia
05-11-2008, 09:41 PM
The nearest thing to a birth place I've seen for John Oliver is in his Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Oliver_%28comedian%29), which says he attended school (pre-university) in Bedford, Bedfordshire (just north of London). To me, he speaks with an ordinary southern accent, partly because he fails my "Are you northern?" test ("Do you pronounce the a in 'dance' to rhyme with that in 'pants'?"), and also because he basically sounds like me.

I asked hubby, who also thought there was a Liverpool influence there. Perhaps John Oliver spent some time up north and picked up hints of the local accents?

Thanks for this question - searching around brought up some funny sketches of his. :)

Priene
05-11-2008, 11:20 PM
but then if I go any further south I'll be in the sea.

You live in Barrow-in-Furness?

Mr Flibble
05-11-2008, 11:37 PM
I found this in an interview with him, which might explain the diluted northern accent.


Born in Birmingham, raised in Liverpool, educated in Luton, he says he was always heading in the direction of Heathrow.



You live in Barrow-in-Furness? If I did, I'd be a northerner. So no.

Priene
05-11-2008, 11:50 PM
If I did, I'd be a northerner. So no.

I used to know someone from the Orkneys. He used to call people from Inverness Southerners.

Mr Flibble
05-12-2008, 12:04 AM
I used to know someone from the Orkneys. He used to call people from Inverness Southerners.

In exactly the same way I call Londoners northerners :) Hehe, well not quite. But anyone from above the Watford Gap.

cletus
05-12-2008, 12:11 AM
educated in Luton

I find that hard to believe.

Smiling Ted
05-12-2008, 12:25 AM
Lol, he's not posh.

Sure. Posh. "Irritatingly nasal."
Sorry, does it mean something else in the UK?

zahra
05-12-2008, 12:34 AM
Sure. Posh. "Irritatingly nasal."
Sorry, does it mean something else in the UK?
Upper class, you minion.:) Well, upper-middle to upper.

JimmyB27
05-12-2008, 01:59 AM
In exactly the same way I call Londoners northerners :) Hehe, well not quite. But anyone from above the Watford Gap.

Yay, I'm officially a southern fairy. (As opposed to northern monkey, of course).


I find that hard to believe.

Oh come now, you can get a very fine education in Luton. You can learn all about how to maximise your benefits, how to boost cars - that sort of thing.

Mr Flibble
05-12-2008, 02:31 AM
(As opposed to northern monkey, of course).

northern ginger monkey.

lets get it right. :)

cletus
05-12-2008, 02:58 AM
Oh come now, you can get a very fine education in Luton. You can learn all about how to maximise your benefits, how to boost cars - that sort of thing.
Not everybody from Luton is an underacheiver. The town has provided us with a few terrorists and Paul Young.

Toothpaste
05-12-2008, 08:16 AM
Sure. Posh. "Irritatingly nasal."
Sorry, does it mean something else in the UK?

In the UK there are very distinct accents which not only reflect where you were born and raised, but also your social status (in theory of course). Therefore to have a posh accent is actually a very specific set of accents, with specific vowels etc. It is rather remarkable how many different accents there are in such a tiny island.

There was a time in the UK when in order to make it as an actor you had to change your accent to the more acceptable "received pronunciation" which was a more high class accent - basically that typical "british accent" that people associate in general with brits. These days it is becoming much more popular to speak with the accent you were raised with. Though stereotypes still abound (think the same in the states with southern accents vs northern accents, or in Canada - eastcoast vs westcoast).

Many North Americans will lump virtually all british accents together as posh, simply because they are british (though we exclude cockney, because we've seen it as low class in a lot of films). But that is not the case in actuality in the UK.

Posh means exactly the same thing in the UK as it does in North America, it's just that a posh accent is very different depending on what your ear has become accustomed to. I am always so surprised by how people from the UK can distinguish so well between different accents down to the minutest of differences.

JimmyB27
05-12-2008, 12:33 PM
I am always so surprised by how people from the UK can distinguish so well between different accents down to the minutest of differences.
And I am always surprised how scouse and brummie can be lumped in under the 'posh' bracket.

Vincent
05-12-2008, 01:13 PM
There was a time in the UK when in order to make it as an actor you had to change your accent to the more acceptable "received pronunciation" which was a more high class accent - basically that typical "british accent" that people associate in general with brits. These days it is becoming much more popular to speak with the accent you were raised with. Though stereotypes still abound (think the same in the states with southern accents vs northern accents, or in Canada - eastcoast vs westcoast).




Hah, Received Pronunciation always cracks me up. The concept that speaking with a pronounced lisp is somehow a sign of proper breeding. :P

Smiling Ted
05-13-2008, 02:08 AM
Upper class, you minion.:) Well, upper-middle to upper.

Um, I was kidding. We minions know what "posh" means.
Perhaps I should have included a smiley in the post?
There you go.
;)

zahra
05-15-2008, 12:14 AM
Um, I was kidding. We minions know what "posh" means.
Perhaps I should have included a smiley in the post?
There you go.
;)
You know I'm afraid of you, Smiling - *shudder - Ted. Keep your smiles away from me!

waylander
05-15-2008, 03:03 AM
Does anyone have a bead on the accent of John Oliver, the token expat on The Daily Show? I've just heard it duplicated for the second time, and I'm wondering if it's the product of a particular school or county - as opposed to being generic "posh UK."


I'm with IdiotsRus on this one. He doesn't have much of an accent at all, there are hints of Liverpool and Birmingham.