The Irish Accent: The North of Ireland, Donegal and Belfast

I had never heard the word “wild” used to replace the word “very” until I shared a house with two Donegal women during my years at University College Galway.

“Oh, it was wild funny!”  Yes it most certainly was.

“It was wild funny!”

The Donegal accent and the Belfast accent makes the broad vowels; a, o and u, slender. That is how it sounds to a Galway woman anyway. In fact, the Donegal accent has affectations of the Eastern US accent to it. The links above are video responses to a challenge on

If you listen very carefully, at 3:20, to how the young lady from Belfast pronounces the word “remote,” as in remote control, you’ll have a hard time distinguishing it from an American accent.

Maybe this Americanization of accents is due to the internet, an increase in the number of television channels available or just that the world is shrinking, well not physically, but geographically. People travel a lot more than they did when I was growing up and are more susceptible to outside influences.

Broad vowels are getting slender as they head north.

I can hear the broadness of my own accent, especially in my own pronunciation of the vowels a,o and u, in comparison to how the ladies from Donegal and Belfast pronounce them.

On my own blog post about the Galway accent, I will add audio of myself reading the challenge below.

Here are the words and questions that both young woman are responding to; Pronounce the following words: Aunt, Roof, Route, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Pajamas, Caught, Naturally, Aluminium, GIF, Tumblr, Crackerjack, Doorknob, Envelope, WWIAO, Gpoy.
Questions: –

1. What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?

2. What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?

3. What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?

4. What do you call gym shoes?

5. What do you say to address a group of people?

6. What do you call the kind of spider (or spider-like creature) that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?

7. What do you call your grandparents?

8. What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?

9. What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?

10. What is the thing you change the TV channel with?


End audio post by saying any 3 words you want


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