The UK is known for its rich array of regional accents and dialects. But does the way someone sounds have any correlation with our snap judgments towards them in the workplace and social settings? OnBuy.com were keen to uncover the British public’s opinions.
After asking 2,221 people, including employers, to listen to the 15 British accents and asking who they would trust and favour in job interviews, OnBuy.com can reveal which area of the UK has the most trustworthy sounding accent.
Which UK accent is the most trustworthy?
OnBuy.com discovered that Brits’ favourite and most trustworthy sounding accent was the Yorkshire accent, earning 60% of the vote. The perhaps quintessentially ‘northern English’ accent is often perceived as one of the most pleasing to the ear, perfect for outbound work calls. Participants often described the accent as ‘intelligent’ and ‘calming.’
In second place is Received Pronunciation, with 57% of the vote. It is often referred to as Received Standard or The Queen’s English and is mostly found in Hertfordshire, London, and Kent.
The Edinburgh accent comes in at third place with 52% of the vote. This accent differs greatly from the Glaswegian and is generally considered to be a softer with a much rounder sound. Participants said they would hire someone with the Edinburgh accent, with many participants describing this accent as ‘soothing’ and ‘friendly’; features hiring managers and interviewers value.
Following as the fourth, fifth and sixth most trustworthy are the Welsh, Newcastle (Geordie) and Bolton (Boltonian) where they received 48%, 40% and 38% of the votes respectively.
Which UK accent is the least trustworthy?
Brits Vote This Is The Most Trustworthy Sounding Accent
RP(Received Pronunciation) 57
Newcastle (Geordie) 40
Bolton (Boltonian) 38
Northern Irish 30
West Country – Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Gloucester 27
Manchester (Mancunian) 25
East Anglian – Norfolk, Suffolk 10
Liverpool (Scouse) 8
Birmingham (Brummie) 4
With the UK being a hotbed for such a variety of accents, it’s no surprise that some are deemed untrustworthy.
Unfortunately, even the Peaky Blinders association couldn’t bump them up. Brummies come in last place with only 4% of people deeming their accent as trustworthy. The Birmingham accent is often described as ‘slow’ and ‘monotone’; studies have shown that speaking slowly could mean that people are perceived as ‘slow-witted’ and fast talkers are considered more ‘persuasive’. During interviews, employers are often looking for the persuasive, problem-solving type.
Merely escaping last place are Scousers, with only 8% of the vote. As one of the most distinctive accents within the UK, participants often described them as sounding ‘unintelligent’ and ‘intimidating’. In spite of this, it is said that the employers often see a distinctive accent as ‘memorable’ and ‘distinguishing’.
Also thought of as untrustworthy is the East Anglian accent, covering areas such as Norfolk and Suffolk – it only received 10% of the vote.
OnBuy gave 2,221 people (general public, as well as employers) voice recordings of each of the listed accents. OnBuy then asked participants to vote for which ones they found the most trustworthy – with the question: “Which out of all of the following accents do you believe to be the most trustworthy? (Which do you consider most friendly and least intimidating?)” After each recording was played; members were then asked to write down three adjectives describing the accent they had just heard.