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Quiz about Black Country Dialect A Bostin Quiz
Quiz about Black Country Dialect A Bostin Quiz

Black Country Dialect: A Bostin Quiz


The Black Country is the nickname for an area of the West Midlands west of Birmingham. It includes Dudley and Walsall, and a myriad of other towns.

A multiple-choice quiz by AcrylicInk. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
AcrylicInk
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
383,265
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
540
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 176 (8/10), Guest 82 (10/10), Guest 82 (10/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. The Black Country isn't an officially defined area, but which of these towns and cities is most definitely NOT in the Black Country? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. My friend asked if I could pick up some chocolate while I'm out. In Standard British English I'd say, 'I'm not going shopping.' How would I say it in Black Country dialect? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. You'd get a big red line through your work if you wrote this down in a school book, but when Black Country speakers are talking they sometimes replace the word 'are'. Instead of saying, 'You are silly', what would they say?

Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. I bought a new laptop and it's bost! What am I trying to say? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. My Black Country friend is up a ladder trying to get a football off the roof. It's just out of reach, so what does she say? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Certain parts of the Midlands, including the Black Country and Birmingham, use this word to refer to their mother. What is it? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. I was at Dudley Zoo when I held the door open for someone. They responded in true Black Country fashion. What did they say? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Over the years I've been called a 'wench' on numerous occasions by my mother. What does it mean? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. We're almost at the end of the quiz and it's time to say goodbye. What would be a good Black Country way to say farewell? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. This is a 'bostin' quiz, if I do say so myself. What does 'bostin' mean? Hint



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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The Black Country isn't an officially defined area, but which of these towns and cities is most definitely NOT in the Black Country?

Answer: Birmingham

The first recorded use of the term 'Black Country' dates back to the 1840s. There are two main theories about the origin of the name. Firstly, the Industrial Revolution saw a huge increase in factories and heavy industry in the area. With it, came a high level of pollution. The second possible origin of the name is the layer of coal beneath the surface of the area.

There is dispute over the exact borders of the Black Country. Birmingham, however, is most definitely NOT part of it. Some people get annoyed if you call them a Brummie by mistake. Even though Birmingham and the Black Country are geographically close, there are differences in the dialects.
2. My friend asked if I could pick up some chocolate while I'm out. In Standard British English I'd say, 'I'm not going shopping.' How would I say it in Black Country dialect?

Answer: I ay going shopping.

'Ain't' is an informal contraction meaning 'am not' or 'are not' in Britain and North America. The Black Country dialect is unique in that it doesn't use 'not' to form negatives. 'I ay' is used instead of 'I am not', and 'we ay' replaces 'we are not'. This is an example of where Birmingham dialects are different: they use 'not' when forming negatives.

Some other phrases include 'I day' (I didn't), 'I wor' (I wasn't), and 'I woh' (I won't).

It's true - I ay jokin'. And we ay gonna stop 'ere.
3. You'd get a big red line through your work if you wrote this down in a school book, but when Black Country speakers are talking they sometimes replace the word 'are'. Instead of saying, 'You are silly', what would they say?

Answer: You am silly.

When using second person pronouns, Black Country speakers use 'am' instead of 'are'. The words are sometimes blended together like a contraction, so it sounds like 'you'm': you'm silly, you am. That's where the name 'Yam-Yam' for the dialect comes from.
4. I bought a new laptop and it's bost! What am I trying to say?

Answer: It's broken.

My new laptop is broken!

The Black Country dialect is similar to Old English - more so than other modern English dialects. There are some words and pronunciations that are no longer in use elsewhere. Linguistics professor Urszula Clark suggests that this is because the area is on a plateau with no major rivers or Roman Roads. Originally, the area consisted of small hamlets of little economic value, and the area was not invaded by the Romans or Danish. As a result, the main influence on the language in the Black Country was Old English Mercian.

The thing to remember about accents and dialects is that they vary from speaker to speaker. I said previously that Black Country sounds different to Birmingham, but the truth is, with dialect leveling, regional varieties are being lost.
5. My Black Country friend is up a ladder trying to get a football off the roof. It's just out of reach, so what does she say?

Answer: I cor reach it.

As with 'am not' becoming 'ay', 'cannot' becomes 'cor'. Black Country dialect doesn't use 'not' to construct negatives. I've heard many people claim that regional dialects, including Black Country, don't have grammar. But they do. It's just not the same as Standard English. There are distinct patterns even in the way negatives are made. It's definitely not a free-for-all where any word can be put anywhere in a sentence - that would just be silly!

Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you're not a fan of dialectal differences), it's this kind of grammatical structure that is a victim of dialect leveling. 'But what is dialect leveling?' I hear you cry. In Britain, it's the overall decrease in differences in dialects. There are lots of possible reasons for this and they all play a part. One of the most significant contributors to dialect leveling is the fact that people are a lot more mobile than they used to be. People no longer live in one town for their whole life, so dialects merge.
6. Certain parts of the Midlands, including the Black Country and Birmingham, use this word to refer to their mother. What is it?

Answer: Mom

Some claim it's an Americanism but historically people in the Black Country use 'mom' instead of the Standard British English 'mum'.

Another cause of dialect leveling is education. I was volunteering in a classroom when a seven-year-old girl wrote a letter to her 'mom'. The teacher rubbed it out and told her to spell it properly. It's a personal anecdote but it reflects the perception of dialects in some schools.

Some schools have even gone as far as banning dialects. A headteacher in Halesowen (in the Black Country) introduced a zero tolerance policy on certain dialectal phrases in the classroom. They've since claimed that it raised standards in English, but many parents and children hated the idea because they view their dialect as part of their identity. Most people understand - even if it's unconsciously - that the way we speak is different to the way we write.
7. I was at Dudley Zoo when I held the door open for someone. They responded in true Black Country fashion. What did they say?

Answer: Ta

'Ta' means 'thank you'. It's an informal way of saying thanks that's not restricted to the Black Country. 'Mucker' means 'friend' and 'sprog' means child, both of which are informal phrases used across Britain. 'Skanth' is an anagram of 'thanks' and isn't used by anyone as far as I know.
8. Over the years I've been called a 'wench' on numerous occasions by my mother. What does it mean?

Answer: Young girl

'Wench' is an archaic word for 'young girl', but is still used in some dialects like Black Country. I'm told it's usually an affectionate term, but not in my experience: my mother would often call me and my sister 'wenches' when we were being annoying!
9. We're almost at the end of the quiz and it's time to say goodbye. What would be a good Black Country way to say farewell?

Answer: Tara a bit

'Cheers' is an informal way of saying 'thank you' all around Britain. It's also said at a toast. 'Fittle' is a Black Country word for 'food', but 'tara a bit' is most definitely 'goodbye'. 'Tara' can also be used on its own or with other phrases like 'tara for now'.
10. This is a 'bostin' quiz, if I do say so myself. What does 'bostin' mean?

Answer: Very good

It is indeed a bostin (a very good) quiz! Not to be confused with 'bost', which means 'broken'. A bostin chair is an excellent chair; a bost chair is one you probably shouldn't sit on.

The Black Country is a relatively small area and its local dialect has been neglected in linguistic research. The scene is starting to change, however. Urszula Clark, a local English professor, has produced some interesting books and articles on Birmingham and the Black Country. Writers living in the area have also immortalised the dialect in poetry, and there are Black Country translations of the Bible, too!
Source: Author AcrylicInk

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor ponycargirl before going online.
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