Dortspeak is here to stay - in a rindabite sort of way

Nicola Anderson

FASHIONABLE 'Dortspeak' has taken over the old expressions, Gaelic words and rural idioms in our everyday language.

And it's not just in Dublin 4.

The new homogenised accent and vocabulary are sweeping the country on the lips of young people from Roscommonto Wexford. A new edition of a Hiberno-English dictionary suggests the death knell for words like "culchie" meaning a person from rural Ireland.

It's being replaced by the 'Dort' version: "bogger".

And religious phrases such as "month's mind" and "a holy show" could be obsolete in as little as 10 years.

That's according to the dictionary's author Terry Dolan, of UCD's Teaching and Research department.

"As the country becomes more international, people do not want to be associated with rural, Celtic or even Christian Ireland," Mr Dolan claims.

He said young people are changing the vocabulary.

They are also changing the pronunciation of the words taught to them by the older generations and making a new language.

"Many expressions, especially old religious terms, are going out fast because the young generation are so confident about themselves," he said.

"Their kids will speak as they do and it is leading to a homogenisation of the language."

Mr Dolan says the new accent is led by TV and series such as 'Friends', and is almost a form of "designer label".

Young women are heading the pack to change the way we speak, along with the trademark "Rindabite" (meaning roundabout) accent of the AA Roadwatch radio announcers and he explains it as a type of "estuary English". Around 1,000 new words now part of everyday speak are included in the dictionary for the first time, including Celtic Tiger, industrial schools, Biddies and the Bertie Bowl - described as "a humorously figurative description" for the now defunct proposal.

The official definition of the Dortspeak phenomenon is given as "a sometimes derided variety of Hiberno-English which attempts, mainly in its pronunciation of vowels, to appear sophisticated and cosmopolitan, leaning towards an imitationof the home counties accentof England, without muchsuccess".