The BBC is beginning a series of programs called Word 4 Word; Simon Elmes, the executive producer, says:

Word 4 Word is the Radio 4 outlet for a unique piece of social and linguistic research called VOICES conducted this year.
Dialect experts at Leeds University devised a set of word prompts for the VOICES survey. Then ‘audio-gatherers’ from local and regional radio stations recorded over a thousand individuals from across the UK. The researchers were interested in recording the vernacular (everyday words and phrases) rather than ‘Standard’ or ‘BBC’ or ‘Oxford’ English.
The fruits of this enormous exercise are explored on Word 4 Word from 3 August.
You can read more about the VOICS survey and add to the regional library of vocabulary on the VOICES website.

The page with the Elmes quote also has a list of “delicious words” and phrases, one of which I intend to start using immediately:

Crimes o’ Paris – exclamation, used as expression of exasperation, as in ‘Crimes of Paris! Whatsisname?’. (Potteries usage)

Incidentally, in the lead-in to the Elmes quote, the word minging is used; for those who, like myself, were wondering how it’s pronounced, it rhymes with singing and is Scots in origin, meaning (according to the OED) “That smells bad, stinking; (more generally) unpleasant, foul. Also: very drunk.” It comes from the noun ming ‘a bad smell’ (of uncertain origin).
(Thanks for the link, Glyn!)


  1. I listened to one of those yesterday – I didn’t realize it was new. I usually listen to Gardeners’ Question Time or the Food Programme.
    Just go to Radio 4 and there’s a link on the right-hand side, and other ways of finding it too.

  2. All three episodes that have been aired to-date are still available (click on the headlines in the right-hand sidebar of the Word4Word mini-site). I recorded them.
    Quite impressed with the quality of this program.
    Episode 3 has some more on “Crimes o’ Paris”, without a definitive conclusion, though.

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