I'm going insane trying to identify this accent that appears in The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It's supposed to be bumpkin accent, but I don't have much more information about location. Could someone give me a hand?

He came up to where we stood, his weathered face grim as he squinted at us. “Wat are the tae o’ yeh daen oot here?” he said suspiciously. “Oi taut Oi heard sengen.”

“At twere meh coosin,” I said, making a nod toward Denna. “Shae dae have a loovlie voice far scirlin, dain’t shae?” I held out my hand. “Oi’m greet glad tae meet ye, sar. Y’clep me Kowthe.”

He looked taken aback when he heard me speak, and a good portion of the grim suspicion faded from his expression. “Pleased Oi’m certain, Marster Kowthe,” he said, shaking my hand. “Et’s a rare troit tae meet a fella who speks propper. Grummers round these ports sound loik tae’ve got a mouth fulla wool.”

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    I don't think it's an actual dialect; I think it's a literary invention, with elements drawn randomly from music-hall Scots, Mummerset and North Country. Apr 20, 2013 at 16:18
  • I don't know of any accent where it would be credible to transcribe treat as troit. I'm also highly doubtful that there are any living speakers who still say Y’clep at all, or that there ever were any who used Y’clep me X to mean I'm called X. Apr 20, 2013 at 16:47
  • @FumbleFingers Oh, yeah, I missed that one. Spenser in fact wrote yclepe in Colin Clout; it was a back-formation, coined because despite his enthusiasm for old forms he apparently didn't know yclept was the past participle of clepe, already disappearing in his day. I doubt anybody actually said it. Apr 20, 2013 at 19:32
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    @StoneyB: I'm pretty sure your first comment hit the nail on the head (it's a literary invention, not a real dialect). But I'd be intrigued to know where grummers comes from, and what it means (assuming Rothfuss didn't just make it up). All I can think of is groom, once used dialectally for boy, [young] man, fellow, chap. Apr 20, 2013 at 19:54
  • @StoneyB I think it's closer to how a stereotype of a leprechaun sounds. Apr 21, 2013 at 12:58

3 Answers 3


In my opinion, the words Wat, daen, daen oot would suggest a Scottish accent.

The sentence Oi taught i heard Sengen sounds very Irish because of the lack of "h" proceeding "t".

I actually think the accent being portrayed is a West Country accent. The words dain't, Marster and loik most definitive do not sound Irish and don't really sound Scottish (try and say the "r" in "Marster" in a Scottish accent).

I just read the plot of the book on Wikipedia and given the plot, it seems highly unlikely that the accent portrayed is actually a 'real accent' at all, rather an accent conjured by the author to fit the character.


I'll say Irish, with Scottish a close second.


Allow me to add some contextual information that might inform the question about which accent.

Rothfuss is an American author with an English degree. The book is of the (high?) fantasy genre, taking place in another world with demons and such inhabiting imaginary place names, so we are unlikely to find any one specific dialect or language faithfully represented (save for its narration in standard American English).

The character in question is a swineherd known as Skoivan Schiemmelpfenneg (Scheim), a name with lots of multinational hints. The given name Skoivan appears at the end of Kuskoiva, Finland and resembles the Skovin winery in Macedonia. The family name Schiemmelpfenneg appears to be a variant of the German Schimmelpfennig, a real family name that means "Moldpenny."

Furthermore, Scheim lives in the fictitious rural town of Trebon, the name of which only appears in Třeboň, Czech Republic and in Trébons, France. The swineherd uses "lass," which is stereotypically Scottish English; but in Scottish English the pronoun I becomes Ah, not Oi. He also switches Tae (=thou?) for Oi (=I?) once, another inconsistency.

As Adell mentioned, at the end of Chapter 73 the character Deena does describe the accent as "Bumpkin," a mildly disparaging term for rural people originating from Dutch. If anyone would care to ask the author from whence his dialectal inspiration came, they are welcome to visit: http://www.patrickrothfuss.com/content/contact.asp

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