I had always associated the construct I'm sat here (as opposed to I'm sitting here) with the north of England. I know I've heard it from people with Yorkshire or Manchester accents, for example. Yet, I was recently speaking with a couple of Londoners, one of whom used it and the other stated it sounded natural.

Here are some examples I found in Google Books to clarify the specific usage I am referring to:

Don't think: I'm sat here waiting for my plays to be produced; think: I am sat here waiting to write those plays that can only be produced, now. [source]

I'm sat here in Vittles waiting for a second pot of tea, and life is OK, on the whole. [source]

I'm sat here, in the back of a van with my Thermos full of hot tea, protecting a car-park. [source]

And it'sonly now that I'm sat here to with Emma that the absurdity of what I'm doing is starting hit home. [source]

I'm sat here watching and listening to them talk. [source]

So, how common is this in the UK? Is it actually regional and, if so, of which region, or is it a more widespread expression?

  • ODO has a usage note that says, “Originally only in dialect, it is now common in British (though not US) English”. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 8 '16 at 17:12
  • I don't think "I'm sat here" means "I'm sitting here" - I think it means "I'm to be seated here" or "I will be sittling here". You'd only say it if the chair was empty (perhaps you got up to feed the dog). It reminds me of the recent question on Western Pa. dialect "dog wants fed" and "clothes need washed". – Phil Sweet Jul 23 '16 at 3:25

I had a welsh friend in primary school who would say this often. We live in New Zealand, so I don't know many people who speak with other British dialects, I couldn't compare them.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.