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It is very rare but I've heard some people from Great Britain pronouncing it like that for some reason.

For instance:

  • He said "However" pronouncing it as "Hoyiever".
  • He said "Let him down" pronouncing it "Let him doyn".
  • He said "He freaked out" pronouncing "He freaked oyit".

It's quite strange although they have numerous things in their accent!

(You may ask where I heard that one, it's from Jim Browning if you are familiar with him.)

Which dialects pronounce it this way? And what is this called?

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  • 1
    I think it's more the diphthong /aʊ/ , and not just the consonant; asking why is probably not possible to answer. It's a regional accent, AFAIK., and dialects and accents are learned from the cradle. May 9 at 18:14
  • 1
    @Cascabel_StandWithUkraine_ I'm actually searching for someone British and who is well-acquainted with it ... if it sounds familiar to them, that's all xD May 9 at 18:26
  • AJ Ellis in his 1868 book Early English Pronunciation wrote: "Properly speaking there is no uniformity. Not only will a practised ear tell the village in a district from which a speaker hails, but a more accurate examination will shew that families in the same village do not speak exactly alike." May 9 at 19:02
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    Your examples sound like a Northern Irish accent.
    – Greybeard
    May 9 at 19:08
  • 2
    @Greybeard That tracks—Jim Browning is from Northern Ireland. So the United Kingdom but not Great Britain.
    – Nardog
    May 9 at 20:20

1 Answer 1

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Linguists have noted the existence of pronunciations of the "mouth" diphthong with a "fronted" offglide at the end (one that sounds comparatively less like a "w" sound and more like a "y" sound) in several distinct accents of English.

The linguist John Wells wrote two blog posts in 2010 about the alleged usage of a pronunciation similar to this by Queen Elizabeth II:

More relevantly though to your example of Jim Browning, Wells also has a page titled "links to recordings of English accents and dialects" for his book Accents of English with some descriptions of the recordings, including the following note about Ireland:

Among the special Ulster characteristics are a MOUTH diphthong which ends in a central, usually unrounded, quality, [ʌɨ]

That supports Stephen Manistre's answer.

(The audio on that page only works on some browsers. Wells advises Internet Explorer.)

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