Are you from Berkshire or Barkshire?

Do you drive around the roundabout or ‘rayned the rayndabout?

Summed up by one Reading local as ‘cockney farmer’, the accent is one that reminds many of us of home.

But where did the accent come from and is it disappearing?

Professor of phonetics Jane Setter, who teaches at the University of Reading, explained that Berkshire was once dominated by the sounds now associated with the West Country.

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“The accent that we associate with West Country was fairly mainstream,” she said.

“Shakespeare’s accent would have been closer to that than royal pronunciation for example.”

The professor explained that as advances in technology like the railway system built more physical links with London, it created more phonetic ones too.

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That’s perhaps why one commenter on the Chronicle’s Facebook page said of the Reading accent: “Going dayne tayne to spend a paynde. Down town to spend a pound. This was how my nan spoke and my parents do a bit but not so much.

“I’m much more cockney in comparison but definitely not to a genuine Londoner.”

Reading’s accessible travel networks to the capital, South West, Oxford and Southampton meant more and more sounds began to be associated with the town.

Prof Setter said: “It’s largely because Reading has become a bit of a sleeper town for London and also we’ve got Thames Valley park with all the tech companies – the silicon valley of the UK in some ways.

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“I think that means that we’ve had a lot of people migrate to Reading, largely from the southeast and London but we’ll get people coming to Reading from all over the country that want to work in its industries.

“The accent has turned into to one of those Thames Valley, you-could-be-from-anywhere kind of accents. It’s very interesting the way this has happened”

“It’s a melting pot really, it’s one of those sorts of places where lots of different varieties and cultures meet and you end up with something referred to as accent levelling, which is where the accents all end up sounding quite similar.”