By Sophie McNaughton
In recent years, a peculiar part of student culture has been creeping across the West of Scotland: the Glasgow Uni accent. This phenomenon, the name for which was inspired by a Kevin Bridges joke and coined by Twitter and Facebook hipster-bashers, originated from the University of Glasgow but has now spread to the greater ‘Gtown’ area.
The increase of this accent, which is signature of the yolo swag west-ender, has caused many students to shed their native tongue and adopt this new hybrid speech manufactured from a patented blend of a Made in Chelsea accent, overexposure to the Byres Road area and the Hillhead Book Club.
I have taken precautions to dodge this by giving my friends permission to ‘stoat ma nut wae a ginger boattle’ if I ever use characteristics associated of this amusing speech: the early warning sign being use of the phrase “top chat, top banter.”
Although the proportion of students who do not have the accent, only a small percentage I’ll admit, playfully tease the cringe-worthy student dialect through Twitter, Facebook and Vine, the accent is a love-to-hate guilty pleasure that many of us enjoy mimicking.
For those starting university soon and having anxieties about accidentally becoming fluent in Glasgow Uni speak, here are a few things to steer clear of in order to avoid picking up the local lingo: living in the west-end; spending all your time in Ashton Lane; going to ‘studenty’ coffee shops and ordering a double hot chocolate skinny latte caramel mocha with extra cream and chocolate sprinkles; dressing in head-to-toe vintage; styling your hair into a ‘man bun’; ending sentences with the word ‘like’ or with an upwards question inflection. Other phrases to side-step are those along the lines of: “Positive vibez,” “Oh myy gaawd man, I can’t believe I missed that lectuuure” or “We totes need to go for drinks again! Those jager bombs were bruuutaaal. Top drawer night bro. Hash tag: lad.”
But when it comes down to it, we all secretly love the toff tongue and only mock ‘Gtown’ linguistics as a sign of affection. If you manage to get through your three or four years at university and maintain your original dialect, then great, but if you find yourself slipping into the vocal patterns you used to ridicule and implement the posh phonology, it’s not the end of the world either.
No matter how we speak or what words we use, our invented terminology and diverse accents all represent a part of Glasgow and Scottish culture. So whether you say “Awright ma muckas. Whits haaappenin’?” or “Hey there guys! Let’s jump over to Viiipeeer!” maybe we should stop giving each other such a hard time. After all, our varying vernacular is just another reason on the long list of things that make us hilarious.