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My first wifey came from Seston (Selson) and I had many friends from Illson (Ilkeston) and Ayner (Heanor). 'Sorry' or 'surry' was the pronunciation of serry in those districts.  My ex-father-in-law had the old Erewash Valley accent and was quite difficult to understand with his 'ohstermay' (She said to me) and his thees and thous and he thought me posh because I came from Nottingham where we didn't have such a strong accent :) 

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Been in Bristol since 75. Burton Joyce from 64.   Weeding in back garden thinking about god knows what when "Y'aright serry?" suddenly popped into my head. Always assumed it was a corruption

My step-dad and his relatives lived in Eastwood and "Serry", "faitin'" and "scraitin'" were everyday words to them. "She said ...", became "Ow sed", and trees were "trays". They had brilliant nick-n

Origin of "Serry" Derived from late Middle Ages "Sirrah" a form of address between men of equal rank. Used a lot in Shakespeare's plays for instance. I often heard "sedge" and "serreh" in the 50s.

I used to drink in the pubs around Eastood, Brinsley etc., and loved to get into conversations with the old guys. Thee's and thou's were prevalent, as was ta, which sounds like the "a" in "a drink", but with a T in front - (not ta(r)), as in "Ar ta gooin' 'om?"

 

A lot of these old guys were ex-miners, and when they mixed in the pit-slang as well they were well nigh unintelligible ... "W'en I were wokking in't gobbins" was one of my favourites!

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T'gobbins were norra good place ter be when it cum dahn! Ant blast er air as it gid yer were enough ter knock yer ovva!  Ah used ter 'ate bein' on't bank whent' gob were dead deep cuz yer knew as it'd probli cum dahn in yer shift.

 

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Great to see 'serry' recognised !

I wondered if serry could be a misused form of sirrah? However, while sirrah was used to show some contempt, serry is quite the opposite. So l'm no wiser now.

I'm from Derbyshire Rother/Erewash area.  John

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Yes!  Good to see it in print. I used to think it was a corruption of sirrah but it can't be ? Serry is a greeting to an equal,  whereas sirrah was used with some contempt or agression.

I'm N E Derbyshire area.

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Been in Bristol since 75. Burton Joyce from 64.

 

Weeding in back garden thinking about god knows what when "Y'aright serry?" suddenly popped into my head. Always assumed it was a corruption of 'sirrah' after it was suggested by a friend smarter than me.  I was seven when we moved to BJ and the dialect change from my Liverpool birthplace was astonishing.  I frequently had my parents in hysterics once I'd become naturalised.  One particular one which had them perplexed was "ahm goin rarnd Gunny" as I was about to cycle to Gunthorpe, and "ah layed one on Johno" after I'd hit my best friend (he hit me first). My sister, mad keen on horses, always referred to them as Bobbos. Oh and 'dog bob' (dog poo). I go back pretty frequently, but the last time I remember feeling I'd actually returned to my linguistic roots was in the Blacks Head on Burton Road about twenty years ago. Comments about accent variations within very local areas certainly rings true, just going to Gunthorpe from Burton Joyce I remember noticing differences. I met someone from Arnold at work in Bristol a few years ago; Nottingham obvs. but I knew it wasn't Burton Joyce/Bulcote/Gedling.  Same in Bristol, the local accent (Knowle) is distinct from areas only a few miles away.  It was great to reminded about 'Mester'.  I was too young to be addressed in this form but I remember my Dad finally getting used to it.

 

Great to find this forum.

 

John

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