News 10 July 2024

These are the least & most relaxing accents in the UK

10 July 2024

A recent study has identified the UK’s most relaxing accent, with the Welsh accent topping the list.

The survey, which polled 1,502 nationally representative individuals, asked participants to rank 15 UK accents from most to least relaxing. The Essex accent ranked last, finishing in 15th place.

Jointly securing the second position were the Yorkshire and Cornish accents, while Northern Irish and Received Pronunciation (RP) rounded out the top five. The research was conducted by Spa Seekers in collaboration with Dr. Chris Montgomery, a senior lecturer in dialectology at the University of Sheffield.

Dr. Montgomery explained to Sky News that no accent inherently possesses relaxing qualities. “It’s the connotations that they have that people learn over time,” he said. He suggested that the Welsh accent’s top ranking could be attributed to positive associations with holidays and the scenic beauty of Wales, including its beaches and national parks.

Participants in the survey were presented with several accent labels to choose from. Dr. Montgomery elaborated, “Essentially, what you’ve got is a number of different accent names, you’ve got a number of different scales, and then people rate on those scales. And then we looked at what the rank ordering was.”

He also noted that the study’s list of accents was not exhaustive and acknowledged the variation within Welsh accents. “We just used the label ‘Welsh accent’. Obviously, there’s a lot of variation in Wales,” he said, highlighting differences between northern and southern Welsh accents and variations in different cities.

In addition to UK accents, the survey found that the Italian accent was considered the most relaxing accent in the world.

[Image created via Midjourney]