Contrary to popular belief, Brits really don't all sound like the Queen or Hollywood villains and according to Big 7 Travel, there are no less than 56 accents recognised within our tiny corner of the world (though there are likely a lot more). So what's the logical next step?
Rank them by sexiness, silly.
The travel-oriented listicle churner asked its "social audience" of 1.5 million people which varieties got them hot under the collar and there are a good few WTFs at the top end.
First of all, commiserations are in order for our readers in Buuuhhhminum (Birmingham) and surrounds as Brummie came last in 50th. This isn't entirely out of left field – whether unfairly, the accent has pretty much always been maligned outside of the Black Country. Famous proponents include West Bromich's most beloved son, Frank Skinner, and below he allows a number of comedians to dismantle Birmingham's "one joke".
However, at the other extremity, the Essex accent was allegedly deemed sexiest. How this happened is anyone's guess but it may have something to do with the baffling popularity of ITV's unreality show The Only Way is Essex or TOWIE colloquially.
A descendent of working-class London's Cockney (which came 10th by the way), the Essex accent developed as Eastenders left the city and moved further east, thought they were coming up in the world, and consequently tightened Cockney to a frightening degree. The original accent was East Anglian (21st), spoken in Suffolk and Norfolk, which sounds more "farmerish".
It's not "think", it's "FINK". It's not "Ibiza", it's "Oybeefaaa". And so on. Just hang on to the end of your words and stretch those vowels as if your life depended on it and you're almost there. To quote Essex comedian Russell Kane: "We sound like total fucking idiots with absolute clarity." Here's American actor Chris Pratt effortlessly pulling it off.
Though it sounds like the result of a botched lobotomy, humanity does have the unfortunate tendency to find intelligence unattractive. That's not to say Essex lacks the capacity for genius, it just doesn't often sound like it. Professional morons like "Joey Essex" (link NSFW*) only perpetuate the stereotype.
Moving to the far more reasonable second place, we find Northern Irish. Nothing to see here, who can resist that lilting sigh?
In third place, however, we come to <squints> Glaswegian? The less said about that, the better. The next highest Scottish accent was the capital's, Edinburgh, at 13th. The Highlands accent scraped into the top 20, coming in 19th. A botnet originating in Glasgow is the only possible explanation for such a result.
For those of you insistent that you don't have an accent, Queen's English came fourth. Of course in reality, British accents can be divided into two – Northern and Southern – and both sound ridiculous to the other. Think the list is bullshit**? Weigh in below. ®
* Not safe for wit
** Who are we kidding? Of course it is