Estuary English is a variety of Standard English, spoken with a regional accent and, according to the linguist John Wells, "somewhere between traditional RP and Cockney". It includes the "form(s) of English widely spoken in and around London and, more generally, in the southeast of England — along the river Thames and its estuary".
Some features of Estuary English are as follows:
- Phoneme /eɪ/ pronunced as [ʌɪ]: face as [fʌɪs].
- Phoneme /aɪ/ pronunced as [ɑɪ]: price as [prɑɪs].
- Phoneme /aʊ/ pronunced as [æʊ]: mouth as [mæʊθ].
- Phoneme /əʊ/ pronunced as [əʊ], [ɒʊ] or [ʌʊ]: holy as ['həʊlɪ], goat as [gɒʊt] and loaf as [lʌʊf]
- Phoneme /uː/ pronunced as [ʉ:]: goose as [gʉ:s].
- Wells, John, "Our changing pronunciation",
- UCL (University College London) Division of Psychology & Language Sciences, Web documents relating to Estuary English
- Rosewarne, David, 1984. ‘Estuary English’. Times Educational Supplement
- Crystal, David. Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language, 1995, p. 327
- Wells, John, Transcribing Estuary English, 1994.