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The term brogue (/brɡ/ BROHG) generally refers to an Irish accent. Less commonly, it may also refer to certain other regional forms of English, in particular those of Scotland or the English West Country.[1][2] However, traditionally Scottish and West Country accents were called burrs due to the rolling of the R's not brogues.[3]

The word was first recorded in 1689.[4] Multiple etymologies have been proposed: it may derive from the Irish bróg ("shoe"), the type of shoe traditionally worn by the people of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands, and hence possibly originally meant "the speech of those who call a shoe a 'brogue'".[5] It is also possible that the term comes from the Irish word barróg, meaning "a hold (on the tongue)", thus "accent" or "speech impediment".[6] A famous false etymology states that the word stems from the supposed perception that the Irish spoke English so peculiarly that it was as if they did so "with a shoe in their mouths".[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ brogue, noun. Cambridge Dictionaries Online.
  2. ^ McArthur, Tom and Roshan (2005). Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. OUP Oxford. ISBN 978-0192806376
  3. ^
  4. ^ McCrum, Robert et al. (1986). The Story of English. Viking Press. ISBN 978-0670804672
  5. ^ brogue, Online Etymology Dictionary
  6. ^ Merriam-Webster Online (2012). "brogue". Merriam-Webster Online. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  7. ^ Walshe, Shane et al. (2009). Irish English As Represented in Film. Peter Lang Pub Inc. p. 4. ISBN 978-3631586822