Mad fer it: Women vote Manchester accent ‘most attractive’ in UK

The Mancunian twang is the ‘most attractive’ regional accent to ladies, according to a new study.

Research revealed that Manchester came out on top as the accent women were most drawn to, followed by Irish and Australian. 

Meanwhile Received Pronunciation (RP), regarded as the standard accent of Standard English, came out as nation’s favourite generally, in the study by online dating company eHarmony.

Manchester came eighth in the overall ‘favourite’ accent rankings when both men and women were asked.

Professor of Phonetics at The University of Reading, Jane Setter, said: “Our preconceptions and love of certain lilts, drawls and tones when it comes to accents is mostly down to experience and stereotyping. 

“This helps to explain why RP scores so highly across all categories; it’s the accent we associate with trusted newsreaders, plus it continues to be used as the model for teaching English as a foreign language.”

The study tested 750 respondents by playing them clips of men and women with 19 different accents.

They were then asked when they thought of each accent, based on ten different character traits.

After RP as the favourite, the Edinburgh accent was the nation’s second most popular, followed by Australian and Irish.

Yorkshire, American, Geordie, Mancunian, Glaswegian, and Welsh comprise the rest of the top 10.

For men, the Manchester accent was not as attractive as it had been with the women, and London, Yorkshire and Edinburgh accents were found to be the most alluring.

“In terms of other accents which were rated highly for attractiveness – again stereotyping is at play,” Professor Setter added.

“Across the pond, we see the Americans as colourful and international so they’re ‘interesting’; Yorkshire folk are seen as down to earth and honest, and the Irish have ‘kissed the Blarney stone’ and are celebrated as charming and quick witted. 

“In terms of French and Italian not faring so well, this could simply be down to a lack of familiarity with their unique inflections.”

More than a fifth of those asked (22%) admitted that the appeal of some accents has been so strong they have actually gone on a date with someone because they liked their accent.

Some also confessed that they have sometimes ‘played up’ how they speak because they thought it sounded attractive.

Jemima Wade, spokesperson for eHarmony said: “Here at eHarmony we’re always looking at the science behind what makes people tick when it comes to finding love, so it’s interesting to see that when it comes to first impressions, it’s not just what you say, but how you say it that can really give someone those all-important butterflies.

“After spending time getting to know each other online, the first time you meet and say ‘hello’ on a date is a special, exciting moment.

“Yet while accents may be appealing at first, sparking initial interest and attraction, happy long-term relationships are about far more than that.

“Compatibility is key, which comes down to holding similar values, behaviours and characteristics.”

Image courtesy of BBC, via YouTube, with thanks

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