Do you know your 'wasteman' from you 'gyaldem'?

Do you know your ‘wasteman’ from your ‘gyaldem’? Street slang will become the dominant dialect in Britain within 100 years, researchers say

  • London’s inner-city slang could become UK’s dominant dialect within 100 years 
  • The Multicultural London English dialect has spread throughout the country
  • From ‘peng’ to ‘gyaldem’ and ‘wagwan’ to ‘wasteman’, our language is changing 

London’s inner-city slang could become Britain’s dominant dialect within a century, experts have claimed.

The Multicultural London English (MLE) dialect has spread both throughout the country and across social classes, The Telegraph reported.

You only have to turn on the television to hear words such as ‘peng’ (attractive) and ‘lips’ (kiss), with other examples including ‘creps’ for shoes, ‘mandem’ and ‘gyaldem’ for groups of men and women, and ‘wasteman’ for a stupid person.

University of Oxford linguistics lecturer Prof Matt Gardner said: ‘We don’t speak in the same way people did in the time of Shakespeare or Chaucer.

‘London, being the economic and cultural centre, drives these changes. We have seen that across the last hundred years, and we will see that across the next 100 years.’

It means use of the word ‘man’ as a pronoun instead of ‘I’, ‘you’ or ‘he’ could become prevalent in the UK.

University of Oxford linguistics lecturer Prof Matt Gardner said: ‘We don’t speak in the same way people did in the time of Shakespeare or Chaucer. London, being the economic and cultural centre, drives these changes. We have seen that across the last hundred years, and we will see that across the next 100 years’ (pictured: City of London skyline) 

The dialect is an amalgamation of languages from cultures outside of Britain. For example the greeting ‘wagwan’ (what’s going on?) was taken from Jamaican English.

MLE speakers largely have immigrant roots and have also replaced the Cockney dialect in working class areas of the capital meaning pronouncing your Hs could be back in style within the next 100 years.

The dialect initially took hold as immigrants who could not speak English or only knew it as their second tongue spoke in Patois, an English-based creole language with Jamaican roots. 

The growth of grime music has also helped cement the dialect and help it cross into the vocabulary of other social classes. 

Many young people already use the lingo and as they grow into middle age and pass their language habits to their children, MLE will likely take hold. 

Experts believe as the dialect comes against regional accents it will start to have offshoots based on location within the country.

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