View Full Version : Inability to pronounce v

01-09-2008, 08:45 AM
I have been reading Martin Chuzzlewit and I noticed Mrs.Gamp and Mr.Bailey don't pronounce their vs properly I was wondering why that is. I know Dickens does the same with Sam Weller in Pickwick Papers. I noticed they're all working class comic characters was there a certain part of London which had that accent? Or did he just find it funny? Anyway I would like to know.

P.S Haven't finished the book please no spoilers

01-21-2008, 08:19 PM
I noticed this in Oliver Twist and David Copperfield as well. The people who pronounce v's like w's all seem to be either villains or poor.

And I just found at encyclopedia.com that it's a characteristic of the Cockney dialect.

02-02-2008, 09:59 AM
So it was an accent, thanks.

04-04-2009, 04:33 PM
It's also a way to make the character comic, unsophisticated, and place them in a social class. It appears in quite a few of his novels, and never fails to make me amused.

04-24-2012, 01:22 PM
Some of the characters in Great Expectations pronounce v as w. For example, Magwitch desribes himself as being brought up as a warmint. I took it he meant varmint. I think Joe tended to pronounce v as w too.

I seem to remember in Latin v was pronounced w, while in German w is pronounced v. Only sometimes, the w sounds a bit like a v and a bit like a w. It seems like those sounds tend to get mixed up.