The Black Country
What Is The Black Country?
The Black Country Locality
The Black Country is in the West Midlands, England. It is located to the north and west of the city of Birmingham and to the south and east of Wolverhampton, with an estimated population of 1 million people.
The majority of the Black Country people despite how near the Black Country is to Birmingham refuse to claim membership to the city due to their pride of being from The Black Country.
The geography of the Black Country is a commonly debated subject as it has no borders & doesn't appear on any map.
A hot topic is Wolverhampton. Generally, those that are from Wolverhampton say it is in the Black Country, while those that aren't, say it's not.
(A rough guide to the shape of the Black Country)
Our opinion is:
If yow think yow am Black Country, then yow probably am!
The most popular and well known towns in the Black Country are:
Bilston, Blackheath, Brierley Hill, Brownhills, Coseley, Cradley, Cradley Heath, Darlaston, Dudley, Gornal, Great Bridge, Halesowen, Kingswinford, Lye, Netherton, Oldbury, Old Hill, Quarry Bank, Rowley Regis, Sedgley, Smethwick, Stourbridge, Tipton, Walsall, Warley, Wednesbury, Wednesfield, West Bromwich, Willenhall and Wordsley..
The Black Country Industry
The Black Country is world famous for its industry, by the late 19th century the area had become one of the most industrialised places in the country. The coal mining, steel mills, iron foundries and factory furnaces produced a level of air pollution that had few equals in the world.
(Photo courtesy of Graham Parkes)
(click here to find out a little more about Black Country industry)
The Black Country industry which once overpowered the area has mostly gone mainly due to import of goods becoming more cost effective than export. The Black Country still has pockets of manufacturing but on a much smaller scale.
The Black Country Name
Many believe the Black Country got its name because of the pollution; the area was dark with soot, smoke, dirt and grime from the industry at the time.
However, local historians believe that the name existed before the industrial revolution and the black coal emerging to the surface of the ground gave the area the name ‘The Black Country’.
Noone else in the world speaks like Black Country folk do.
The sound of the accent of a black country mon or ooman is that of early modern english and middle english, making people from outside the area very confused by it.
"Ow Bist?" meaning "How are you?" derives from the old saying "How beist thou?". "Owamya" is another very common greeting in the Black Country!
In reply "Bay too bad", meaning "I'm not too bad" and "Om Alright Ta me mucker!" meaning "I'm alright thanks my friend"
The Black Country dialect often substitutes the word "ar" for "yes" and "I haven't seen her" becomes "I ay sid 'er". .
Broad Black Country speakers say "agooin" instead of going.
Black Country people are proud to be known as Black Country "folk" and resist hints at any relationship to people living in Birmingham, calling Birmingham "Brum-a-jum" or Birminam.
"Ar Bay A Brummie Arm from The Black Country" is a common saying amongst the locals.
Brummies often refer to their Black Country neighbours as "Yam Yams", because of their use of "Yow am" ( or yow'm) instead of "You are".
In reply, Black Country often say "I Yam What I Yam!" and accept the Yam Yam name.
We created the Black Country Alphabet video to help people know their yam yams from thier yampys in 2008 and has had a huge cult following all over the world. CLICK HERE to see the video.
Black Country Tourist Attractions
These days, tourism is now one of area's main sources of income.
Many come to see & learn about it's famous industrial past at the Black Country Museum.
Or visit the rides & animals at Dudley Zoo & Castle.
There are many parks & farms to visit free of charge too.
Or you can come check out the many events held throughout the year, such as the popular Sandwell Show at Dartmouth Park every August bank holiday or the unique Black Country Boating Festival usually held in September.
We want people to be very proud of this unique area.
So we try our very best to promote the culture & dialect via the internet & with the odd video here & there.
We also mek ower bostin' range of t shirts, bags, hoodies, mugs, etc with Black Country slogans on them for folk to wear where ever they goo!
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"Bought items( t towel/bag/poetry book) for a Black Country friends birthday...she loved them ! Thanks for the fast dispatch"