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The Queen’s English is named the UK’s most attractive accent

The Queen’s English is named the UK’s most attractive accent due to its association with ‘intelligence and charm’ – but the Cornish accent proved to be the biggest turn-off

  • The Queen’s English has been named the most attractive accent in the UK
  • Cornish was rated the least attractive, although it was associated with humour
  • Spanish and French accents were not very popular and were rated 18th and 19th
  • The experiment was conducted by online dating website eharmony 

The Queen’s English has been named the UK’s most attractive accent – with the Cornish burr proving the biggest turn-off.

In an experiment, online dating website eharmony asked respondents to listen to a sentence read by speakers with 20 distinct accents and rate each one on how much they associated them with 10 different character traits. 

Received Pronunciation, as spoken by royals and other members of the upper classes, was found to be strongly associated with intelligence, sophistication and charm.

By contrast, Cornish was rated the least attractive accent, although it was associated with a good sense of humour.

And Spanish and French accents do not fare particularly well either, ranking 18th and 19th respectively for attractiveness.

The Queen’s English, or Received Pronunciation, was the most desirable accent as listeners associated it with intelligence, while the Edinburgh accent was a close second for the UK. Pictured, hosting a reception at Buckingham Palace in London, to mark the work of The Queen’s Trust on 12 June

Top 20 accents in order of attractiveness: 

1. Received Pronunciation

2. New Zealand

3. Edinburgh

4. Australian

5. German

6. Yorkshire

7. Irish

8. Glasgow

9. Geordie

10. American

11. Essex

12. Liverpudlian

13. London

14. Manchester

15. Italian

16. Welsh

17. Birmingham

18. Spanish

19. French

20. Cornish 

As well as top-ranking Received Pronunciation, New Zealand and Edinburgh accents were also considered attractive.

Celebrities often shape our preconceptions of accents, with 24 per cent of us judging an accent because of the qualities we associate with them.

‘The Bond Effect’ means 26 per cent of people think more favourably of the Edinburgh timbre given actor Sean Connery’s accent.

Similarly, Ant and Dec – well known for their positive and funny presence on our screens – have made 22 per cent of people feel more positive about the Geordie accent.

But reality TV star Joey Essex has had a negative impact on the popularity of the Essex accent, with 27 per cent agreeing he changed their perception for the worse.

In addition, Liam Gallagher has had a negative impact on views of the Mancunian accent, 23 per cent of respondents said.

The survey found that one in eight people has gone on a date with someone because they liked their accent.

And one in five say they wouldn’t be able to find someone attractive if they didn’t like their accent.

Rachael Lloyd, relationship expert at eharmony, said: ‘Accents play a part in our perception of others and sometimes we can’t help but be drawn in by a particularly pleasing burr.

‘But, it’s important to remember that while we might find someone more appealing due to the way they speak, we need to evaluate their core values and personality traits to work out if they are a suitable match.

‘Celebrities clearly have an impact on the way we perceive accents with Sean Connery still doing wonders for the Edinburgh accent, whilst the Geordie accent remains popular due to Ant and Dec.’


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