Regional dialects are flourishing in England - quashing fears the bland uniformity of estuary English is taking over the nation's rich and varied linguistic heritage.
Regional variations are fending off the flat-vowelled accent of the south-east, which is perceived to be spreading beyond the boundaries of the home counties.
According to a website study of 32,000 respondents by the BBC Voices project there are now 480 different expressions for 'cold' within the UK and more than 700 ways of saying 'truant'.
While today 240 terms are used for left-handed, in the 1950s there were just 84 regional variations.
Jonnie Robinson, Curator of English Accents and Dialects at the British Library, has compiled 650 recordings of regional accents and dialects from 1950 and today.
Dialect refers to unique words which exist in different parts of the country, whereas accent is the way words are pronounced.
Mr Robinson said these days it is much more acceptable to speak with an accent than it was 50 years ago.
In the 1950s it was rare to hear anyone on the radio or television who did not speak with a cut-glass middle or upper class English accent.
Now thanks to the likes of Geordie duo Ant and Dec and Welsh newsreader Huw Edwards the media is awash with vocal diversity.
"In the last 20 or 30 years attitudes have changed. In the past we only ever heard upper class or middle class speakers. We never heard a regional accent read the news," Mr Robinson said.
Having an accent is also no longer considered to be a barrier to social mobility but is regarded as a major expression of personal identity.
However some dialects are stronger and more resistant to outside influences than others. The north-east of England has retained more of its verbal identity than other areas of the UK.