What you do with that is your business.
It's been a problematic week (Britishoid understatement), so haven't had a chance to post, but did see an old (17 April 1996) Steve Bell If... cartoon in the Guardian that made me think of (AmE) you-all. I can't reproduce it here (can't find it on the web, and fear that people who break copyright rules might not get blog awards), but the dialogue goes like this:
Her Majesty the Queen out on a walk with her corgi "Geraint" [emphasis as in original]
HM: Tell me Geraint Do you think I'm middle clawss? I pay
tex, I live in inner London, I wear sensible claythes. My children aren't very bright and my husband's unemployed!
G: You'll always be my little bit of rruff maaajesty!
Some quick notes on the sounds here, courtesy of Upton and Widdowson's Atlas of English Dialects:
- The pronunciation of a before [s], [f] or [θ] as 'aw' is a distinctly Southern pronunciation. This was due to a couple of fashionable sound changes in the South. In the 17th century, people here started lengthening this vowel, and in the 18th it moved further back in the mouth (hence the 'aw' quality). This later became part of 'Received Pronunciation' (RP).
- Pronouncing tax as tex: This is an exaggeration of the conservative form of Received Pronunciation, which U&W describe as 'a with a flavour of e'. They note that 'to many Northerners southern [ae] sounds like [ɛ], and it is not hard to see how this pronunciation at times slips over in to the full [ɛ] to which it is so close.'
- U&W don't cover claythes (i.e. variant pronunciations of o in the middles of words), and the RP pronunciation of this sound is typically [əʊ], which gives it a bit of a Frenchish sound. I've found a few uses of claythes on the web. One is from a man in Teesside wondering about a woman in a play (Does she get her claythes off?). But other evidence is in favo(u)r of this being a northern thing as well, as there are historical spellings of clothes with a or ai in the OED, such as clathes and clais, which are marked as Northern and Scottish, respectively. (Well, she does spend a lot of time at Balmoral...). Any other thoughts on why the Queen is depicted as saying claythes?