Paul Whitehouse makes a convincing Plymouth Argyle fan

Ollie Irish

4th, August 2009


That is one impressive Plymothian accent by Mr Whitehouse. And I should know – I grew up in Plymouth.
What’s a Janner, you ask? I refer you to the Urban Dictionary:
A word often misused to describe a Plymouth resident or a chav from Plymouth, “Janner” is actually used through out Devon and Cornwall, normally to refer to farmers or people from local families with thick Westcountry accents and traditional outlooks – comparable with the American “Hilly billy” or “Redneck”.
The word is rumoured to derive from the fact that many locals are called John, but when asked their name will say “Moi namez Jaaan”
Whilst Janner is a blanket term to refer to anybody with strong local origins, a farmer can also be called a “Bez”
There is a simple test to see whether or not someone is a Janner – ask the the name of a small castle town on the Devon / Cornwall border. A non Janner will say “Launceston”, while the true Janner will reply “Laanson”.
[@ Urban Dictionary]

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  1. Dave Summers says:

    I suggest Mr Irishon’s memory is playing tricks with him. Whilst Mr Whitehouse’s performance is superb, as usual, that is NOT a Plymothian accent. It is a very good non-specific Westcountry accent, however – maybe leaning towards the Bristolian tongue.
    Furthermore, whilst a small proportion of the city could be in the ‘shithole’ category, most of it isn’t, thank you very much!

  2. True – that is not a Plymouth accent by any stretch. Just as the Cardiff accent compares to other Welsh tones, the Plymouth accent has a hard, urban edge to it, unlike anywhere else in Devon. Whitehouse is doing a generic West of England (not even South-west) accent. Enjoyed the add though!

  3. Pilgrimfrumprobus says:

    Great ad. As for the comment that true Janners call Launceston ‘Laaaanson’ that’s largely bollocks. These days only professional pretentious Cornish use it.Come on you greens!Us Janners must stick together!

  4. Bex says:

    Unfortunately you are incorrect.
    A Janner is a naval term, being a name for a local sailor.

  5. A travelled Plymouthian says:

    Janner is a British regional nickname associated with people from Plymouth or people who live in areas near the sea, both as a noun and as an adjective for the local accent and colloquialisms.
    Thanks Wikipedia!!

  6. wingenet says:

    I think that some of your previous commentators have missed an important point. I’m fairly sure, and correct me if I’m wrong, that not all Argyle fans reside in Plymouth. It’s a bit like Man U fans not all living in Dehli – lol! Get a grip people – it’s a bit of fun that clearly went a long way over your heads. As for the accent, it’s much closer to its target than the pigs-ear Dawn French makes of a Cornish accent.

  7. janner-dawn says:

    Plymouth is NOT a shit-hole, just as any other place we have good & bad all around, we have beautiful areas here & lots of natural beauty too…I’m a Janner through & through & proud to be so, but I take dislike to being called a “chav”.

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