Bermudian English

Learn more about personal annual subscriptions to the OED


With an estimated 65,000 speakers, Bermudian English is the smallest national variety yet to be represented in the OED. It’s also one of the oldest; settled in 1612, Bermuda was one of the very first places—after Jamestown, Virginia—where English was spoken outside the British Isles. This long history, along with diverse linguistic influences, has resulted in an unusual English variety that is often said to sound American or West Indian to a British ear, and quaintly British to American listeners. While it’s true that Bermudian English shares a range of words and sounds with British, American, and Caribbean Englishes, it also has many unique features, meaning it’s probably most accurate to say that it’s a dialect in a category of its own.

Excerpt taken from the OED blog post, ‘From chingas to chopsing: introducing Bermudian English’ by Dr Rosemary Hall, which explores the history and current status and linguistic features of English in Bermuda

Bermudian English words recently recorded in the OED

The words shown here are free to view. Click on links above to view these words, or explore further using the advanced search (learn how to search the OED here). If you would like to explore further but do not have personal or institutional access to the OED, get in touch to request a temporary access code.*

*temporary access is available for one month.

Subscribe to the OED newsletter

Additional resources

Submit a Bermudian English word to the OED

Use the submissions form below to suggest an Bermudian English word for inclusion in the OED:

World Englishes

  • E.g. Philippine English, Hong Kong English, Ugandan English
  • e.g. bammy, skinship, bunny hug
  • e.g. an informal social gathering, a street vendor
  • If you would like to, you can also add a pronunciation transcription here, or there is the option to add a sound file below.
  • Add a file to demonstrate how this word is pronounced.
    Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: mp4, mp4, wav, aac, flac.

Bermudian English consultants

The OED works in partnership with external experts from or in Bermuda to ensure that our entries for Bermudian English words draw from local knowledge and expertise and reflect the everyday reality and distinctive identity of the Bermudian English-speaking community.

Bermudian English resources: from the OED blog

Bermuda’s location is probably one of the reasons why its dialect has been under-studied for so many years, even among scholars of lesser-known varieties of English. Linguists classify World Englishes into groups including the British Isles and the Americas and the Caribbean, and while Bermuda has links with both of these areas, it does not neatly fit into either category. Equally, as a dependent territory that was uninhabited when it was discovered, Bermuda does not meet the criteria for either of the World Englishes types of ‘settler colonial’ and ‘postcolonial’, but sits somewhere in between. A bit like the Bermuda triangle, it’s ambiguous, but that’s what makes it so interesting!

Excerpt taken from OED blog post, ‘From chingas to chopsing: introducing Bermudian English‘, by Dr Rosemary Hall


For further information and support, visit our help page, or contact us.