roly-poly (accent)

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Senior Member
‘No doctor. Not round here. But . . . there’s a wizard,’ a young boy told me. His accent was roly-poly and hard to follow. ‘He lives on the hill.’ He pointed vaguely along a road and up a slope. ‘I’ve never seen him, though. We don’t go up there. No one goes up there. Not now. Not for a long time. He lives on the Terrace. You have to be careful . . .’

A Whisper of Horses by Zillah Bethell

I'm not sure what roly-poly means when used to describe an accent.
Please help. Thank you.
  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    A Welsh accent, especially a southern one, has, to English ears, an up-and-down, sing-song character with the stress in unexpected places.


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I suppose this is meant to be humorous, and inventive in the way that a young person might be inventive with words. "Roly-poly" is a kind of old-fashioned steamed pudding, an English speciality. It's also used to describe a rotund figure. The idea is if of something rolling round and round (like the rolled-up dough of the pudding) - or up and down, like the accent.

    I believe this is a book for children or young readers.
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