Sean Connery’s James Bond Scottish accent and phrases explained by language expert

The latest James Bond film, No Time to Die, has finally hit cinemas across the UK and it’s Daniel Craig ‘s last stint as the 007 agent.

With Sean Connery often touted as the best incarnation of all time, the experts at the language learning app Babbel have explained how at first the author Ian Fleming wasn’t sure about his accent.

Sean Connery’s Scottish twang quickly became an integral part of Bond’s identity during his time as the character between 1962 and 1983.

Despite Connery’s staggering success, Fleming was initially sceptical about his suitability for the role.

Fleming had previously pictured Bond as quintessentially English, but soon changed his mind after seeing Connery in action.



Sean Connery’s Scottish accent in James Bond became iconic

In fact, he was so compelled by the performance that he decided to write Scottish origins into James Bond’s background.

Babbel experts say since then, Bond has had a range of different accents and been played by a range of English, Welsh, Irish and even Australian actors – although generally with a clipped inflection of the Queen’s English, often referred to as British Received Pronunciation (BRP).

Sean Connery’s accent made for a linguistically iconic Bond, as it stood out from other iterations of the famous spy.

His Scottish lilt on lines such as “I think he got the point!” after harpooning a villain, became an integral part of his legacy as Bond and a recognisable part of the character.



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It was in the 18th century that Scottish English was created and it is often viewed as a combination of Gaelic, Scots phonology and an English.

It is characterised by ‘the glottal stop’, which is the blocking of the airway of the letter ‘T’.

In the iconic Scottish phrase ‘I cannae dae it’, the ‘T’ at the end of ‘cannot’ is swallowed but ‘it’ also loses the ‘T’.

However, Connery’s accent is softened as Bond.

In most films, Bond has had a BRP accent. Seen as ‘posh’, this accent is most famously associated with Roger Moore and, more recently, has been adopted by Daniel Craig.

The BRP accent is often referred to as ‘the Queen’s English’, as it is the accent used by the Royal Family when speaking in public.

It is characterised by a clear pronunciation of the letter ‘H’ at the beginning of words such as ‘hat’ and inaudible ‘r’ sounds in words such as ‘car’ or ‘heart’.



Sean Connery as James Bond with the DB5 in 1964's Goldfinger
Sean Connery as James Bond with the DB5 in 1964’s Goldfinger

This is known as a non-rhotic accent, as opposed to American accents, where the ‘r’ is more pronounced.

The vowels in BRP accents are often elongated and the ‘t’ is clearly pronounced, whereas it may be dropped in many regional accents.

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