Eye Dialect in English Literature

Writers often show that the character in a novel speaks a non-standard form of English by spelling certain words in a unusual way. This has been called 'eye-dialect' because it looks like dialect but doesn't sound like dialect if read aloud - fake dialect. In the examples the spellings here nearly always correspond to ordinary standard British English said in an informal way rather than to non-standard pronunciations.

Stressed and unstressed
Many English words are said differently when unstressed. Spelling the unstressed form is a typical piece of eye-dialect

'fer' for 'for'; I'll smoke yours fer you, lookin' fer a chance
'ter' for 'to':
ask him ter play, I don' wan' ter go
'yer' for 'your':
loosen yer braces, that's yer lot, Look at yer 'ead, 'Way yer go, Shut yer face
'me' for 'my' :
Me name's Dave, me mum's at the top of the hill, She's me mum, I'm on me own tonight (common enough variant pronunciation of 'mi')
'bin' for 'been':
she's bin looking fer as chance, many a time I've bin down Romany lane, where you bin?
'’' for 'h':
take 'im with you, will you miss 'im, I might 'ave to, what was 'er name (even standard English speakers usually have no 'h' in these)
'’em' for 'them': a big brown colt leading 'em, I told 'em I was thirty
'd'you' for 'do you':
what d'you mean? D'you reckon it's true? How'd it go? D'you mind I come inside?
'gonna' for 'going to'
if you're gonna be around, gonna hang you by the neck, gonna burn it?,
'an'' for 'and':
it costs an arm an' a leg
'outta' for 'out of' :
get him outta here
'kinda' for 'kind of':
you kinda lift your legs kinda up, kinda mixed up inside
'sort've/sorta for 'sort of':
We had this sort've a gang
'wanna' for 'want to':
I don't wanna know

Alternative eye-dialect spellings for the same sounds
Spelling words as they sound makes them look non-standard. Most of these could not be pronounced in any other way.

'wot' for 'what': Wot’s ’appenin’? Wots ’e want?. 'Wot?' said Wildon, Wot are you doing? Wot can he do?
'woz' for 'was':
It woz nuffink.
'shore' for 'sure':
Sorry I’m shore. (the 'ooh-er' pronunciation is probably old-fashioned now)
/'luv'; they can see me, luv, at any time, all right, luv
'n' for 'and': off n' on

'corled' for 'called':
’e corled ’isself somefink else
'Mister/mistah' for 'Mr':
sorry mister, 'ere mistah, Mister Comstock!
'Missus' for 'Mrs'
Gimme Gimme Gimme
'fella' for 'fellow':
skinny fella, what's 'e do, your fella? Look fellas …
'n'' for 'ing';
that's somethin' you don't often see, you're goin' to grass on 'em, nice talkin' to you (the 'in' pronunciation is a variant)
'yew' for 'you':
mind yew
's'pose' for 'I suppose':
two or three weeks I s'pose
'bludy' for 'bloody':
That's bludy truble, I'm bludy hungry
'orf' for 'off':
That'd come orf, 'Ands orf' (may be either the usual pronunciation or an old-fashioned one with the same sound as 'awf' in 'awful')
'S'cuse' for 'excuse me':
'C'mon' for 'come on':
'P'raps' for 'perhaps'
: p'raps I won't
'reely' for 'really':
This ain't his property, reely

Sundry exclamations
Non-standard speakers in novels also use several exclamations, all of which are probably rare in real life

crikey, strewth, blimey, corEye dialect Wotz on pub

Novel spellings   Vivian Cook