The standard accent of British English, which is typically spoken in the south of England. While RP is not intrinsically better than other regional accents, it is typically the accent native to, or adopted by Brits with power, money, education–and the accent spoken or adopted by most doctors in the UK–and influence, a tendency that began in the early 20th century.
It is also known as non-regional pronunciation, as an analogy to other languages–e.g., Hochdeutsch (aka Standarddeutsch) or the high dialects of Italian. Outsiders have criticised RP as a symbol of undeserved privilege…but they would say that, wouldn’t they? Alternative terms have been bandied about–e.g., General British, as an analogy to General American, which is often used by radio and TV announcers in the US.
Synonyms BBC English, King’s English, Oxford English, posh English, Queen’s English, Standard English