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Do you have an accent?

I'm from Long Island, or "lawn-guyland" if you have an accent. I don't really have one (unless I get angry) and I wonder what gives. Some people from my hometown (a beach town on the north shore) have New Yawk accents, and some don't. I am now aware of consciously trying to get rid of an accent, I just never had it. Does this happen in other parts of the country, like the South? Why do some people pick up accents while others speak without them?

by Anonymousreply 11012/29/2012

Meant to say "I am not aware of consciously trying to get rid of an accent."

by Anonymousreply 103/06/2012

Yes. And I hate the way I talk English even though other people usually find it cute. Thank God I don't sound "German".

by Anonymousreply 203/06/2012

Texas twang here.

by Anonymousreply 303/06/2012

Backwoods Arkansas here. I've done my best to disguise it with a neutral Midwestern accent since I became aware of it around age 12 (pencil-dialing Mary!). It comes out now when I'm tired, which is ever more often now that I'm middle-aged.

by Anonymousreply 403/06/2012

No, but everyone else does.

by Anonymousreply 503/06/2012

I grew up in NJ, but have repeatedly gotten people (mostly foreigners) asking if I'm British. It's really odd as I speak with nothing even remotely resembling a British accent. From what I gather, I speak with a Tim Gunn-like "intonation" that makes some people think I'm not from the US originally. Personally, I don't hear it at all, but I like the way Tim Gunn sounds, so I guess I'll take it.

by Anonymousreply 603/06/2012

I'm also from Northern Nassau County and I only have an accent when I am talking to people that have them too... but when I am away and I tell people where I am from they always comment that I have no accent. I guess maybe it helps that I lived in Wisconsin and Louisiana when I was in college/grad school.

by Anonymousreply 703/06/2012

[quote]I'm also from Northern Nassau County.

It is odd. My mother, from Sea Cliff, didn't have an accent, my dad, from Brooklyn and the Catskills, doesnt. My sister and brother don't. But my brother and I get mad, watch out. The Bronx Honk comes out. I think it's based on the theory that, like some species of wildlife, when you're under attack you puff yourself up to make yourself appear larger to predators. My brother got into a road rage argument with someone who said to him, "Why don't you take your Brooklyn accent, get in your car, and go home!"

by Anonymousreply 803/06/2012

I'm from Brooklyn (Bay Ridge) and don't have any New York accent at all. A common tendency is to assume I am from the midwest (which has come from both New Yorkers and midwesterners).

I don't know why. Both my parents and two of my brothers have thick, stereotypical New York Italian accents. My sister and I don't have any trace of New York in our voices at all.

It's joked about in the family, but we have absolutely no explanation that makes sense.

by Anonymousreply 903/06/2012

I grew up without developing much of a regional accent. I have a southern twang come out on some words but in general it is standard American English.

by Anonymousreply 1003/06/2012

My partner is from LI and his accent isn't nearly as pronounced as the rest of his family who still live there. He moved away from there 10 years ago and is the only one in the family with a masters/PhD so I'm thinking his level of education has something to do with it. His brother works a blue collar job and has the total Lawn Guyland thing going on.

by Anonymousreply 1103/06/2012

What's fascinating to me is southerners who grow up with one accent (usually "harder" R sounds) and then suddenly develop that terribly affected "dollah, mothah" accent that doesn't use R sounds at all.

I do like the southern soft O sound, though.

by Anonymousreply 1203/06/2012

R6, same situation here. I have for years been asked where I was raised (central CA). When I tell them, they ask where I was born (Saudi Arabia, oddly enough) then tell me that I sound British. Sure, I've been there a number of times but that give me the accent. Just a couple of weeks ago a group of us were up in Tahoe and the conversation between me a couple of the other guys went down that road. I was told that I sounded English or sophisticated (first time that was said). Perhaps I speak proper English more so then them, who knows. I suppose I should take it as a compliment but I just don't get it...

by Anonymousreply 1303/06/2012

R12 I've only met one woman who has the natural soft O sound and she was from New Orleans but it was not nearly as obvious as the movies make it out to be. Much more subtle. We have one fake southern belle here in the neighborhood who really puts on a fake southern accent. Much too thick to be real. She sounds as bad as the gals in Steel Magnolia.

by Anonymousreply 1403/06/2012

I do, Canadian!

by Anonymousreply 1503/06/2012

It's flat Midwestern. A coworker from Boston told me I had no fucking accent. We got along fine.

by Anonymousreply 1603/06/2012

[quote]I grew up in NJ, but have repeatedly gotten people (mostly foreigners) asking if I'm British.

It's pretty difficult to accurately place an accent if English isn't your first language.

I sometimes don't even notice if someone speaks with an accent and I could never place it. Unless they speak like Paula Deen but even with her I only know she's from the south.

by Anonymousreply 1703/06/2012

Paula Deen totally plays up that accent.

by Anonymousreply 1803/06/2012

OP = moron, judging from his title.

by Anonymousreply 1903/06/2012

I'm from the upper midwest and don't have much of that accent. Vocally, I'm more Leave it to Beaver than Fargo.

One's socialization - exposure to family, friends, and all matter of all figures from popular cultural and their respective vocal inflections, and what one is socialized to believe is cool and wants to emulate - influences one's learned vocal patterns.

by Anonymousreply 2003/06/2012

I've mentioned this before, but the fiancé of a friend of mine knew the Deens when he was growing up in Albany, Georgia, and Paula sounded nothing like she does now.

Even in her old episodes of [italic]Paula's Home Cooking,[/italic] her accent isn't nearly as slopped-on as it is today.

by Anonymousreply 2103/06/2012

[quote]OP = moron, judging from his title.

Hey, who the ____ you think you're tawkin to he-ah! I'll bust you in your f_____ nose you tawk to me like dat one more time A________ !!!

(Pls read with a heavy Brooklyn accent.)

by Anonymousreply 2203/06/2012

I was born in England and spent my first few years there and then moved to the U.S. My father is primarily of English and Spanish descent and my mother Italian. In the U.S., I get the "Are you English (or British)?" thing quite often also. I don't hear it, personally, but then I know English accents to some degree and travel there often. Brits don't often think I'm a Brit though. I do still say a few words with an "English" accent, for example double t words (button, cotton). I also stammer although not as often as when a kid, which added to confusion. One of my friends put it best by saying I have a "mid-Atlantic" accent like in old American films.

In short, I'm an American Anthony Blanche.

by Anonymousreply 2303/06/2012

Former yinzer here (Pittsburgh) and I find that most accents in western PA seen to be a product of education/socio-economic status. I do love a good 'burgh accent though and can sometimes pull one off after a few IC Lights.

by Anonymousreply 2403/06/2012

[quote]One's socialization - exposure to family, friends, and all matter of all figures from popular cultural and their respective vocal inflections, and what one is socialized to believe is cool and wants to emulate - influences one's learned vocal patterns.

This makes sense. Even though I speak with a flat Eastern Seaboard accent, I can imitate accents really well. I've always been a people-watcher. BTW, people really hate it when you fall into imitating their accent while they're talking with you.

by Anonymousreply 2503/06/2012

"I've always been a people-watcher. BTW, people really hate it when you fall into imitating their accent while they're talking with you."

Yes, they do. Especially when it's an accent they've tried so desperately to shed, like R4.

by Anonymousreply 2603/06/2012

R21, it's so funny you mention Albany, GA. I grew up there too.

Albany ("All-BINN-ee" as the locals pronounce it) has a fairly specific accent.

The writer Anne Rivers Siddons calls it the accent of the "wiregrass south."

Which is her way of saying it isn't a very pretty accent, I guess.

Lots of hard Rs.

by Anonymousreply 2703/06/2012

I've lived in Southern California for 29 years, and people still ask about my accent. I'm from Boston. My accent has diminished, but I guess It's still there although I'm not really aware of it.

by Anonymousreply 2803/06/2012

The Wiregrass accent is also heard in southeast Alabama (Dothan, y'all) and parts of the Florida Panhandle.

by Anonymousreply 2903/06/2012

New. New, Iv curse I dew nit hiv in iccint. Ixcewz mi, now, pliz.

by Anonymousreply 3003/06/2012

I have a slight southern accent. I pronounce my "r"s, but sometimes "can", "no", "go" have two syllables if I'm not extra conscientious.

It's as if I want to sing my words.

by Anonymousreply 3103/06/2012

I grew up in Northern Indiana. I have what is called an "Inland Lakes" accent (look it up on Wikipedia).

It is considered to be an "accent free" American accent and widely imitated by broadcasters.

by Anonymousreply 3203/06/2012

I know a girl from East Texas who can stretch out the word yes into 3 syllables. "Why yay-ay-es". She was in London for a business trip and was barely decipherable to the employees there.

by Anonymousreply 3303/06/2012

More than you ever wanted to know about the "Inland" American accent.

by Anonymousreply 3403/06/2012

As someone who speaks with a standard US accent, I've wondered (1) if people in the dialect areas of the country perceive it as an accent or simply the lack of one and (2) if foreign language-speakers can detect the difference. (I've lived overseas and can't believe the question never came up.)

by Anonymousreply 3503/06/2012

Up, beetchez.

by Anonymousreply 3603/06/2012

I have a light southern drawl(I live in SE Oklahoma). When I travel out of the south, people tend to find it amusing, and sometimes charming. A lot of people ask where I'm from. I don't know why it's so interesting to them.

I can lose it completely when I want to.

by Anonymousreply 3703/06/2012

All my friends say I have a heavy accent but my gran says I sound like a bloody yank. AHAHAHA

by Anonymousreply 3803/06/2012

She's BACK!

by Anonymousreply 3903/06/2012

I'm in the same boat as R37. Loath as I am to admit it, I have developed a slight drawl after living in Oklahoma all these years. I can, however, minimize it when I focus on clipping my vowels instead of elongating them.

by Anonymousreply 4003/06/2012

Upstate NY, specifically western NYState has a really nasal dialect. I was teased about it a lot @ SUNY Purchase many years ago. When I moved to Manhattan, I tried to sound New Yawk, but then realized that a more neutral way of speaking was the way to go. Dialects have become less apparent as the years go by, especially in NYC.

by Anonymousreply 4103/06/2012

Why yes! Yes I do!

by Anonymousreply 4203/06/2012

I am from Texas and in my natural state, I sound it.

Now that I live in New England, I try to tone it way down, since it apparently makes everyone think I'm a moron.

by Anonymousreply 4303/06/2012

I'm Australian, Sydney born and raised, yet lack the stereotypical nasal flat voweled accent. Its closer to a British accent I suppose. People ask me at least once a week where I'm from. I put it down to having educated parents.

by Anonymousreply 4403/06/2012

R43, do you think you sound like a rube, a well-scrubbed hustling rube with a little taste?

by Anonymousreply 4503/06/2012

Trust me, OP you do, oh yes, you do.

Every NYer claims they don't have an accent and don't sound like 'them'. Record yourself speaking listen and be prepared for quite the shock.

by Anonymousreply 4603/06/2012

From Long Island too and none of my friends have that cliched accent either. I think they are Bronx/Brooklyn translplants.

by Anonymousreply 4703/06/2012

I live in a shack on Long Island and everyone says I sound just like Cousinn Jackie!

by Anonymousreply 4803/06/2012

LOL... I love R45.

Yeeeees ah do, sugah.

by Anonymousreply 4903/06/2012

I was born and raised on Long Island's north fork. In the city (NYC, of course) I constantly hear about my Boston accent. In Boston I get asked where I grew up on the Cape. On the Cape, it's assumed I'm from the Vineyard. On the other hand, I've had people from Nantucket assume I'm from the Vineyard. No one has ever guessed Long Island.

by Anonymousreply 5003/06/2012

Yes, I have the traditional Charleston drawl. R43, I too live in NE, but people seem to love my accent. I'm just thankful that I do not sound like a Bostonian, for it such an unromantic dialect.

by Anonymousreply 5103/06/2012

I find the Bostonian accent hilarious... but not hot, I agree. But when they start going on about the fackin pahkin ticket they got from dah retahdid Hahvid Depaahtmint of Pahhks'n Reecreeation or whatever they make me laugh so much.

by Anonymousreply 5203/06/2012

There are actually three distinct Boston accents of which I'm aware, and they are based on ethnic origin. They are Irish, Italian and English (Brahmin). The first two are very similar and the last is dying out.

by Anonymousreply 5303/06/2012

Like R24 I'm from Pittsburgh. I don't have much of the accent now, though.

I used to work for the phone company and got very good at telling the subtle differences between different accents. NYC and NJ accents are similar but slightly different. Philly is also similar but then Philly/Baltimore sound alike.

I've also been around the serious Minnesota/Wisconsin accent.

by Anonymousreply 5403/06/2012

Most accurate Bronx accent ever was in the movie Billy Bathgate. It's very distinct from Brooklyn.

by Anonymousreply 5503/06/2012

I have lived in the Metro-DC area (southern Maryland) most of my life and do not have an accent, nor do most of the people I've met or interacted with (mainly mid-Atlantic suburbanites). I sometimes wish I had a distinctive regional dialect because I think that the All-American Inland style accent that's ubiquitous on TV has influenced and homogenized much of the US over the last few decades.

I once had a teacher who was American bred/born/raised but had intentionally adopted a haughty English accent and used it at all times. If you asked him "why do you sound like Henry Higgins when you're from South Carolina?" he'd act affronted and exclaim "wHat accent? I don't have an accent! wHat are you talking about?"

by Anonymousreply 5603/06/2012

Is it true that many of New York's original neighborhoods are losing their defining accents (think Gary and Penny Marshall)? I heard Sarah Jessica Parker mention this on Kelly.

by Anonymousreply 5703/06/2012

How do you tell Bronx from Brooklyn from Queens from North Jersey?

by Anonymousreply 5803/06/2012

Dees dems en doze.

by Anonymousreply 5903/06/2012

I'm from Kentucky, and I have a really pronounced "hick" accent, and it gets more pronounced as I get more relaxed with someone. Not sexy southern, but white trash full-blown, uneducated hick Loretta Lynn "Coal Miner's Daughter" accent, despite the fact I'm a highly educated, well-read Engineer who pulls a 6-figure salary.

It doesn't bother me, but it does irritate me that every Yankee I've ever met assumes I'm an idiot the moment I open my mouth. I've worked with lots of different people over from all over the world over the years, but Yankees are the worst when it comes to type-casting you if you have a "certain accent".

by Anonymousreply 6003/06/2012


by Anonymousreply 6103/06/2012

R60: You're damn sure right about that one. Those Yankees are always looking down on us southerners, especially the transplants. When I go back home to visit family in Charleston, I encounter these condescending Yankees everywhere. I wish they'd just leave their snotty attitudes up north. The heathens make my blood boil.

by Anonymousreply 6203/06/2012

R60, I too am a techie with a near six figure salary and (always white) people up north tend to think my accent means I'm stupid.

They also seem terrified of southern terms of endearment. That one was a hard habit to break, sugarface.

by Anonymousreply 6303/06/2012

I find native Marylanders have quite a distinct accent.

It sets my teeth on edge. It's very "rough" sounding and not at all pretty.

Lots of "dese, dem, doses," too-- along with that obnoxious "ew" sound in place of "oh."

by Anonymousreply 6403/06/2012

No, I don't have an accent, but I do annunciate impecably.

by Anonymousreply 6503/06/2012

Everyone had an accent.

by Anonymousreply 6603/06/2012

Well, at least she sings and dances impecably, some say anyway.

by Anonymousreply 6703/06/2012

All you people Up East tawk funny.

by Anonymousreply 6803/06/2012

I speak the Queen's English

by Anonymousreply 6903/06/2012

By the way, Leopold, I never left. I do remember you saying that you were going to leave off harassing me...

by Anonymousreply 7003/07/2012

The Baltimore, Philly, and Pittsburgh accents intrigue me -- they're Northern and Southern at the same time.

by Anonymousreply 7103/07/2012

Find out.

by Anonymousreply 7203/07/2012

People speaking to me on the phone cannot tell if it's a New York or a Boston accent I have.

I come from right smack in between the two so speech patterns reflect that.

Of course the most pronounced feature is the dropped 'r'. I've been cured of that for many years now but every now and then, when circumstances permit I drop an 'r' here and there.

by Anonymousreply 7303/07/2012

Born in and still live in Bklyn, NY. I know that I have a slight New Yawk accent; when I was in Virginia on vacation, a cashier in a store made a comment about my accent.

On the other hand, a woman once asked me if I was from Calif - said I had a Valley Girl accent. Huh?

by Anonymousreply 7403/07/2012

I am a Lesbian who has a Paula Prentiss thing going on accent and voice wise. Such a thing I have been told for many years now.

I know if I had a Kristen Chenoweth sounding voice that people would think me stupid.

With Southern accents, men have it worse. There is a stereotype with that. Ladies have it easier as long as they do not have Kristen Chenoweth voice.

I love Kristen Chenoweth, btw.

by Anonymousreply 7503/07/2012

[quote] Perhaps I speak proper English more so then them,

Uh, no

You don't.

It's "than they do," not "then them."

by Anonymousreply 7603/07/2012

I hate Connecticut accents

by Anonymousreply 7703/07/2012

I haven't encountered anyone, besides Americans, who thinks they don't have an accent

by Anonymousreply 7803/07/2012

I grew up in Minnesota, a second-generation Norwegian-American. I had the whole, thick stereotypical Minnesooooohta thing going on. I moved away about 10 years ago and because of my job I've lived all over the world. I made a very concerted effort to get rid of my accent because people would tease me about it.

Now, over a decade later, I find myself wishing I had my old accent back. I do slightly slip into it now and again, but I do not have it in my normal every day speech (at least that's what people tell me). It doesn't feel natural to me anymore, so I'm not sure I'll get it back again (I still don't live in MN).

I'm now living in the south with an English partner. We have two children and they have an Ecuadorian nanny who only speaks Spanish to them.

I am curious what my children will sound like with the Minnesota/English/Spanish/Southern influence they will have.

by Anonymousreply 7903/07/2012

r62, anyone who uses the term "Yankees" (baseball team is an exception) the way you do is an obviously annoying turd who deserves whatever criticism he's been getting.

by Anonymousreply 8003/07/2012

What's the New England accent where they say Gwad instead of God and kwatter instead of quarter?

Connecticut river? It's grating at a level equal to Long Island and Philadelphia.

by Anonymousreply 8103/07/2012

Yankee accents are godawful!

by Anonymousreply 8203/07/2012

Hicks like r82 are godawful!

by Anonymousreply 8303/07/2012

Oh, please, R80. If you think the word "Yankee" isn't in general usage in the South (derisive, usually), you're as thick as your obnoxious Lawn Guyland accent.

by Anonymousreply 8403/07/2012

Yes, and I wonder if I can really unlearn it without it sounding like an affectation. I grew up on Long Island too, in Levittown. I don't pronounce it Lawn Guyland though, the only time I hear that is from Jewish old ladies. But I inherited my mother's working class Brooklyn accent, which I guess morphed into something slightly different but unique to Long Island. For example, I don't pronounce the word 'bag' like "bAHg". Instead, it comes out as "bEHg". 'Coffee' comes out a bit like "kawfee" but that's one I try to suppress when possible, hehe. I work in a prestigious hospital in NYC and I think my speech is very noticeable and I suspect people make assumptions of my intellect and abilities based on it. But whaddaya gonna do? If I start changing my pronunciation (assuming I remember to even use the correct pronunciation) it will sound fake to people who know me.

by Anonymousreply 8503/07/2012

I'm originally from northern Wisconsin and would say that I have the typical Midwestern accent that sounds like nothing. When I was living in L.A., though, people could hardly tell where I was from except for when I said a few certain words, and then they thought I was Canadian! Apparently, when I say "house" it sounds like "hoos," when I say "about" it sounds like "aboot," when I say "roof" it sounds like "rough," and when I say "no" it sounds slightly like "new." I guess Wisconsin and Canada aren't that far apart but still, it was surprising to hear.

by Anonymousreply 8603/07/2012

Scottish accent here

Yeah yeah

by Anonymousreply 8703/07/2012

[quote]Oh, please, [R80]. If you think the word "Yankee" isn't in general usage in the South (derisive, usually), you're as thick as your obnoxious Lawn Guyland accent.

Speaking of thick, you seemed to miss the obvious point that that idiotic derisive usuage you're talking about is what was being criticised. Hicks in the south say "yankees" the same way they say "nigras."

by Anonymousreply 8803/07/2012

I've been told I sound like a black Fran Drescher.

by Anonymousreply 8903/07/2012

I'm born and raised in Staten Island and had an obnoxious, New York Italian accent. Eventually, from interacting with people (mostly actors) in Manhattan, and taking speech classes when studying acting, it went away. Rather quickly, actually. Now it only comes back if I'm arguing, or if I'm talking to old friends it will creep up...

by Anonymousreply 9003/07/2012

Born and raised in South Florida, no accent. Might be a different story if I was from North Florida.

by Anonymousreply 9103/07/2012

Southern accent. It has faded quite a bit since I moved away from the South 20 years ago. Apparently, it is still quite thick, as people ask me every day, "where are you from?"

by Anonymousreply 9203/07/2012

92 posts and no one has had the guts to post an example of their accent? Come on, it would be fun.

by Anonymousreply 9303/07/2012

South Flarrda most certainly has an accent.

by Anonymousreply 9403/07/2012

The Florida accent is also known as "Standard Trailer Park".

by Anonymousreply 9503/07/2012

Idiot R8, if you think an outdated word like "nigras" is used in the South or anywhere else as often as "Yankee", you're too dumb to be on this or any other thread.

by Anonymousreply 9603/07/2012

Hey R8, who you callin' an idjut? You must have me mixed up with someone else...

I took the test upstring and it says I have a "northeastern" accent.

I say "cahfee" but I also say "tawk"

I am one who also finds the Massachussetts accent really sexy. I don't know why. Maybe cuz I had a crush on some kid from MA a long time ago. And any southern accent is sexy to me. I melt. I don't know why anyone would suppress it.

by Anonymousreply 9703/28/2012

Have you ever heard a femmy guy with a Lawn Guymand accent? It's something to behold. Truly awful, especially if he's like my new coworker who DOES NOT STOP talking about inane shit like how fabulous his life is. He's in his early 20s so maybe I should give him a break but I just want him to please stop talking at all times.

Femmy is fine. LI is fine. Together? Death.

by Anonymousreply 9803/28/2012

My cat is from Long Island and has a very pronounced accent, especially when he purrs.

by Anonymousreply 9903/28/2012

My sister-in-law is from Long Island and has no accent whatsoever. Her middle sister has a very heavy LI accent and the youngest sister has Larchmount Lockjaw. Very odd since they grew up in the same house and went to the same schools.

by Anonymousreply 10003/28/2012

Everyone has an accent.


by Anonymousreply 10103/28/2012

I'm in the South and never use yankees or nigras.

by Anonymousreply 10203/28/2012

All my friends say i have an accent when i start yelling or get surprised. I've never noticed this but they say i sound very asian. I've lived in America my whole life and barely know any other language besides a little Laos.

by Anonymousreply 10310/29/2012

My friends say I have a very cultured upper-class accent.

by Anonymousreply 10410/30/2012

Girls, girls, girls!!

You ALL sound just awful.

by Anonymousreply 10510/30/2012

'Laotian,' r103. To tell the truth, there are very minute differences in the way I hear Americans. I can tell if someone is from the South quite easily. I picked a guy having a Texan accent on Saturday night quite easily. He was a bit miffed, as if it was meant to be some big mystery. Northern Americans all sound the same. I have been friends with Americans from the mid-west, Minnesota. California, Long Island etc etc (English teacher in Asia) and you really can't tell them apart. In fact, most other English speakers really can't tell the difference between Canadians and Americans when they speak.

It takes a very strange accent to stick out.

by Anonymousreply 10610/30/2012


by Anonymousreply 10712/29/2012

I've worked at Bloomingdales for a while now and I'm starting to sound like what Grammy Hall calls a real Jew.

by Anonymousreply 10812/29/2012

Do Michigan people have accents?

by Anonymousreply 10912/29/2012

When I was a kid in Brooklyn (circa 1960s - 70s) all my classmates had a Brooklyn accent. Now though I notice that the mostly Russian kids who live around here, though born here in Brooklyn of Russian parents and grandparents with an accent speak unaccented English and no one could ever tell where they come from other than the USA. I always heard that kids tend to pick up an accent from their families but these Russian kids prove that to be untrue.

by Anonymousreply 11012/29/2012
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