Saturday, April 5, 2014

English Accents

English is spoken in accents and dialects depending where and by whom you were raised. I find it interesting to hear the same words spoken differently.

I grew up in ear shot of lots of Irish, Bostonesque, North Jersey and New York accents. So, naturally I needed to prevent the sloshy soup that might become the words leaving my mouth. As well as the undeniable label I’d get being from New Jersey or New York. I did this by watching, listening and mimicking the news reporters.

At that time, there were but a few channels; each reporter sounding the same. The first time I knew my practice had paid off, I was eleven and in Chicago. I met some friends of friends and they’d no idea where I was from. Once they learned I lived in New Jersey, they wanted to know where I lived before. Where was my accent from. Or, where did my New Jersey accent go.

This has been the case my entire life. I've prided myself on being able to fit in, by remembering which vowels sound like which, etc. It’s also come in handy for detecting where others come from; I've won bets.
A few years ago however, I brought back the occasional cawfee, dawg and yo, etc, in defense of the state that I realized I’d been silently denying. New Jersey is where I was raised and I'm proud of it.

Do you have a noticeable, detectable accent? Have you ever wished you had a different one?



  1. You GO, girl! My mother was from Switzerland, and I spent some time there as an au pair. When I came back to the States, I had a definite British accent, because most of the people who speak English over there speak that way. When I was in Texas, I twanged. Now, apparently I can talk Hillbilly with the best of them. I guess I pick up what I hear.

    LuAnn Braley
    AJ's Hooligans @AtoZChallenge
    Back Porchervations

    1. It definitely annoys people, when I pick up how others are speaking. I barely notice it, until I see a reaction on the face of the people I know. HaHa

  2. I was born somewhere with a strong regional accent, grew up somewhere else with a strong regional accent and then moved to a 3rd place with a different accent. Just after I moved I was living with people from Place 1 and Place 3.

    For ages my Dad genuinely thought I was putting on silly voices as my 2nd accent started reverting to accent 1 and also picking up accent 3 all within the same sentence... I couldn't convince him I didn't even know it was happening - in then all merged into what I call BBC English (after the Broadcasting channel).

    A side effect of all this is I unintentionally mimic other accents that I come into contact with, it can be very akward!

    Mars visiting from the twitter #azchat tonight.
    Curling Stones for Lego People

  3. I have a mixture of accents. My parents are from London, but moved to East Anglia before I was born. So as I was growing up I picked up their Lahn-dahn accent, as well as the lewcul farr-murr accent from people living around here. It's an interesting hybrid!