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Do you have an accent?

Dan

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Of course, everybody speaks in an accent. What is it, though?

Being back in Buffalo for a few days, when I hear a Buffalo accent, I fidn it to be incredibly grating. It's quite nasal, for one. There's the very pronounced "flat a," where the A sound in words like ... well, my name, Dan, would sound like "Dee-YAAN" or "Dee-YAAN-yul" if spoken by a native. Among males, there's an element of toughness, where everything is spoken with the same tone or inflection as a sentence like "I'm going to kick your ass!" The accent that comes closest may be the Chicago South Suburban drone.

Unlike other US cities, many local radio DJs, newscasters and other media celebrities have Buffalo accents. The accent isn't suppressed on the air, and a radio or television newscast could break a glass with the flee-YAAT As.

I don't have a Buffalo accent, for some reason. Dad doesn't have an accent, Mom has only a light accent, most of the relatives on my Mom's side of the family (the Protestant/Irish/Scottish/English side) have the flat-A, and Dad's side (the Jewish side) sounds Midwestern. There's a very slight flat-A when those trained in accents listen, but otherwise I have a Midwestern "Midland Northern" accent, what my friends describe as an "NPR voice."
 

JNA

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I have been told it is hard for people to tell/recognize my accent.
I guess that is possible by blending being raised by a mom who was an english teacher from CA; and having lived in UT; CO; and now IN.
I have that same mixture also of Protestant/Irish/Scottish/English.
But watch out for a long fused Irish Temper with vocabulary gained from a shipyard and oilfield.
 

Trail Nazi

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Usually I don't have too much of an accent unless I hear another person with a Southern accent and then I slip into a Southern accent. When I was in jr. high, my parents switched me to a private school where the families were extremely wealthy and I was made fun of with my accent, so I quickly learned to get rid of it. However, whenever I drink, regardless of how much, my accent really comes out. It also comes out whenever I am truly angry or tired.

I am definitely a sucker for a good Southern, English, Scottish, Aussie, or Irish accent. Yummy.
 

ilikefish0

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204
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I've been told that I don't really hve much of an accent, but I say "y'all" all of the time, so I immediately get identified as a southerner.
 

steveanne

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I have the Upstate NY accent, as told to me in college by dozens of people from Pittsburgh who I thought had the worst accents in the world (sorry Pittsburgh). Come to find out, not only do they have strange accents, but they have made up words for nearly everything. For example:

"Jumbo" means.... bologna
"Jaggers" are... thorns
"Gumbands" are... rubber bands
"church key" is... a bottle opener
"gutchies" are... underwear
"sweeper" is... your vacuum

And the biggest misuse of a word this side of "y'all":


"Y'unz" (meaning "all of you" or literally "you ones")

As in, "Are y'unz goin' to the Stillers game? Their playing the Brahns"

Or, "What are y'unz doing tonight? I'm goin' to the Jynt Iggle to buy some sketti and chipped ham"
 

Zoning Goddess

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Of course I have an accent....southern, and proud of it! Thanks, Dad! (Mom was a Yankee, but I don't talk like her - whew!).

The only time I got any grief was when I went to New England to college. My roommate thought it was hysterical to have me read her French books with my accent.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
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No accent out of me. I'm originally from Cahl-lee-fore-nee-a. Fer sure, fer sure.
 

kms

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Only when I go home to Kentucky. :) I try not to speak with the Western PA accent. We don't eat jumbo or sketti here! I've lived in WPA since I was 12, so I don't have the southern accent I once used.
 

nerudite

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I don't think I have an accent. But I do pronounce certain words different than others. I have started to pick up the pronunciation of 'sorry'. But I'm proud to say I still pronounce 'out' 'house' etc, the same.

Does anyone else say 'market' for going to the grocery store? Or is that just an L.A. thing?

Also the bottle opener called a 'church key"... we used to call it a 'key to heaven'.
 

Greenescapist

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Someone the other day said to me that I "didn't talk like I was from here." She asked where I was from and I told her New England. "You don't talk like that either," was her reply.

I said that the TV and movie version of New England accents is way overblown, unless you're in a hard core blue collar suburb of Massachusetts, anywhere in Rhode Island or maybe in a Maine fishing village. Generally, I guess I just sound like I'm from the Northeast, although a polite version of the stereotype, with all my R's pronounced normally.
 

Jen

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I now have a strong desire to hear my fewllow cyburbanites voices.


This is my ssssiiiIIIInnnngggiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnngggggg vooooiiiiccce.

I am a horse without a name, no accent here, none,

though it is odd in michigan a lot of life long michiganders in the rural areas pick up a southern twang that sounds kentuckeean
 

Cardinal

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I grew up in Chicago's accent free (except for the Jewish) northern suburbs. Of course, I spent most of my summers in Wisconsin and Canada. During and after college I migrated to a handful of different states, and managed to keep from acquiring a lasting accent. Then I moved to Wisconsin. I will sometimes catch myself dropping into the Wisconsin accent. I try to fight this by talking like Apu from the Simpsons.
 

OhioPlanner

Cyburbian
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304
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Mine's an Ark-La-Texas accent. Distinctive to east Texas, North Louisinana, South Arkansas.

Although it has faded since moving to the midwest. However certain words like accent sound funny.

That and when I talk to my family. Then it comes out strong.
 

moose

Member
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109
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I have no accent (Californian).

We have quite a mix of accents in my office though. The demolition managers are all from Michigan, the Sr. Project Manager is from Alabama, one guy is from Virginia, one is from Florida, the environmental engineer is from upstate New York.
 

mike gurnee

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I often slip into my central KY accent. People out here think it is southern, but it is not (but I can stretch "well" into four syllables). More than accent, I find that I use certain words/phrases that no one else has ever heard.
 

Rem

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Crikey, I'm dinky di so I have no accent - but you yanks and Canadians - big accents. Even the Kiwi has got a bit of an accent, and that Chilean guy - I bet he has a beauty.
 
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mike gurnee said:
I often slip into my central KY accent. People out here think it is southern, but it is not (but I can stretch "well" into four syllables). More than accent, I find that I use certain words/phrases that no one else has ever heard.

Oh, so, no accent -- but a different dialect?
 

H

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I don’t think I do, but other people think I do, so I probably do.

It would be a mild southern accent. It doesn’t stand out in the south, but it does here in Miami, especially to the New Yorkers.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

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steveanne said:

"sweeper" is... your vacuum

And the biggest misuse of a word this side of "y'all":


"Y'unz" (meaning "all of you" or literally "you ones")

-Don't forget daawnton (downtown).

I hated the damn sweeper reference when I lived there but the best shirt I ever saw was "F*ck Yunze" worn by some fat lady with 2 kids shopping at the local goodwill.
 

The Irish One

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My friend from Montana says I have a Southern Californian accent. I think she's right.

Lately I notice a lot of Mid Western people coming to SoCal, it's great to hear the variety of accents.
 
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Huston said:
I don’t think I do, but other people think I do, so I probably do.

It would be a mild southern accent. It doesn’t stand out in the south, but it does here in Miami, especially to the New Yorkers.

My mom grew up speaking proper German, in a big city (ie she spoke "High German" and not a regional dialect). She enunciated her words very crisply. She says that Southerner's "step on their words and squash them before they say them".

My dad used to have a Hoosier accent. He would throw in h's where they didn't belong: He wore 'overhauls' instead of 'overalls' when I was a child (he is much more sophisticated these days and now wears blue jeans); He would sometimes say 'hits' in place of 'its', etc.

I do not really have a Southern accent, because my dad was both Hoosier and military (which has its own non-regional way of speaking) and I grew up correcting my mom's English. But I readily slip into one when I am around it -- if I am speaking to someone with a strong Southern accent or if I watch a movie set in the South. So, I am prone to a Southern accent. Other than that, I do not have an accent that anyone would recognize.

(I probably speak with a "military" accent/dialect -- I sometimes get embarrassed around civilizians who think I have a foul mouth. They are appalled by cute expressions like "He couldn't find his ass with both hands and a map." On base, I am a refined lady without being a Priss. Off base, I seem to 'swear like a sailor' and lack manners. Sigh.)
 

steveanne

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Rumpy Tuna said:
-Don't forget daawnton (downtown).

I hated the damn sweeper reference when I lived there but the best shirt I ever saw was "F*ck Yunze" worn by some fat lady with 2 kids shopping at the local goodwill.

Daawnton, yes! And the Sahside (southside). And Sliberty (East Liberty).

Also, those Pittsburgh folk love their local music. It's not too bad either. Very collegy. The Clarks, Rusted Root, Brownie Mary, The Gathering Field, etc.

I wish I had that shirt if only for the memories.
 

jordanb

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I don't have an accent per se, but I don't prounounce words correctly. It's a bit difficult to describe, and none of my family does it. A friend once said it sounds like I'm a souther who moved up north and almost eliminated the southern drawl but still has a hint of it.
 

Kathie_WE

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34
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2
I don't think of myself having an accent, but others think I say my short vowels funny. They think its Midwestern, but its Upstate NYer, taught by the good nuns at Catholic Schools in Rochester & Syracuse.

On a similar note -- I love to here old time "Bawlmar" residents speak -- their accent is so wonderful!!!!
 

Floridays

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I still have my Oklahoma "drawl," y'all, but since living in south FL, have also managed to pronounce "forgeddaaboutit" with the best of them. Maybe I'll audition for the Sopranos someday...
 

mendelman

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Coming from northern lower Michigan there is a slight accent. I had a fellow student in grad school, who was from Great Neck on Long Island, said that I pronouced "roof" as "ruff" instead of the long double "o" sound. But the part of the accent that I dislike the most is that everyone puts an "s" at the end of the names for stores, as in "let's go to K-Marts" or "I bought this at Meijers". This is really annoying.
 

Gedunker

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Joisey

Growing up in the Garden State, I was fortunate to miss most of the truly horrific Jersey accent (having a mother from Denmark probably had a lot to do with it).

I still find myself sometimes saying "cawfee" or "tawk" or "wooder" instead of coffee, talk and water.

As I've gotten older, I've found myself something of an accent "leech", mimicing accents as I am around them. When I spent two weeks in Denmark recently, it took several days to erase the accent after coming home.

Now in southern Indiana, I occasionally hear myself saying the "Vee--Hickle" needs an "awl" change before we drive "acrosst" "Illi-noise".

My children definitely have southern Hoosier accents.
 

biscuit

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steveanne said:
Daawnton, yes! And the Sahside (southside). And Sliberty (East Liberty).

As in, "Y'unz wanna gao daawntahn un have uh Ahrn (Iron) City?"

Yeah the accent here is something to behold. It seems to be the strongest in certain neighborhoods like the Sahside and the strange thing is that it doesn't seem to extend much beyond the Allegheny County line. Although, kms may have to set me straight on that. I am trying my best to not pick up any parts of this accent and pray that, when I have kids, they don't either. Sorry Pittsburgh.
Oh, I will be in "Sliberty" this afternoon for a meeting. :)


As for my accent... Well, it would be that hard uplands twang but 5 years in Charleston softened it up a bit. It's odd because most of my friends back in SC don't think I have much of an accent at all, but here in Pittsburgh I'm sometimes asked to repeat myself. And like Trail Nazi, all it takes is a few drinks and I'm in full draawwwl.
 

Budgie

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Do I have an accent?

No, and I probably wouldn't know if I did since I live with it everyday. IMO, everyone has an accent, some are just more pronounced than others.
 

Gedunker

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Re: Re: Joisey

pete-rock said:
You mean like "warsh the deeshes" and "kin ah help yeww"? I remember it well.

I hear those quite frequently. The interesting ones IMO are the variants of "Warshington" and "Whooshington".

My proximity to Louisville probably has more to do with my kids drawling out one-syllable words into two, such as 'I don't want to go to bay-ed' for bed or "I hit my hay-ed' for head.

There was a great program on PBS a few years ago about accents and they interviewed this girl. She had a very heavy Brooklyn accent. I though this is too easy. Turns out she's from a neighborhood in New Orleans where they use a very un-New Orleanian accent. It was scary.
 

SkeLeton

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Oye chico, que pasa? yo no tengo accento! Vamonos a la party! :-D



*Translation fer ye non spanish speekas: "Hey dude, what's up? I got no accent! Let's go to the party!" :)
 
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steveanne said:
I have the Upstate NY accent, as told to me in college by dozens of people from Pittsburgh who I thought had the worst accents in the world (sorry Pittsburgh). Come to find out, not only do they have strange accents, but they have made up words for nearly everything. For example:

"Jumbo" means.... bologna
"Jaggers" are... thorns
"Gumbands" are... rubber bands
"church key" is... a bottle opener
"gutchies" are... underwear
"sweeper" is... your vacuum

And the biggest misuse of a word this side of "y'all":


"Y'unz" (meaning "all of you" or literally "you ones")

As in, "Are y'unz goin' to the Stillers game? Their playing the Brahns"

Or, "What are y'unz doing tonight? I'm goin' to the Jynt Iggle to buy some sketti and chipped ham"

I grew up in Rochester, but somehow escaped the Curse of the Rochester Accent (think nasal, times two). Must be the Chicago in my blood.

Gooo Cubbies! (can't very well root for the Reds this year, can I?)
 

Rumpy Tunanator

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steveanne said:
Daawnton, yes! And the Sahside (southside). And Sliberty (East Liberty).
I wish I had that shirt if only for the memories.

-Sahside, and don't forget "Ion Cidy" Beer (Iron Shitty). I remember when I lived there a few years ago they had busses that said "Top of the Morning to Yunze"
As for Dan's take on the Buffalo accent I really don't notice it untill I meet someone from south buffalo or riverside. They also like to say yous guys around here.
 

jestes

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My accent is best described by the following Jimmy Buffett quote:

"I got a native tongue from way down south
It sits in the cheek of my Gulf coastal mouth."

jestes
 

Suburb Repairman

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Texas Accent

I do a pretty good job of covering up my west Texas accent, but if I get excited or pissed-off I sometimes degrade into my old habits. When i went to Ohio my fiance's family couldn't stop giving me crap about my "funny accent."
 

Dan

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Rumpy Tuna said:
I hated the damn sweeper reference when I lived there but the best shirt I ever saw was "F*ck Yunze" worn by some fat lady with 2 kids shopping at the local goodwill.

In Cheektowaga, I'll often encounter Polish slang.

Gotchkies = underwear
Wychodek = toilet
Shushu = #1 (verb; what you do with the wychodek)
Aah-aah = #2
Babczas = kids
Tywak = butt
Dupa = butt
Gotdemmet = just say it, okay?
 

Rumpy Tunanator

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Dan said:
In Cheektowaga, I'll often encounter Polish slang.

Gotchkies = underwear
Wychodek = toilet
Shushu = #1 (verb; what you do with the wychodek)
Aah-aah = #2
Babczas = kids
Tywak = butt
Dupa = butt
Gotdemmet = just say it, okay?

-Damn Babczas, put your Tywak on the Wychodek!!

- Still is some Polish slang on the East Side. Usually around the Broadway Market area, although its fading quickly.
 

kms

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biscuit said:
As in, "Y'unz wanna gao daawntahn un have uh Ahrn (Iron) City?"

Yeah the accent here is something to behold. It seems to be the strongest in certain neighborhoods like the Sahside and the strange thing is that it doesn't seem to extend much beyond the Allegheny County line. Although, kms may have to set me straight on that. I am trying my best to not pick up any parts of this accent and pray that, when I have kids, they don't either. Sorry Pittsburgh.
Oh, I will be in "Sliberty" this afternoon for a meeting. :)

It's aht here, too, y'know, on this side of Awagheny Cahnty. But, like we said another time, as you get into the counties that border WV/Mason-Dixon line, it's more of a West VIrginia twang. Which one does future Mrs. Biscuit and her family speak?
 

Rumpy Tunanator

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kms said:
It's aht here, too, y'know, on this side of Awagheny Cahnty. But, like we said another time, as you get into the counties that border WV/Mason-Dixon line, it's more of a West VIrginia twang. Which one does future Mrs. Biscuit and her family speak?

-That was the scary thing about living in "Picksbarg", it was mighty close to W. VA., a little too close.
 

Seabishop

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I love accents. I watch COPS and try to guess the accents before they reveal the location, although I'm not very good at it.

I don't think I have much of a Rhode Island accent. I'm usually good at pronouncing "R"s, unless I'm tired or angry (those "R"'s are so much work!).

For the record, Rhode Island accents are like the typical Boston accent without the nasal "aaaaaaah" sound everywhere. While Boston is more grating, Rhode Island is more dumb sounding. Severe Rhode Islanders sound like deaf people speaking. It is not a charming accent.



Some accent questions for Cyburbia:

Is there a Pacific NW accent at all? Or is the region so full of transplants that one hasn't emerged.

I've never been in Philly long enough to get a handle on the accent and how it differs from NYC.
 

biscuit

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kms said:
It's aht here, too, y'know, on this side of Awagheny Cahnty. But, like we said another time, as you get into the counties that border WV/Mason-Dixon line, it's more of a West VIrginia twang. Which one does future Mrs. Biscuit and her family speak?


I for one don't think the future Mrs. Biscuit really has a strong accent but many of my family back down South have remarked that she sounds "Yankee." She owes that to her Mom and Dad's families who are originally from "Pickburgh" and northern "Wharshington" respectively.

You're right though, a lot of people in my fiancee's hometown do speak with a West Virginy twang.
 
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Hoosier

pete-rock said:
You mean like "warsh the deeshes" and "kin ah help yeww"? I remember it well.

Oh, gee -- you mean that plus all the stuff Gedunker said is also Hoosier? I just thought it was cuz daddy grew up on a farm and dropped out of the 9th grade. Clearly, I haven't spent 'enough' time in Injiana. I don't knows me own heritage.
 

Bear Up North

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Re-opening an old thread to tell you about this Bear's "accent".....

Folks who first meet me and listen ask if I'm from Boston. I guess I have a bit of that Boston accent, pronouncing some r's as w's. "It was dawk in that booth."

In the seventh grade they sent me to a speech therapist. I went one (1) time and skipped the rest.

Did it hewt me? Who can say?

Bew At Da Big Dig
 

otterpop

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Having spent my formative years in New Orleans, I do have a mild Uptown new orleans accent. Not a full-blown Yat (as in the denizens of the Irish Channel who welcome each other with a "Where y'at, dawlin'." To which the other might say, "Fine, fer sure. How's yor mama 'nd 'em") I do say "New Orlens" rather that "N'Awlins" or "New Orleens."

When people find out I am from the Deep South, they often say "But you don't have an accent."
 

Plannerbabs

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Probably mostly Midwestern with a drop of twang from southern Midwestern college days, and a dash of BBC English from my dad. I don't think I have an accent, but everyone else does. Basically, after a few beers, I'm unintelligible. :D
 
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