Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday video: Boston accent explained

Friday, September 19, 2014
Loretta reports:

I mostly shed my Wustah* accent sometime between high school and college, but it can pop up at times, startling me.  If I try to speak Wustah deliberately, though, I trip over my tongue.  It’s been a few centuries since high school, and while my present speech might be an acquired language, I’ve spoken it for longer than the original.

The Wustah and Boston accents probably sound the same to people from outside New England, but most natives can distinguish between them.  While this video (not as sharp as I’d wish, but the content compensates) stays rather more general, it points out some interesting links between the New England accent and that of certain regions of England.

After this, you might want to take a look at a previous post dealing with British Accents.

*Worcester, MA

Readers who receive our blog via email might see a rectangle, square, or nothing where the video ought to be.  To watch the video, please click on the title to this post.


Karen Anne said...

Whadda's he mean "correct"? Who sez an accent is not "correct"?

I'm tha proud posessah of a Roe Disland accent.

I'm thinking of going off my diet. I may make a cabinet - have we got a pint of ice cream and sum milk?

Want ta join me?: Or did jeet already?

Unknown said...

I have lived in the Bawstin area all my life. My Connecticut boyfriends makes fun of me and is constantly commenting on the fact that Quincy is pronounced Quinzee. It is all in good fun but I am proud of my accent.

Lil said...

I went to college in the Midwest where my classmates were amused by my New Yawk accent, and I was amused by their bizarre speech. They took all the Rs I dropped and stuck them into their words. I drank wawtuh and they drank warrterr.

Mike Tierney said...

I grew up in Summavull and lost my accent soon after moving away. It still comes back now and then which my California-born kids find endlessly entertaining. And it comes back wicked bad whenever I visit family in Boston. My wife's from the Midwest and doesn't think she has an accent, but she drinks pahp and thinks that "father" and "bother" rhyme, so what does she know?

C said...

Most interesting - hadn't ever thought about the origins.

Anonymous said...

My mother hailed from Clinton, MA, so growing up here in California I only heard "Wustah" accents. Imagine my surprise when I actually saw the word written down. Thanks for an unexpected memory of my mom! And I love your posts. Wouldn't miss a one.

Julia Ergane said...

I've lived in SE Connecticut most of my life; however, from 3rd-6th grades we lived in NC. Imagine the horror of returning "home"in 1962 and being criticized for dropping final "ing's"! So, I had a bit of the magnolia overlaid on the New England. My accent is still a little nasal (I had horrible T&A, which were removed when I was 4). So, I think I sound a bit New Yorkese at times.

QNPoohBear said...

I'm cracking up at Karen Anne's comment. There's a whole dictionary on Rhode Island language. Every time I go away and come back home, the accents sound more pronounced. My best friend has a stronger accent when she talks to her husband. My dad has a wicked Wustah accent. In the summer he wears "shats." Some of the words we use here in New England are the same as they still use back in England and some of the words used are old-fashioned or come from immigrants who haven't perfected English grammar "Close the light" is a popular phrase around here.

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