Tag Archives: Southern American English

Whatever Wednesday: Yankee Drawl Y’all

To listen to me read this post and hear what I’m talking about, click here:

I have a strange accent. Very strange.

Sometimes there’s no accent.

Sometimes it’s southern, sometimes yankee, sometimes midwestern.

I also have the ability to morph into different accents without thinking. What does this mean? I once pissed off two Irish exchange students in college because after spending 45 minutes with them, I started talking like them unintentionally. You should have heard me after spending time with the African exchange students from London, Madagascar, and the Ivory Coast. And heaven help me if I watch Bridget Jones’ Diary, Dangerous Liasions, Steel Magnolias, or Crocodile Dundee one too many times.

Also – if I spend too much time on the phone with my mom or my cousin, both from the midwest, I sound a bit, well, midwestern.

I was born in New Jersey. Lived there until I was 13. Then moved to Virginia for the 7-12th grades. Spent college in Southern Georgia where I dropped my Yankee accent real quick like because the Good ol’ GA boys didn’t much like it. I now live in Northeast Georgia and have for the past 10 years. I have now adapted to the Southern Accent. For the most part.

My dad was born in New Jersey. Lived there until he was in his 40’s. No, he doesn’t sound like Joe Pesci. In fact, he doesn’t have much of an accent at all. Not to me, at least.

My mom is from Michigan. She’s got that Midwest thing going on.

And me?

I’m a bit mangled. Possibly even completely mangled.

In college, while working at a local movie theatre, they had a blast getting me to say everything on the refreshment menu which ended and/or had an “er” sound in it.

I realized I am incapable of saying ButterFinger as spelled. It comes out more like “ButtahFinguh.”

What gets really fun is when I mash several accents in one sentence.

Like tonight.

Tonight I told my almost 3yo son to “Getcha hayand outa yuh diapuh.”

Yeh.

Um.

The first half of the sentence sounded very southern. The last half? Notsomuch.

And then there’s the famous argument about how I say Dawg, water, quarter, and car. My parents even make fun of me for the way I say Water. That says a lot.

Car often slides out as Cah. But here lately it’s been very midwestern. Not sure how to spell that but there is an overemphasis on the A. Maybe I’ll just call in tomorrow and read the post so y’all (see!) can hear how I talk. Yeh, that’s what I’ll do!

Oh, and heaven help you if I’m mad. I sound like Rosie Perez meets Paula Deen these days. It scares the crap out of me.

I don’t change my accent to appear wishy-washy. It’s just something I have done my whole life. It’s just me.

So if you ain’t gonna spend a quartah to get me a buttahfinguh and some wadduh, then fine. Bless your heart but you best be fixing to get in your cah and leave me alone he-uh in Dawg country, y’all.

Enhanced by Zemanta