Tag Archives: southern dialect

The Hybrid Accent

Map depicting United States East Coast

Image via Wikipedia

So I was checking out Jessica Buttram‘s blog, per usual, and I realized she was participating in a funky experiment about accents, a prompt which she got from Jamie’s Rabbits who got it from someone else.

And so on… And so on… And so on…

Those of you over 40 are probably having flashback to the commercial for “Faberge Organic Shampoo”

Yeah, me too.

Anyhoo, I’ve spent most of my life above the Mason-Dixon line, but you would be amazed how five short years in N’awlins got all up in this East Coast girl’s upbringing and influenced my dialect!

This probably happened because I so wanted to be a Southerner!

Lord, I loved everything about the South. I loved etoufée and crawfish. I loved how the giant roots from the oak trees pushed up rebelliously through the cement walkways. I loved the scent of magnolia that wafted around. I love that men wore seersucker suits, and nobody laughed at them. And I loved that the women wore enormous hats. I loved eleventeen-bajillion other things, too.

And as a lover of language, I especially loved the way people in N’awlins pronounced certain words.

So it is with great excitement that I share my piece of this experiment.

Yup, I’m bustin’ in with some hybrid pronunciation. For real. This is what happens when you take a Northern gal to the deep south for a few years.

First a few quick things:

  • I’m Jewish. I talk with my hands.
  • Sorry I became a little distracted and ridiculously repetitious at a few points. My husband and son were making pasta and I could hear them whispering in the background. They were trying to find the marinara sauce. Just so you know, in case you are ever visiting my house, the marinara sauce is in the pantry — which is where all cans and jars live until they are opened. Once they found the jar of Prego, it was much easier to focus.
  • You will hear the microwave beeping.
  • Yes, I like throw pillows.

The Words: Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting Image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught, Insurance (added for Jamie).
• • •
The Questions:
  1. What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
  2. What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
  3. What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
  4. What do you call gym shoes?
  5. What do you say to address a group of people?
  6. What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body & extremely long legs?
  7. What do you call your grandparents?
  8. What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
  9. What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
  10. What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

What words do you think I pronounced “weird”?

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