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The Southern Dialect

scooterdawgscooterdawg Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

I saw this video earlier and already knew the story but found it interesting nonetheless:

We’ll gloss over the fact that the person making the video seems to be from Texas and possibly is overstating how traditional THAT accent is, but I’ve always been fascinated by accents. I’m guessing that most of us on here have some form of a southern accent but how bout it?

Do you not think you even have one or do you own it? Do you have family members who may have even more pronounced ones? As far as owning your accent do you ever tone it down when speaking professionally or to folks from other parts? Any funny stories or anecdotes?

My family is about as southern as they come: both sides from Augusta and very few haven’t lived in Georgia their whole lives. I on the other hand was born overseas and didn’t live in Georgia until I was maybe 6 or 7...my parents were HS sweethearts, got married after college, and my dad had to do an Air Force ROTC payback stint so they ended up stationed in Northern Italy. Moved back to the states before I was two but then his job had us moving all over. So I was probably pretty close to having no accent, let alone a southern one when we moved back to Georgia.

I also grew up in Atlanta and went to Lovett(private school) so I was pretty late in picking up an accent, and I definitely can turn it up or down. In my drinking days it definitely got thicker as the night went on lol.

A couple of other accent/dialect things I find interesting: England is a pretty small country area wise but if you ever travel around some of the different regions it’s astounding the variations that exist only a few hours apart. Forget the Cockney and more well known accents: check out the Geordie one(that’s what people from Newcastle call themselves):

I find some of the more non English origin accents in the US interesting as well, like the Minnesota/rural Wisconsin ones with high Scandinavian populations. Btw, unless recent events have soured things, in my experience and that of a number of my friends, Australian women love guys with southern accents... and I’m a fan of them as well. And is there honestly any better accent for a woman(or man) to have than a good southern one?


  • BankwalkerBankwalker Posts: 5,348 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Lovett. Now it all makes sense.

  • scooterdawgscooterdawg Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Lovett and most of the private schools were early proponents of teaching critical thinking. It's a shame that so many students seem to have missed out on such skills at other institutions...don't y'all think? :)

  • ziggyholidayziggyholiday Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Never had much of one to begin with (IMO at least), but spending 20 years in the Army (and to my shame, marrying a Yankee) evened it out. Even in GA, we moved around some before finally settling in Washington County with both sides of my family living in Coffee and Atkinson Counties. Those south Ga peoples got that accent!

    I can turn it on/off fairly easily and it always creeps out when I'm talking to someone from Ga.

    I'm more interested in the "Tea line". Where you can just order tea and it'll come to you in it's natural god given form, cold and sweet. The further north you get, the more you start to get asked if you want it sweet or unsweetened, it then changes to the being only unsweetened and finally, "tea" becomes hot. First time I ate out in PA I learned about hot tea....I was mad.

  • Dawgsince76Dawgsince76 Posts: 728 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Being from a small farm town waresborro outside of waycross I can confirm the south Ga accent

  • scooterdawgscooterdawg Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    The tea line is an interesting one. I love sweet tea but try not to indulge in the massive amount of sugar involved very often these days, but I would not even bother to order “unsweetened” tea. It never tastes good with poorly dissolved sugar or fake sweetener stirred in.

    Another funny thing I’ve noticed is when restaurants in other parts of the country try to do “southern” dishes. I used to go out to Montana to go trout fishing every summer and we’d stay in the same towns. This place we used to get breakfast at had “grits” as a special side. Someone with us ordered them and I swear it looked like creamed corn. I wonder if they got hominy mixed up with hominy grits bc it looked more like a corn stew.

  • RPMdawgRPMdawg Posts: 2,928 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I'm surprised yall cant pick up my sutherin draw in my post. Seriously, I can call up somebody I havent talked to in years and they'll know who I am without me telling them. It must be bad?

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I'm not sure I buy into the premise of the video. When southerners are depicted in movies it's usually dropping the r sounds, but Appalachian dialect is very heavy on the r sound. Coastal southern dialects do tend to drop the r sound, which is similar to New Englanders, New Yorkers and New Jersey dialects. Most of us have Appalachian accents, but if you're from Savannah or Brunswick, you might have the Hollywood Scarlett O'hara/ coastal accent.

  • orlandoorlando Posts: 2,322 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Ordered some “ranch “ sauce for my kids nuggets in KC and the guy at the window replied “say what “ another employee walked up and asked if we were from S Carolina

    Cant take the south out of the boy !

  • FirePlugDawgFirePlugDawg Posts: 5,480 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    New Yorkers and others up nawth put R's in many words. Warsh (wash) and sarw (saw) are two. So, I don't know what is meant by dropping r's, but many words have an unneeded R, up hearah.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    FPD. You might be thinking of Pittsburgh, they have a weird dialect. I've never heard a New Yorker say warsh, or sarw. Heck in New Jersey many say New Jewasy. In New York it's New Yauk.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    FPD. A quick listen to Francesa on YouTube reveals he drops every R in here, alter, Super bowl, war, year. I'm very sure I can add many examples to the list if I listen for more than a few minutes. If I did so I'd want to look him up and punch him though.

  • YaleDawgYaleDawg Posts: 6,986 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I've never heard a native new englander say car. It's always cah

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited March 2019

    Yale. The Kennedys are prime examples of NE regional dialects. I met a guy recently who said he's from Ba Haba Maine...''where'' ? that's Bar Harbor to us Southern Appalachian folk.

  • UnderDog68UnderDog68 Posts: 3,109 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    The only people I've ever heard say warsh are people from Appalachia....Namely folks from KY, WV, and Western PA.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Underdog- The Pittsburgh area and nearby Eastern WV have a colorful dialect, my former sister in law is from the Pittsburgh area. She would catch herself calling a sack a 'poke', engrained dialect is stubborn.

  • RxDawgRxDawg Posts: 2,922 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Very cool video. I approve.

  • FirePlugDawgFirePlugDawg Posts: 5,480 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Listen to clips of Mike Francesca. Cannot miss it. He was BORN in NY.

    at 4:19 (sarw) When he is more relaxed, it is more pronounced.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    FPD. I think you're hearing something that isn't there. I listened 4 times, I don't hear sarw, I hear saw.

    He isn't a caricature though. Like most accents it varies, sometimes the Rs are enunciated, sometimes he drops them entirely.

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