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  • The United States has countless accents.

  • Where did they all come from?

  • American accents have been evolving for hundreds of years.

  • While Americans sound very different today, here's where some of those iconic accents got their start.

  • Let's start with New England, which was one of the first US regions to develop its own American-English accent.

  • Today, a speaker from New England might say, "Were you gonna plagiarize the whole thing for us?"

  • "Do you have any thoughts of your own on this matter?"

  • "Is that your thing?"

  • "You come into a bar, you read some obscure passage and you pretend, pawn it off as your own?"

  • For such a geographically small area, New York City certainly has a bunch of distinctive accents.

  • But in general, its accents evolve from a mixture of its Dutch and English roots, and numerous waves of immigration.

  • A modern speaker from New York probably won't sound like what you hear in the movies.

  • "Hey, I'm walkin' here! I'm walkin' here!"

  • They're more likely to say, Deep Dish Pizza is not only not better than New York Pizza, it's not pizza.

  • New York's New Jerseyan and Pennsylvanian neighbors sounded quite different.

  • Nowadays, someone from Philly might say, "We're your regular family."

  • "We watch the Phillies on TV, we go down to the Jersey shore."

  • "But when we want great hoagies, discount prices on beer, and a great atmosphere, we go to Lee's Hoagies in Horsham, PA."

  • Let's take a look at what went on down south.

  • The southern coast of the United States has a variety of different accents.

  • One for example, is Southern Coastal White.

  • "What concerns me about the American Press is this endless, endless attempt to label the guy some kind of kook."

  • Other southern dialects preserve some of the original remnants to this day.

  • "They come over here and get the oysters and clam and go fishin' because they right down the road, they right in Brunswick, or Savannah, or Jacksonville."

  • Much later, a wave of African Americans migrated from the American South to urban centers in the North, mixing their accents together.

  • "Being a kid from New York City, I mean, from Brooklyn and my aunt, God bless her soul, she used to always take me to the Rockettes."

  • "You know, the Easter show and the Christmas show."

  • The Ulster Scots had a significant influence on many American dialects in the South and the West.

  • Most of the original accent has disappeared, and today, an American from Tennessee might sound like this:

  • "Now, I am just who I am."

  • "I'm not always nice."

  • "I choose to be good."

  • "I choose to have a good attitude because I want people to know

  • I am a girl of many colors."

  • The Midwest has many diverse accents.

  • As the Appalachian settlers headed west, their accents joined with speech patterns from the North.

  • Today, a speaker from the Great Lakes might say, "I was born in the middle of the century, in the middle of the country.

  • A classic baby boomer."

  • Or more famously, "We got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses."

  • While another from Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Dakotas might say, "If either of these men draw, I'm gonna be forced to shoot some people and I don't wanna do that."

  • Down in Texas, a very distinct accent developed.

  • The famous Texan accent that we all know from the movies, "He shot and killed a state senator named Bibbs in Waco, Texas."

  • Has started to level out.

  • Visitors to big cities like Houston might be surprised to hear something more like,

  • "Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to beautifully capture the profundity of Deep Southern culture."

  • Last but not least is the West Coast,

  • which had a very different mix of immigrants compared to the East Coast.

  • California doesn't come close to having one distinct accent.

  • A modern day speaker might sound like,

  • "We woke up the next morning on his actual birthday and I told him I wanted to take him somewhere to lunch for his birthday."

  • Or, "What's so powerful about this novel is everyone has their own interpretation of these characters."

  • These are just a handful of American accents.

  • And they're all still evolving as we speak.

  • We'll have to check back in a century or so and see what happens next.

The United States has countless accents.

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This Map Shows Where American Accents Come From

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    Evangeline posted on 2021/04/11
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