May 16, 2019

"Boston Accent Ranked Second Sexiest in America, Survey Says."

Boston 10 reports.

Texas is #1, in case you're wondering. My favorite part of the ranking is "14. Yooper."

And I learned a new term "Hoi Toider." (At #35.) I thought it might be a joke, but:
High Tider or Hoi Toider is a dialect of American English spoken in very limited communities of the South Atlantic United States—particularly, several small island and coastal townships in the rural North Carolina "Down East" that encompasses the Outer Banks and Pamlico Sound (specifically including Atlantic, Sea Level, and Harkers Island in eastern Carteret County, the village of Wanchese and also Ocracoke) as well as in the Chesapeake Bay (such as Tangier and Smith Island). The term is also a local nickname for any native resident of these regions....
Listen:



I know what a Yooper is, but what exactly is the accent? You can learn that and more here:

100 comments:

Darrell said...

Right. All I need to ignore.

Henry said...

That story reminds me of this one:

The Movie With the Most Boston Accents This Year

JAORE said...

Southern men, last place
Southern women #1 by far.

mesquito said...

I don’t know about sexy. When I’m in say, the Midwest, people hear my Texas drawl and start treating me like I’m retarded.

rehajm said...

That's wikked awsome!!

Quiz: PSDS in Bostonian = ?

wwww said...

The Cajun accent should be much higher on the list.

The Drill SGT said...

10 California?
34 San Francisco?
42 Central Valley?

Kirk Parker said...

My wife had a great-aunt who late in life had married a genuine backwoods Georgia cracker. We visited them once (they lived near Miami at the time); Charlie would emit whole sentences of which I could not understand a single word.

tarheel said...

I haven't read the article, but the examples you linked are great. We have a house on Ocracoke and a soon at MTU in the UP!

FWBuff said...

"Texas is #1, in case your wondering."

Y'all're welcome!

T said...

Regarding the "Hoidy Toidy" and the coastal Carolinas, many years ago there was a PBS series called The Story of English hosted by the late Robert MacNeil (of the MacNeil/Lehrer report). One segment that discussed not only the "hoidy Toidy", but also claimed that in certain areas of the Outer Banks English is still spoken as it was in Shakespeare's day and that it does not sound at all similar to what we think of as an English accent today. I was quite taken with the series when it aired, still have my vcr tapes of it, and highly recommend it to those interested in the evolution of language.

Link:

https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/story-of-english/

Paul Mac said...

Yinzer didn't make their list apparently.

rhhardin said...

https://www.oupress.com/books/14184141/down-in-the-holler

A Gallery of Ozark Folk Speech (1953)

Lincolntf said...

I have a Boston accent (actually a Worcester accent, but most people have never heard of Worcester,MA, home of the birth control pill and the "Smiley Face" logo, among other things). At college in the Midwest it did help spark interest, which led to conversation, which led to dates. Since I moved to NC when I was in my 30's, it has sparked conversations, often people "guessing" where I'm from. Random cashiers, waitresses, etc. Of course now I'm married, so I demure.

Rick.T. said...

Go Bucks! F**k the Raptors!

readering said...

It must be the jfk mystique.

But the lbj mystique?

Wince said...

Do you think I'm sexy?

A Ted Talk, on Boston Girls

Danno said...

This yooper accent is stealing from the Canadians. Is that cultural appropriation?

MadisonMan said...

Yinzer didn't make their list apparently.

Everyone who woulda voted on that was daun taun.

Tomcc said...

MadisonMan: the preferred pronunciation, I believe, is "dahn tahn". A bit more nasal-ly. Think Myron Cope. (And, if you don't know who Myron Cope is, you are definitely not a yinzer!

Tomcc said...

...yinzer!)

Ignorance is Bliss said...

EDH said...

A Ted Talk, on Boston Girls

Frustrated women (I mean they're frustrated)
Have to be in by twelve o'clock (oh, that's a shame)

rcocean said...

"Southern women #1 by far."

Yep.

BTW, I've understood why JFK said "Cuber" for Cuba. Where the hell does that extra "r" come from?

rcocean said...

The "Mid-atlantic" accent seems to have disappeared. WF Buckley had it. So did George Plimpton.

rcocean said...

Does Palin have an "Alaska Accent" because no one else from Alaska sounds like that.

BTW, i was told only Mid-westerners say "Warshing Machine" and "Warshington DC". It that true?

Fernandinande said...

"Boston Accent"

Ee-yew.

But it's nice that nearly everything can be put into meaningless listicles of subjective qualities which barely vary from each other.

Chowdah

Nevertheless, ee-yew.

Mark said...

Low-class idiot is sexy now?

Marcus said...

No.

THEOLDMAN

Mark said...

Some of the Brits put R's at the end of certain words. At least they do on Doc Martin.

Mr. Forward said...

Hey der, can I give you a jump?

Rocketeer said...

BTW, I've understood why JFK said "Cuber" for Cuba. Where the hell does that extra "r" come from?

He's just using up one of the extras he stockpiled when he said a "pahked the cah."

Ice Nine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ice Nine said...

>>BTW, i was told only Mid-westerners say "Warshing Machine" and "Warshington DC". It that true?<<

By garsh, they sher do. Well, the older ones anyway. My, mostly rural, aunts and uncles did. "Go warsh up fer supper." But that was back in the 60s. I'm long gone from there but when I go back I don't hear it so much now.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

what accent?

Francisco D said...

BTW, i was told only Mid-westerners say "Warshing Machine" and "Warshington DC". It that true?

I grew up in Chicago and never heard anyone talk that way.

The same cannot be said for Iowa and Wisconsin.

wildswan said...

BTW, i was told only Mid-westerners say "Warshing Machine" and "Warshington DC". It that true?

They used to say "Warshington" (not Warshington DC) round around DC and Baltimore in the Fifties but only if the kid AND his parents (and probably his grandparents) were actually from area. They'd say "warter", "strenth" and other words I forget. Then in Canada in the Sixties you'd hear a modified Scottish accent. This yooper accent seems to be a Scottish-Canadian-Upper Wisconsin accent. I once showed a person from that area a picture of small area of gray sky and snow on the shore of Lake Michigan which had some interesting gray shadows. She almost cried because she thought it was so nostalgic and beautiful and so much like home.

tim in vermont said...

Marky Mark.

Earnest Prole said...

Sarah Palin’s accent was traced to hundreds of Minnesota families who settled in Alaska during the Depression.

Molly said...

(eaglebeak)

I like Southern and Southwestern accents (my father was from Oklahoma).

So I like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and even George W. Bush accents.

Bahston accents, on the other hand, make me cringe.

Maybe because I've spent a lot of time in New England, surrounded by Bahston drivers.

wwww said...

"BTW, i was told only Mid-westerners say "Warshing Machine" and "Warshington DC". It that true?"

Never heard that and I've got relatives from the midwest. But the mid-west isn't uniform across the states or even pockets within states. & sayings are different. (Pop vs. Soda vs. Soda-pop) "kitty-corner" ("Lightning Bug vs. Firefly.") ("Truck" vs. "18 Wheeler" vs. "Big Rig.")

rcocean said...

Thanks for all the responses.

But no one thinks New Yawkers have sexiest accents?

rcocean said...

When it comes to Foreign accents, can't we all agree that Italian babes have the sexiest accents?

Earnest Prole said...

I always thought that Boston accent was called “Meathead.”

Gilbert Pinfold said...

My wife (Whom I met in Madison) has a wicked nizzah Boston accent. I’ve learned to drop R’s where they belong, and insert them where they don’t . Her sistah Linder keeps her hampah in the bathroom....

stevew said...

Lifelong Bostonian here, now you know why you like me so much. Second only to the folks from Texas. Wicked awesome.

Clyde said...

I don't think there is a real "Floridian" accent, since almost everyone in the state is a transplant from another state. Real Florida Crackers are thin on the ground here. This is also true when you read a "Florida Man"/"Florida Woman" story. Almost invariably, you learn a few paragraphs into the story that the so-called "Florida Man" originally came from some other state.

Molly said...

(eaglebeak)

New Yawkers? Second sexiest accent, definitely.

Although there are a million different accents in New Yawk, but all quite appealing.

So for me: South/Southwest and New Yawk.

Everything else--pfft.

Phil 314 said...

We didn't have much of an accent, just some hard to pronounce towns (and mine wasn't one of them)

PS and we drank soda

stevew said...

Mahky Mahk.

Fify.

The current mayor of Boston is Mahty Walsh, no immediately know relation. We had Tom Menino for many years, God rest his soul. He combined a heavy Boston accent with an often unintelligible slurring the caused him to be nicknamed "Mumbles" Menino.

dustbunny said...

I thought hoidy toidy was slang for pretentious, but Hoi Toider is just a descriptive term for the area which is distinctly unpretentious. I wonder what the relationship is between the two phrases. Maybe the Elizabethan accent of Harkers Island.

etbass said...

I think cokes and Pepsi's, Mountain Dew and Seven Up are all called "soft drinks" in the south. Never heard anyone refer to them as "soda", "soda pop" or "pop."

"I" is pronounced "I", not "Aye" or "Oye."

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mockturtle said...

I find all New England and NYC accents repulsive.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

"Is this for her?"

"Yeah, it's fa ha"

mockturtle said...

I think cokes and Pepsi's, Mountain Dew and Seven Up are all called "soft drinks" in the south.

Or just 'draink'.

mockturtle said...

Not sure if I find any accents sexy but Texas accents are particularly pleasant. Certain languages are sexier than others, IMO.

Mary Beth (the commenter) said...

Pop vs. Soda vs. Soda-pop

Or just "coke" regardless of the brand or flavor.

Host - "You want a coke?"
Guest - "Sure."
Host - "Okay, Pepsi or Mountain Dew?"

tim in vermont said...

Real Florida Crackers are thin on the ground here.

You just have to get a little bit away from the expensive real estate.

Temujin said...

Great stuff, especially the nod to Yoopers. But Charlestonians should have been higher on that list.

cacimbo said...

Black vernacular is not included on the list.

As a rookie cop I responded to a job in the projects with a senior m/b officer. Upon arrival my partner for the day and the m/b complainant spoke for a few minutes, then we left. In the elevator I said to my fellow officer "I didn't know you were bilingual, what language was that?" He looked at me in disbelief and said "english".

tim in vermont said...

My favorite accent of all time is Elizabeth Cook, Florida girl.

tim in vermont said...

When it comes to Foreign accents, can't we all agree that Italian babes have the sexiest accents?

The sexiest girls have the sexiest accents.

mockturtle said...

Black vernacular is not included on the list.

Good observation! Black men can talk some mighty sweet sugar.

Titus said...

Boston accents are hot. Southern accents are the worst. They sound so stupid. Probably because they are.

rcocean said...

Foreign Languages, if you don't know the meaning. just give off certain vibes. For example, I've been listening to words from some songs sung during WW2:

German marching songs: Sound like: We'll conquer the world. Translated lyrics: Ericka - she's one swell gal. Lillie Marlene - my heart belongs to you.

Italian Marching songs: Sounds like: Hey, we're just happy to be Italians. Translated lyrics: We're the new Romans. Everyone else? Eat shit and die.

rcocean said...

"Black men can talk some mighty sweet sugar."

The best sugar is brown, baby.

mockturtle said...

Yes, the sugar is brown and sweet. ;-)

mockturtle said...

Japanese is my favorite language to hear and it is kinda sexy.

Bruce Hayden said...

"BTW, i was told only Mid-westerners say "Warshing Machine" and "Warshington DC". It that true?"

Grew up with it. Probably came from my mother, who grew up in Chicago, but maybe my father, whose parents were from Oklahoma. At some point, both were saying it that way. And I still do, despite being born and spending most of my life in CO.

The one my partner and I fight over is my saying “crick” for “creek”. I grew up hearing it that way, and still say it that way to this day. Don’t know if it came from rural CO, or rural OK (not that far apart - my grandfather homesteaded in SE CO while teaching school in the OK panhandle) in my family. I hear it all over the west, esp in more rural areas.

Oh, and in the Mountain west, it was “pop”, not “soda” or “coke”. Used to be that you could recognize someone from back east (including the Midwest) by their use of “soda”. Not so much anymore. Too many easterners have moved out west. Except my partner grew up in Las Vegas, and her parents in rural SE CA, and uses “soda” or “coke”.

William said...

The Boston accent worked out better for the Kennedys than for the Lodges.

Henry said...

The Rhode Island accent is the Boston accent before it went to the circus.

tcrosse said...

That's why the chicks go nuts for This Old House.

pacwest said...

"BTW, i was told only Mid-westerners say "Warshing Machine" and "Warshington DC". It that true?"

I grew up in Kansas and am still ribbed when I say warsh.

We had some neighbors fresh from the Dominican Republic, and that is the most beautiful accent I have ever heard. Almost like they were singing when they spoke.

tim in vermont said...

Lois on Family Guy has the Rhode Island accent. I get a kick out of it. Vermont has an accent but you will never hear it outside of Vermont because its only spoken by working people, though sometimes they make radio ads using it which are pretty funny to the initiated. The last movie they made about a Vermonter was Captain Phillips and he had a Maine accent in the movie, but a ship captain would likely not have a Vermont accent. People. seem to lose it if their level of education exceeds HVAC school. Which I am not slamming, BTW, they do. better than sociology majors by a long shot.

cacimbo said...

@ mockturtle Very true.

Michael K said...

The one my partner and I fight over is my saying “crick” for “creek”. I grew up hearing it that way, and still say it that way to this day. Don’t know if it came from rural CO, or rural OK (not that far apart - my grandfather homesteaded in SE CO while teaching school in the OK panhandle) in my family.

Rural Illinois. My grandfather said that along with "bahrrel," with a long a. Measured land in "rods and my father did, too from his childhood on the farm.

When I moved to California, I noticed that accent, especially in girls who spoke like Valley Girls. After living in CA for years, I noticed the midwestern accent when I went back to Chicago. TV has pretty much equalized the accents,

Swede said...

My parents are from Minnesota. I'm not.

Their accents are soft but distinct. I call it Lutheran Friendly.

When I was a kid, we used to go to see relatives in the summer up near Bemidji.

It was always so strange to see cousins who looked a lot like me but talked like they rode the short bus to school.

alanc709 said...

I grew up calling carbonated beverages 'pop'. When I was in college in Texas, it was 'soda water'. In North Dakota, it was plain old 'soda'. But with an 'uff da' sometimes.

walter said...

Chowdarr!

alanc709 said...

Mary Beth (the commenter) said...
Pop vs. Soda vs. Soda-pop

Or just "coke" regardless of the brand or flavor.

Host - "You want a coke?"
Guest - "Sure."
Host - "Okay, Pepsi or Mountain Dew?"

That happened in a California McD's to me. Cashier also needed a manager to make change, because he forgot to enter the amount tendered.

Michael said...

Unfortunately accents of all varieties are disappearing. And faster as time ticks. Listen to the recording of WIlliam Faulkner’s Nobel Prize speech for a mid century Mississippi accent in full. Mid-Atlantic accents were the norm in movies through the 50s.

Boston accents vary from the imitated lower class to the very hard to imitate Brahmin lock jaw. Titus is likely to have heard the former. A transplanted midwestern farmboy of middling corporate American opines on the intelligence of a region. Funny that.

R C Belaire said...

Born/raised in the UP but haven't lived there in over 45 years. However, here in southern Michigan people still say they can catch the accent.

Greg Hlatky said...

HR people with Boston accents are still human filth.

Humperdink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Humperdink said...

Myron Cope is a legend. Garganzola and Yoi (Copisms). Prolific sports writer, broadcaster and creator of the Terrible Towel.

Lewis Wetzel said...

How can Yooper be so much higher than Minnesota? They're the same damn thing.

Kirk Parker said...

"BTW, i was told only Mid-westerners say 'Warshing Machine' and 'Warshington DC'. It that true?"

Depends on what you mean by Midwestern, and at how many removes. My father, born and raised in Puget Sound country, said "warsh". His mother was born in Chelan County and lived all her life in WA state, but her parents (my g-g-parents) came from Iowa. My grandfather came from either Kentucky or Arkansas (accounts differ.)

You figure it out...


I knew a Cuban-American professor who did some postdoc studies in England. When he first arrived, he'd introduce himself as "Dr. Silva" and everyone would think his surname was S-I-L-V-E-R. He quickly caught on that he should say, instead, "Dr. Silver", by which everyone understood him to be saying S-I-L-V-A.

Lewis Wetzel said...

A British voice coach teaches Brits about the American accent: https://youtu.be/p5T3ubSdhSM

Ralph L said...

My grandmother's friend from "Down East" (on the NC mainland) went to nursing school in Philadelphia during WWII. They asked her what her native language was.

Clark said...

The key to the Yooper accent is the heavy Finnish influence. You can hear it in some NW Minnesotans and some Northern Wisconsinites, but ground zero is the Keweenaw Peninsula of the UP (Houghton, Michigan Tech, Calumet . . .) (where I grew up).

Clark said...

The kids with the real Yooper accent had parents that spoke Finnish and grandparents that spoke only Finnish.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

I had a couple of tough nuns as teachers when I was a parochial school kid. They were both from South Boston.

Because of them, I can never think of Boston accents as "sexy."

daskol said...

The "Mid-atlantic" accent seems to have disappeared. WF Buckley had it. So did George Plimpton.

Yes! That upper-crusty, slightly English seeming accent. Philippe de Montebello used to record tours for the Metropolitan Museum and he had a pure version of that accent. This is how affluent Americans speak in a lot of old movies, but I haven't heard a live person speaking it since I was a little kid.

Also, Hudson Valley is a desirable accent? I have family there, my wife is from there, and I couldn't characterize a Poughkeepsie accent besides it's sorta NYC but they screw up some of the vowels (e.g. Flahrida is Florida and Ahrange they do Orange with an exaggerated "O").

Phil 314 said...


Blogger Titus said...
“Boston accents are hot. Southern accents are the worst. They sound so stupid. Probably because they are.”

Do men moan with an accent?

mockturtle said...

A British voice coach teaches Brits about the American accent: https://youtu.be/p5T3ubSdhSM

Good find, Lewis. My British husband would pronounce 'talk' and 'torque' in what sounded, to me, exactly the same but he would insist they were different.

LordSomber said...

John McWhorter covered the "warsh" and "-r" thing in his latest Lexicon Valley podcast.
Highly recommended.

https://tinyurl.com/y2gsf3re

Pokerone said...

The usage is probably lost now but when I was young, growing up just north of Boston we always wanted a tonic on a hot day. Coke, Pepsi, Seven Up, and all the local brands of what other parts of the country called some form of pop.

The "a" for "r" and vice versa runs deep in me also, "My publisha, Linder, called. She just wanted to hear me say her name!"

Merny11 said...

I’m from Wisconsin and when traveling have often been accused of over pronouncing consonants- hey isn’t that why they’re in the word?
My personal favorite oddity is what people here call sloppy joes sandwiches. In my area they’ve always been called Spanish hamburgers and in the Manitowoc area they’re called hot tamales. We also have bubblers rather than drinking fountains.

Bricap said...

I worked with a native Yooper years ago. It was very similar to the Wisconsin accents I had heard. The long vowel sounds were very pronounced. He was not Finnish, afaik. My grandma grew up in the UP, but moved there at some point during childhood. Her accent was probably closer to Milwaukee by the time I knew her, though. The long vowel sounds were not quite as pronounced as those of my coworker. Still distinctly Sconsin, though. In AZ, it's pronounced Wes-Sconsin. Someone from Wisconsin was so surprised at how much first syllable there was in that version.

mockturtle said...

My personal favorite oddity is what people here call sloppy joes sandwiches. In my area they’ve always been called Spanish hamburgers and in the Manitowoc area they’re called hot tamales. We also have bubblers rather than drinking fountains.

Weird! I mean totally! ;-)