American Accents

When I was in college I had a professor who was fascinated by accents. In fact, he had traveled from Maine to California, bringing a tape recorder with him. He made stops in each state, and asked people to say the words to “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” One day he brought the tape recorder to class and had us listen to all the accents all throughout the country. It was amazing!

Each state has its own accents and sayings. Take for example Maine and New Hampshire; you’ll hear the natives say “ayah,” which is their way of saying “yes.”

When I lived and worked in Texas, I listened to people’s accents; so different from New Hampshire. Then there are little sayings everywhere that you would only hear in Texas, such as “do whut?” That’s their way of saying, “excuse me, I didn’t quite hear what you said. Could you please repeat it?” Another one always tickled me: “why, he’s just as happy as a possum in a cow plop!” And there was this that I heard all the time; someone would say that it was time for him/her to go grocery shopping: “Ah’m fixin’ to go git groceries.”

Although it has been decades since I graduated from college, I still remember how interesting it was to hear so many accents from Maine to California. Even my granddaughters now have Maine accents. I nearly died laughing when I heard the oldest one tell a friend of her parents that her name was “Ava Paka Hon.”

Amazing, isn’t it that each state has their own accent?


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