An example of the Massachusetts negative positive. Used like this:
"I just love the food at Kelly's.""Oh, so don't I!"
if i owed a hadwrench for every time i heard something of this magnitude, i'd be diggin' my own grave by now.SC
I'm a student at Harvard from down near Providence and I'm doing a paper about this phrase!!
See this thread for more discussion of "so don't I:"http://www.wickedgood.info/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=23493
Dude...I say "so don't I" all the time.
eeek so dont i! although its really pronounced "so dunn-eye"
wait... so is it good as in "so do I," or is it bad as in "I don't like it either"???
"So Don't I" that'd drive me crazy if I heard that all the time!
when I moved from mass me and my buddy to Va we noticed how different we sounded check it outhelp it oout instead of outviser caad - visa cardchristiner - christinawhat'z upbuddy - what's up buddy - say real fast
another is down in va they call the store by the name but in mass we might saysupa maakit or the growcez
I like the way you set up that your info is the homepage, nicely done. Thanks! bilder
I am from MA and live in Virginia and two things that when I say it people said "what?!"Elastic: apparently people call these things rubber bands and they did not know what an elastic was!Jimmies (on ice cream): people call these sprinkes and did not know what jimmies were.Am I alone here ;-)
I am a black guy who loves hockey.GO BRUINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
my whole family is from boston and now we are living in va. we call the remote control for the tv 'the clickah' and people here call it a remote. when I ask for the clickah I get funny looks.
I am flying to Boston tomorrow, from Toronto, CA. Thanks for the quick heads up on the lingo, I'll let you know in a week what I thought of it all. Cheers
Am I the only one that's heard this expression's first cousin, "So ain't I"? As in, "Um goin' to the cahnivuhl tuhnite"..."So ain't I!"" Oh and the previous poster is NOT alone...When I lived on the west coast, I was told that "elastic is a quality, not an item.." yah, right. I also got weird looks asking for jimmies and about making a "packie run"
this drives my wife crazy when I use it.... I'm a lifelong MA resident.... she is a New York transplant
i grew up in Boston. i know all about packie runs "yo, you want en'in?" nah, imstr8." "grab up a deuce deuce though, dry as shit!"i live outside the country now so i live on my memories. but its funny, cuz i work on the phones and get to listen back on previous calls. my Boston accent is so pronounced.what really makes me proud though is when i am on the phone and people recognise my accent as being from Boston. i think that's the best feeling in the world....
So if your name is Bob and you are married to Barb, how do you know when people in Boston are calling your name?
My family (from California) visited another family in Weymouth in the 60s, and even they were confused ... we had a "Barbie" and they had a "Bobby." We were in stitches listening to them, but they were totally convinced that they talked just like Huntley & Brinkley!
I'm from GA and I'll be in Boston this weekend until next wed. It should be interesting to how southern "redneck" and Boston lingo go together. It's probably gonna be confusing for all of us. I can't wait. Go Sox!!! I hate the Yankess. Later, CAV
People of Massachusetts who moved to my state, I feel you.I'm from VA and recently visited Mass. Expected "Boston" to follow some derivative of the ar-ah rule... but talked to some people and they were like "so how do you like it at Buwaustn?"It was quite great... But my question is how the heck to you get along with no "yoll"? It's vital!
when i was a kid i used to say " so dont i" all the time , ive lost it now but i was laughin when i read this cuz it brought me back,,but what in the hell is up with all these people from Mass, livin down in VA
This is cool - stumbled across this site looking for anything about the Boston accent - certain words, etc. and the pronunciation of them.I am from Lynn (City of Sin......) and now live in New York......and get picked on all the time!!
im from MA and am currently goin to school in CT, i said "so ahhn't i" and now after i was made fun of i realized i and are don't even go together? and i cant stand their accent is Bawwston, no BAHHHHston!~ and yes i love my accent cause everyone knows im from MA and wants to have the accent
Hey, lifelong Boston resident now living in Phoenix, AZ of all things, and ohmigawd, I get ragged on all the time..."WHAT? What did you say??" I went in the store and said "throw it on my cahd" WHAT? What's a CAHD? Aw, jeez...at least I can find a place to pahk the cah heah hehe, but I wicked miss the way we talk back home :(
As a native Bostonian, i used to get blank stares from friends when, on days we might want to get some beer, I'd suggest a trip to the "packy"oh and they all made fun of my accent whenever I said I had an idea. (Idear)
While I was living in Allston (Ipswich Native, now in Worcester), my roomates had some friends from jersey, who did not know, that you drink water from a bubblah, I had to tell them you only throw coins in a fountain.
I am in Chicago and can't stand the way Chicagoan's pronounce the middle o vowel which Bostonians don't have (example the vowel that would make the diffence between Bob and Barb. To get even with these mid-westerners, I always have them pronounce (after writing them down) Mary, marry and merry. Inevitably they will pronounce them all the same, while Bostonians will have a distinct vowel for each. Who says our English is weahd?
I am a Bostonian living in South Florida, people think I talk a little funny, so I throw in a couple of youze guyz, and tell them I am from Providence.I tell the rednecks here that youze guyz is northern for y'all. Some of them actually believe me, and others don't know what I am talking about, but want to know if I ever met a Kennedy.
A real good ear can hear the difference between an accent from Medfed vs. an accent from Sto'tin" A true native can hear distinct accents that differ from town to town. A Lynn accent is dramatically different than from Somerville accent; and a Southie accent is the REAL Boston lingo. 351 towns in the Commonwealth, probably 352 different takes on it.
Confused about the Bob/Barb thing.Around here ( Boston area) it would be Bawb and Bahb. Is someone calling Bobby Bahbie?It's funny, I learned to talk while living in Cambridge and moved to a NW burb when I was very young and still retain a very heavy Boston accent, my kid's accents are very diluted though and I often hear my youngest actually saying ( gulp) CAR not cah
and of course when you drop the 'r' from a word it must be added somewhereelse.ex. "My girlfriend worked in a lawroffice"and living now in CA I asked for directions and the gal at Circle K saidtake a U-ey at the light. I knew shewas from Boston!
I haven't heard anyone say this yet, so I've been wondering ... is the emphasis on "Don't" or "I"? When I say "So do I," I think I usually put it on the "I," but I wasn't sure if it's the same.
My CA-raised daughter makes fun of the way I say Are-inge for the citrus fruit and fahr-est for a large group of trees. I just tell her that anyone who can't say "Mary is merry that she's married" and have anyone know who did what doesn't have any right to complain.
I do need to come to Boston and check this out. I am an Australian living in London and from what you're saying the Boston accent has some similarities with - gasp - the Australian accent.
OMG, my cousins from Michigan think I'm a riot. Funny thing is, I grew up in MI and moved to MA around age 7. I used to get reemed for the mid-west accent so I dropped that pretty quick and picked up a wicked thick Lowell accent. (yes, it is a bit differnt from Boston but sounds the same to an outsider). Does anyone remember "No Sah... Yes Sah..."? I had a boyfriend who lived in England and he flipped out when I said I was heading to the packy. Apparently, in England, packy is a derogitory term for Pakistani people. Go figure!
So how would David (1/10) pronounce the surname of Adam (1/13), and distinguish him from Foster? But Aussie is pretty consistently right behind the nose, while BosTalk (or whatever) bounces back and forth between the throat, the nose and the outstretched lips, much like Parisian French. Remember when the young Bee Gees (fresh from a dozen years in Oz) sang "awluva sudden I sore a new morning"? No wonder they also offered a hat-tip to "Massachusetts"!
I now live in Florida originally from Dorchester. The best one I have ever heard was told to me by my nephews wife. She was attending art school in Florida two guys from Boston are in her class and one yells out to the other" I need a "Darka Marka"
Help me on this one- I grew up on the South Shore and call pepsi, coke... "soda". A friend from Dawchesta calls is "tonic"---- Is this regional???
dude, you'd be surprised. people in the south call it "coke" even if its sprite or dr. pepper. and in the pac.northwest, and in the midwest its "pop" I've never heard tonic before, unless you're talking about the shit you put with gin.
Yeah- we also called it "coke" even if it was ginger ale......
I grew up just north of Concord NH. We called soft drinks "tonic".My father was from PA. To us kids, a "cah" was something you drove. To him it was an animal that gave milk.
Tonic is from the days when Pespsi, Coke etc. had drugs in them, sold in drug stores, and and were used as pick me up's.
My sister and I (ages 40 & 43)grew up in Dorchester and always said "tonic".Fa cryin out loud, it was right up there on the menu in the "spuckie" shop!Here are sumoah:Toozdeez & Thursdeez we always had pa-day-duhs and roast beef on a boo-key roll.My father called taxi cabs "nickle chasers"Mah would scream out the window"Get up the house!"when she was really mad and wanted us in.
"Jimmies (on ice cream): people call these sprinkes and did not know what jimmies were.Am I alone here "Oh, thank God, I'm not the only one!! I lived in Taunton (ok, so not quite Boston) until I was nine, then transplanted to Illinois. Not one person here knows what the heck I'm talking about when I ask for jimmies on ice cream!! Used to get them on sundaes at Friendly's.Reading this has brought on all kinds of warm fuzzies remembering that delicious dialect. =) Wish it hadn't been drilled out of me!
If you're arguing with someone and you want to say "you better not do that" it's "ya beddanot!"Also, I get lots of phone messages that go a little something like this.... "Hi Christiner, it's mum..."And a great story: I was in NY at the closest Dunkies (40 miles away!! I was suffering severe "withdrawral") and I asked for a jimmie donut. The guy looked confused, but pretended he knew what I was talking about and turned to the donunts like he was going to get it. He just stood there for 10 seconds and finally turned back and goes, "a what?"
"So don't I" was something I always said without giving it a second thought until I was an adult and somebody pointed out to me how weird it really sounds. I also said (say) "So ahn't I" (So aren't I") instead of "So am I".For instance, "I'm goin' up Brighton Center (senna) ta do some shoppin'."..."So ahn't I."
Also we say RUM instead of ROOM. My freinds from Ny always laugh when i say " i'm tired, i'm about to go slepe in my Rum"
I can answer the "Bob" "Barb" question if no one else has. "Barb" is pronounced "Bahb" and "Bob" is pronounced "Bawb" Totally different and even an outsidah can tell the difference.Most people don't realize that in the New England dialect, the way the "o" is pronounced is as distinctive as the way "r"'s are. (Or aren't, depending on how you look at it.)Jess
Rum (room) is a Jersey thing, but okay.
My mom and I were living in Holliston (Hallstin) but we moved out to ChicAAHgo 43 yrs ago... she still pronounces my name MAAAAAAHHK.... it's a pretty resilient ole accent.When we came out here on summuh vay-cay to see our rel's, that's when I first heard the word "tonic"... we called it "pop" and I thought it was pretty weird, tonic was what guys put in their hay-ah.I've been back here since 88, and have finally started the "heah an' theah" and "he's wikkit smaaaht". I'm not doing the "I sawr a great movie" thing though (yet)...I still say, "My folks live near ROWT Eight outside Chicago..." but here in Natick, "the traffic is always a mess on ROOT Nine." It's two different ways, depending where the street is I'm talking about...Finally, I remember reading a little story in Reader's Digest years ago: a lady was at a family reunion and was talking to a doctor from Boston. She noticed he was looking at her very closely and she asked "What's wrong?" He said "I notice you have PSDS." She got pretty freaked out until she realized he was saying "You have pierced ears".mark
if u've missed the boston accent, u can listen to NPR's cartalk they got this thick accent, or u can google car talk and lisen to it online.
The man in my life grew up near Boston. I grew up in the midwest. He often says, "So don't I," and even thought I've known him for three years, yesterday was the first time he ever said "Bang a left" while I was driving! We are going to Boston next week, and I can't wait!!
Wait, people don't say this elsewhere? Ya learn sumthin' new e'ry day.
I'm originaly from the Boston area as were both of my parents and my two siblings. We lived in Maine for some time and then moved to Iowa. Talk about culture shock. In Iowa, nobody understood a thing I said for the first two years and they told me I had an attitude. They said I talked too fast and I told them they listen too slowly.It's been over 20 years now and to this day I still use "Wicked" and "so don't I." As for "Bang a left," I'm guilty as chahged on that one too. The accent is extremely hahd to lose. I speak fluent Ioweegian now but when I am with the family the Bostonian accent (with hints of Maine mixed in) is what comes out of my mouth. It doesn't hurt to go to a family reunion back home every so often to keep up the native tongue. As for my parents, they never lost a bit of the accent.Oh and as for "wicked being a New England thing, people from Maine say "wicked" too. I listed to them do it for ten years.
I moved to Boston from GA almost 3 yrs ago.I honestly did not understand what some people were saying as they were speaking to me...I have 2 children, the first day of school I was walking my 5 yr. old in and the Principle walked over and asked me if my child was a "keendagahdnir." I did not know how to reply since I did not know what he thought my child was... :)Also, at the grocery store I young man walked up to me & my "non-toddler" children & asked me if would like a "carriage." I looked around for a parent with an infant, did see one, gave the guy a strange look and walked past him without speaking! We had "buggies" or "carts" in GA..I hated my southern accent & dropped it as a teenager. As pretentious as this sounds... growing up in the south I thought accents were a sign of ignorance, for not understanding how to speak properly..Since living here, loving Boston & the accent I now embrace my new, ever so slight accent with pride!!!
After Katrina, everyone was talking about Bi"lux"i. I'm thinking, that's an o in there, not a u.It would be Bi LOCKS ee to us Bostonians
I went to Germany for three months and everyone wanted to hear my boston accent. GERMANS!! (my name may be German but i lived mah hol life in da Bahsten ahyah) Saying Go swox dah got me a lot of attention. Unfortunitly, they didn't realize I was from Brookline so my accent was slight. One day I will move to Southie and get a real accent.
So Don't I. My husband who grew up in Puerto Rico was fascinated when he first heard me say that. I have always said and did not realize till recently that it is a Bawstin expression.
This is cool!Love the site, Complimenti ;)Seb from Paris :)www.net-ster.com
Helloo! You should be surprized getting my note here: I am a 60-yr old French guy who was so lucky to have been "around Mass" for two "grand' weeks"! I wish some Mass intellectual would plan to write a "Mass-Americanenglish-French" dictionary! Would be a hit (yes, but where?) Just to let you know that I did not understand 98.23% of the highly sophisticated explanations given by your local linguists regarding Mass(media)dialect but I toroughly enjoyed my total lack of understanding: such a thrill in such a boring world (you should come over here: pure compact dreariness.. Wish were not here but there in Mass! (French) Love to all of you Mass natives and forgive any error/stupidity due to my weak English.. (the latter has been "picked up" with people coming from at least 21 different states of the Union while working for the US military in Europe.. so it could explain my language poverty.. Alain Ilan Braun
Jeeez..I'm all confused now!I grew up in the burbs of NYC then moved to the finger lakes region of central NY.I thought I'd heard it all!I thought "so don't I" was from the hillbillies of central NY...they use it in all forms: "so wouldn't I" "so didn't I""so can't I"Do folks in Boston also use "over to" and "seen" in the same remarkable way? Like:"I seen Bawb over to the packie!"
This is hallarious, another thing with the rearragning of the r's is " Drawr on the boahd." And "vaniller icecream" I also had a problem when dating a guy named carl if i ever had to "call caahl from the cah"And, if any southerner can figure out what the packey is he definetly won't know what to get when you ask for a 30 rack. Probly thinks you gotta go out hunting or something stupid.
isn't "jimmy" a derogative word for blacks? i mean i grew up in MA all my life and i always say jimmies for the black sprinkles and the colored sprinkles are sprinkles but i can see how its derogatory...is this true?
I grew up in Cambridge and now live in northern VA. When I was growing up, Jimmies were Jimmies regardless of the color.I see from some of the posts there are a lot of yanks living here in VA. This is a good thing!!!!!
I grew up in Mattapan and was always proud of my Boston accent, though I lost some of it now by necessity. The first tme I was in N. Carolina, asked a question, and got "Sure Don't!" for an answer, it stopped me in my tracks. We always answered " Sure DO!" - so I was expecting the opposite when I heard the "Sure...".
I spent some time living in New Mexico, working with a bunch of guys from Texas. Anyway, while I was out there, I told my boss (whowas from CT) that I was leaving early to go to the dealer and get my new car. One of the Texans over heard this and became rather confused. The conversation went something like this:[mike] hey hair, i gotta leave urli? i'm goin ta'tha dealahz ta pickup mi nu cah.[harry] shur dude, needa ride?[jim] ur gunnah dew wot, myk?[mike] i'm goin ta'tha dealahz ta pickup mi nu cah.[jim] a newker? iz'at sum kynda draug?[mike] no nawt'ta drawg dealah, ah cah dealah! i'm getin a nu cah afta werk.[jim] o, u mean a caher deal'er.[mike] duh! thats waht i jus sed, cah dealah![jim] noh myk, itz caher. see. ay. areh. caher![mike] yaeh je'um, thats waht i sed, cah. see. ay. ah. cah![mike] (wispering to harry) hairy, watz wit thiz guy, sum kinda retahd?(Note: I try to be polite and pronounce people's names the way they pronounce them. So Jim from Texas is je'um, as opposed to my friend gym from re'veah.)
I grew up in MA, until I was 18, and when I moved away (and NO, it was NOT to VA!)I was constantly corrected for my "incorrect" grammar when I would say things like "so don't I." I stopped saying it, not realizing that it was part of my unique Boston accent. I wish now that I had never learned to drop it, because I've tried re-using it, and even though I am back in MA, it just doesn't feel right to me anymore. Guess I'm still subconsciously waiting for someone to correct me (I'm an English teacher, to boot!).Also, I recall drinking "tonic" as a kid, just like my parents did, but I've noticed that over the past 40 years, somehow we've all started drinking "soda." I believe we (the younger generations) are making linguistic history, and "tonic" as we once knew it will eventually become obsolete.Thanks for this site!Go Bruins!
I love this website!!! I moved from Michigan to Milton, MA; the South Showah, where I started 7th grade. What a culture shock! I heard "he's a wicked good kid" meaning he's really nice, and "She's so queeyah!", meaning, she's an embarrassment. Kids hung out at the "quawries" near Cunningham Pahk after getting someone's big brother to go to the "packie" in the "squayah". Also, I heard "Mum" used for "Mom" and of course, "Nana" for "Grandma". To top it off, in 8th grade my English teacher poked fun at accents that weren't from Boston. We learned the Gettysburg Address that year and I carefully memorized it in Bostonese so as not to get made fun of:... "Fowah scowah and seven yeeyahs ago, ahoowa fahthuz broahht foahth apoahn this coahntinent a new nation, conceived in libidy and dedicated to the proahpuzishon that oall men ahh greated equal...". I've since moved back to Michigan and learned to be fond of this Bostonian speech as it is so real, authentic and rare. I think a lot of it originated in Doahchestah and Southie. Is this the case? Does anyone know?
Okay, I am from Central Mass.. which all of you's Boston people think is western Ma, but trust me it's not (we have 'lectricity and cahs, not Hosses and buggies) and If you really wanna heah the best accents you gotta go to Worcester Ma, pronounced "wistah" out here. Not wooostah, no O sound. you will be hard pressed to find an R in pronunciation.Also I have noticed (especially on a trip to visit my sis in VA- yah what is it with locals movin' to VA?) that we swear a helluva lot up here! here it's like nothin to say "frig this" (slang for f*ck) and Hell is a staple all the little childrens use! In fact if you don't swear people start to think you are a real religous fanatic or sumptin'. I got myself into so much trouble! whoops!also the phrase "so don't I" as in "me too!" is used very much. And it's Soda, and a steak and cheese grinder. unless you want it on a bulkie. and ice cream with jimmies.
What's a hadwrench? Why would you dig a grave with it?I'm mad at Rowling and her Harry Potter movies for stealing "wicked!""Tonic" was used because the first soft drinks were sold as "health tonics" Soda was first sold as health food!
I'm from orange county, california...okay the OC haha I'm applying to boston University, that is why i stumbled upon this website....It's so interesting to me! A lot of my family lives in CT or NY and whenever I visit them every summer I get made fun of all the time for my "accent" I dont' believe i have one! okay so maybe i say like and dude a lot like the majority of southern californias but come on that's expected ;) and i don't even notice when i say it, over here you can say "dude" and the other person will know exactly what you mean, it's awesome. it jsut depends on how you say it. Anyways, if i go to BU (crossing my fingers) i'm not sure if i'll survive haha. okay peace out.
Hey OC chickie! I just moved here from there, and I'll tell ya to "go ahead" and settle in. You have to listen REALLY hard sometimes. I've been here 6 months and I'm still not sure what a "packy" is. I was originally from suburban NY, so some of the accent is familiah. But, being a New Yauka, I have to watch it...I think I'll add on to that that I hate the Yankees, always have, and I'm looking forward to opening day at Fenway. I'll take my 9 year son there this summer, I hope, and he can see some REAL fans!Oh, and hey, we got off easy this winter with the weather, so don't forget to pack a heavy coat when you come..Karen
I moved to the Napa Valley (CA) from MA 4 yrs. ago and found this site while planning a trip back home--My CA husband always tries to speak "bostonian" afta bein around my famly (which nevah sounds quite right). I can't wait to go back home and see my fatha and my grampa Cahl (who both call me Eambah)! I can todally relate to all the comments above and I'm sad that I only get my accent back when I'm around my fam--this trip'll be a wicked good remindah!
dude, what's with all the Mass-holes in VA? I'm from NH and go to school in VA and all I see down here are mass-holes. It's ok though, I trained my roommate to scream "Mass-hole!" whenever one drives by us. Freaked her mother out the first time...
A "Mass-Hole" is what we dig to capture all the "Freak'in" jerks from NH when they try to cross the border!At least your sisters will feel safer!
I moved to Boston from CT when I was 5, but even after 15 years the Boston accent could still result in communications problems. The worst was when I was about 20, during a medical exam. The doctor, who had a heavy Boston accent, asked if both my parents were alive. I told him no, my father had died, and he asked the cause."He was shot," I said."Oh, and you're so tall!" came the puzzling reply. It took me a minute or two to realize he thought I'd told him my father was, somehow, fatally SHORT!
a mass-hole is to catch all the NH people crossing into mass? why would we wanna go to that dump? To buy stuff we could buy here cheaper? It's you guys who are crossin our boarders to go shoppin tax-free and buy some fireworks and beer on sundays and stuff... getcha facts straight...
I am also in VA... get weird looks/laughs when I say negative positives, i.e., "so don't I," "let's see if we can't get."And also "clickah," "wicked," "down cellah," "directional," "Portagee" "a regulah (as in, coffee)" etc. etc.
I just love this site! I was at a staff meeting this past week and my Irish Catholic boss from Malden had me in stitches as I took notes phonetically spelling what she was saying for that very long hour. This is public schools in Mass....teachah, cuhrsif(long hand)school fayah, suppoet fah stellah whook, we need to raise the bah, owha students disuhv mowha,get moah softwayah and a good chayah, put it on rekahd to be shoowah, it's impoetant to pooit fawth effit, nawit pahshul but togethah, find a pahtnah and don't staht without the ahtist, put a bookmahk in it awin thusdi
This site is wikid pissa!!I was born and raised for 18 years in the Merrimack Valley (Lawrence, MA.) which we lovingly call the Mingya Valley. After living four years in central NY and the last 14 years in eastern PA, I have lost most signs of my accent.But I still drink wata from a bubbla, call my soft drinks Tonic, enjoy Jimmies on my frappe, my favorite card game is Forty-Fives, like my Dunkie's (or Double D's) coffee regula, wear dungarees, keep my tools down cella, change channels with my clicka, use a carriage at the supermarket, and keep a box of elastics in desk draw.And when I drive to the Packie I always use my directional, before I bang a left after the rotary. If I happen to make a mistake I will just bang a u-ey and try again.Thanks for a great site, I feel like I am home again.
I live in MA, but I call tonic like tonic water, but never for soda... tonic water being um... sparkling water
I recently moved from Kansas to Virginia. I have two best friends in Kansas who are going to fly out here for the summer. When they come we do short remakes of movies. I get the script online and print off the parts I want to film. For one of the movies I have to have a Boston accent so I have been researching on that accent which is how I found this website. We start filming in June 2007 so I want to get the accent right before then. It's just a movie that friends and family see but it means a lot to us to make it profeshional. I just wanted to say thanks everyone for sharing your storys! Its been a real fun learning experiance!
I lived in eastin (eastern, not Easton) MA until 1987, and sevral yeahz laduh I was workin a compuda job in UT, (in a two-man cubicle - the other guy was native UT). There was a problem with my program and I said: "I cahn't find the era (error)." My cube mate said; "Say what?" I replied, "An era". "What's an era?" "You know, a mistake, a problem". "Oh, you mean error". "Right! That's what I said - era." He kinda gave me a funny look.To this day, I have to force myself to put an ahh (r) where it belorngs. I, too, am really sorry that I've not nurtschid my Bahstin accent. Thanks for this web site - it brings back many fond memriez.
I was always fascinated by Boston. When I was in college I would listen to WBZ (with Larry Glick) at night, Maynard in the Morning, and subscribed to Yankee for two years.I was lucky: my neighbors across the street were from Boston (Hyde Park) and for forty years we heard the wonderful accent as addressed to the couple's seven children:"Bayuhst'ds!""Getch' ahss in heah!""This is myun! Getch' own!""Ugly squalluh!""Gawdda Hell!""Who fahted?"I never though anything about the accent; because I grew up listening to it. (And I live 20 minutes from Baltimore.)To further reinforce matters,I became friends with the neighbor's relatives and spent four summers visiting them in Massachussetts.My best childhood friend and her family was from Boston - an Irish houshold.Between them and my neighbors,when I go to Boston now, it feels like...home??
I grew up in Upstate New York and the phrases "so don't I" and "wicked" have been used for at least 35 years. I think the challenge for me moving to the Boston area has been distinguishing between the "o" and "ar" pronuniciation (i.e.; Bobby and Barbie, shot and short, lodge and large, etc.) Jimmies, carriages, elastics, bubblers, etc. are all new lingo to me as well.
I am just north of boston and have a wicked strong accent.I get made fun of when I have a few cocktails because it gets way worse. I decided to do my new years invites as follows:New Yeah's Eve Pahdee...Bring in da New yeah...enjoy a night of eatin', boozin', dancin', and reckless behaviah to follow...Maybe gettah fiaah goin' in da pit--weth-ah pahmittin
I would like to add that I live in vegas. I have been here for 3 years, straight outta boston.. And NO ONE knows what sneakers are.. or as we say sneakas.. and apparently they are not carriages at the groceries store, they are carts. and talk about shit when you say wicked...
I hate to say this but after I moved to Colorado from North Central MA, I fought to lose my accent because I was made fun of all the time. And now I am sad because I don't have the accent anymore (well, it has been 14 years)...see I even spell without an accent. :( People don't have an accent here unless they've come from the Dakotas where they say WARSH (what you do with your clothes). But things that people are confused about out here are thigns like hamburg (duh, it the stuff you make hamburgers out of), and they have no idea what a bureau is. I actually had to discribe it to them. No imagination in these people. I do use "so don't I" a lot, but lately I have been catching myself saying that and something else too, and now I am selfconscience. I haven't been back to MA since I moved out here (in 93) and I miss it (a lot). I have one friend here who is from the RI/MA border and all we do is talk about the Pats and the Sox (FUN!!) There a whole completely different feeling you get from New England (especially Massachusetts) that you can get no place else.I loved reading all of this! Thanks.
RE: JIMMIESIf you live in Bawstun or the surroundin arie-uhs, then you know that when you go to an ice cream stoah, a frappe (propahly prahnounced frap NOT frap-pay)is a shake, youah choice of cones ah wafah o'h sugah and jimmies ah chahcahlit sprinkles. what most people fohget is that tha word jimmy comes frahm a derrogitahry term used to describe people of african american descent. I've been working in Bawstun areah ice cream shops for the past ten yeahs and sometimes people who know this will get offended when you say "you want jimmies with that?" but a habit is a hahd thing to break. Even still, the people of Bawstun use the term jimmies very freely, and so don't I.on a side note:If you evuh go away from bawstun on a long trip, as soon as you get back turn on your local weathuh repowht... tha foahcastuhs all have really wicked bad bawstun accents (not so much the newscastuhs who ah moah pawlished and prawpuh)
I was born and brought up in Jamaica Plain and Charlestown, and moved to San Jose, CA. when I was 40, and have been out here on the left coast for about 15 years. Love this site. I had forgotten about, "so don't I" and tonic. Brings back great memories. My accent really comes out when I'm either excited or tired, and especially in certain combinations of words. The worst, (best), time was, as a security operations manager, I needed to get some information on Security Officer guard cards, (which are required in CA), and to make sure that the Officers were carrying hard copies of their cards. I needed to get the info from an admin person across the room, and shouted over to him to get me a list of Officers with " HAHD GAHD CAHDS" ! There was a couple of moments of absolute silence from the other 3 people in the room, and then everyone burst out in hysterical laughter. It's been about 6 months since then, and I still hear about it. I really love being unique.
I've got a strong Boston accent and some of you have it wrong. There is no "r" in Lawyer (Loy-yah). We don't insert "R" in the wrong spots usually, that's something the Kennedy's did but you don't really hear it. i.e., it would be "Cubah" not "Cuber".Bobby and Barbie would be "wicked easy" to tell apart (a-paht). Bobby is "Bauby", like "auburn" or a Bauble, and Barbie is "Bahhby", like what a sheep would say. We're very good at telling those sounds apart."So don't I!" means "I do too!", "So ahn't I!" means "Me as well."It's not a directional, it's a blinkah! I say Tonic meaning Coke, Pepsi, etc. "Pop" is just bizarre, but "Soda" wouldn't seem weird. It's a clicka, down cella, and the cops on 93 are Troopas. A packy is a package store.. a place to buy liquor or beer (interestingly, beer is not "beyuh" but more like beeer with a barely audiable r)"The Departed" is a horrible example of badly faked accents.
I lived in Boston all my life and it seems all of eastern MA has it. My friend Matt who lives in leominster cant speak like a bostonian. He said "Harvard Yard" witha strong R. I think there's a difference between dialects in Western and Eastern MA
Does anyone else break up the word "another". I spent my first 16 years in Mattapan and often say, "That's a whole 'nother story" (for "that's another whole story"). It occurs to me that I've never heard anyone else here in Ct say it and am wondering if it's only a Boston thing.
Ain't this wicked decent!I'm a Pohtland, Mainah, and just about everything describin' the Boston area-r accent also applies to much of the loah hahf of the State 'a Maine, deah!Don't forget that if you're wicked angry, at least in Maine, "ya get ya'self some ugly about it."Ayuh!
Born and raised in Southie I'm in college now in colorado and people here think i'm retarded. I was with my roommate and said "we should go to the pakey and come back and get wicked frikin shatared." she looked at me like i had to heads. then the other day i was talking about my pop and she thought i was talking about my coke. when it was my dad and i say ma not mom, and pappy not grandpa and mam not grandma. also i say bang a left, and hang a right, and i whipped that ball at her head. people ask me to say "cah" and my boyfriend tells me i talk to fash and mush all my words together. like i told him one day "yousgotpitchonyacah" he was like what? i said "yous got pitch on ya car."he looked at me like i was a chowdahead and i said "sap, you have sap on your car."thats onother thing they don't say stuff like wicked retarted and 'the light dawned on marblehead' or chowda head here.we were at a resturant one time and i said this 'chowda is wicked pissa' my roommate actually spit her food at me and said what? they put piss in your soup?i can't wait to go back home where people don't think i'm crazyapparantly so don't i and so ahn't i are not accepted vanacular in colorado or anywhere else and everyone says ya'll here what the hell is up with that where i'm from it's yous
i forgot to add that the first time i told my roommate to "chill yah livah." she freaked on me. i guess out here in colorado where everyone is from california and ohio and anywhere but colorado they say chill out. and i also ask for jimmie donuts and jimmie ice cream nobody knows why i'm talking about. depending on who i'm talking to i say "coke" when i'm talking about any drink or i'll say tonic but that's only around my mam and pappy. i heard somene ordering a sody pop the other day and couldn't stop laughing. and people don't know what a yupie or a townie is here either its kind of sad no matter what they will not break my accent they've already told me that i can't type "funny" on papers so i've learned in the past two years not to "use slang" and sound more "educated" but i refuse to loose my bahston accent when i speak because i love it and i know i'm "smaht."
I remember back in "66 when I moved from Cambridge to VA, some people would make fun of my accent. After my telling those hayseeds to kiss my arse a few times, they quit.
Wow, I don't even have enough energy to read all the comments on this one! But I read several.I grew up in Westwood, after living in West Roxbury and Auburndale before the age of 6. I've traveled around the country, and everyone I meet makes me say "park your car in Harvard Yard."Then they say I don't sound like I'm from Boston.Then I take an online quiz on pronounciation which tells me I'm from New England, possibly Boston.Interesting.My mother (from Newton), best friend (from Braintree), cousin (from Newton) and ex husband (from west of Worcester) have discernable Boston accents to the point of someone telling my parents, when *they* were traveling - I know she's from Boston; where are you from? (my father was born in Roxbury and grew up in JP)I don't know what it is, but I've never had the accent (I'm wondering if it's a working class thing?) although I do call that thing you put your clothes in a bureau and the things you pull out of it, draws.My mother was a prime example of saving up her Rs to use in other places - like the name of my friend Linder. (Linda)I may not drop my R's but:I grew up drinking tonic, sitting on a couch in the parlor, under the puff (comforter) and carrying my money in my pocketbook (is this bostonian?)I feel very sad that, in order for people to understand what the heck I mean, I have to lost my regionalisms.I tried watching some episodes of Spenser for Hire, but lost track of the plot while trying to figure out where the scenes were shot (I worked in Boston for John Hancock at the Berkeley Bldg for 6 years in the 80's - now I send packages from work in FL to a Wachovia bank in that very building. It's quite odd.And now I'm going back to finish (or maybe start - I got distracted early) watching Boston Legal.-- Homesick for 6 years in TampaBay
PS - I find it very amusing that the facade they use for a "courthouse" on BL is the Boston Public Library.
In reponse to the comment about "tonic" and "soda" from the person who lived on the South Shore. I was born and raised on the South Shore and never heard anyone in the Boston area call it soda unless they were an implant. Calling Pepsi and Coke "tonic" has caused me problems while traveling. Thank heavens I don't drink tonic that often.
Transplanted New Yorker here. We have our own problems with our 'Cawfee Tawk' down in NYC. And "here," "hair" and "hear" sound exactly alike in the Bronx.But being here in Boston for eight years and being a counselor for five, I had to learn to coat-change. Sometimes I forget to take off the coat, though. I went home for a picnic at a park named after a former President and told my New York sisters to meet me at the 'Eff Dee Ah State Pak'?!?! They laughed at me for days!I listen to rap music regularly so I dont lose my native tongue.I had to learn:"All Set""The T""The Pru""Mass-ave""MassPike""Comm-ave""The Garden" (the one that isnt on 33rd between 7th and 8th Avenues)Go Pats!
I am from South Africa, and spent a yer in Bostin, when i first got ther, and my natrual pronousiation would have been something like "Hraved Yrad", even after a while I could not tell the diffence for certain words, esp something like work/walk/rock.
i grew up and have lived all my life in los angeles, ca. and have been to boston to visit relatives several times (nahthend, to be exact). whenever i would go out in public i could talk to people because they could tell i wasn't from the area and so they would tone it down for me. when i would pass people talking to each other, however, i practically needed subtitles to get it. here in l.a. we have a very definite accent ourselves that i get teased for alot in other states (not eve dude!, whaddup wit tha' shit, ya don' godda bail jess yet, bitchin', wherezat fool goin', todally gnarly, fuckin' a, perdy frickin' gay etc.) i must agree that in addition to all the cool historical stuff one of the best parts about visiting boston is the accent. they say the media and tv are starting to erode local dialects and i only pray it ain't true.
Ok.. just had to post this. I am originally from Ohio and went to college in Eastern KY (yes there are colleges there) I came up here before moving here and I had to go to the church where my uncle preaches (baptist believe it or not) The congregation was having a testomony session and this guy was talking about how his "cow" came up missing and he was searching all over and it was finally found in an inpound lot.(it was a really long testomony) but it took me at least five minutes after to realize he was talking about CARS not cows... (i was thinking it was a strange to do to a cow... but this is way up north so who would know)By the way... I will never never quit saying y'all.. nothing else sounds right. My son who has not the boston accent but new england...(he's 10 thus knows everything thing) said to me that when I am really angry I get really twangy...Jane (in SO NH) btw.. i came here to finally figure out what the hell was the difference between a frappe and a milkshake.Jane
haha all you people that are from a diff part of the country think you know how we talk or how to talk like us. nice try!to the rest of ya who are new englanders or moved away from this area be proud, were so good at what we do they cant even get our accent right in the movies!Joe from Salem
I knew this hahd core partying dude named "Razor" (pronounced "Rayza") and we'd be at the beach watching the girls in bikinis walk by and he'd say, "look at the toilie (toilet, a.k.a ass) on that one! What a shitta!
Jane, A milk shake is milk with flavoring. A frappe is a mike shake with ice cream.
Hey, You forget my favorite -"Goin' down the Cape!' I grew up south of Boston, and lived on the Cape while I was in school. I live in Vermont with my family and still say that when we visit family "down the Cape". Hee-hee!!
Going down to Mary's house or over Mary's house, tonic (never soda,) no sah and yessuh, jimmies, how 'bout down sellah (down cellar,)or up country?This forum is wicked awesome! ;0)
"Pam from Boston Dec 30" asks if the Boston accent is working class. It is.The Old Yankees (as opposed to us ethnics)trained their kids not to have that singular Boston accent, so that they'd say "Mother, may I have twenty-five cents?" rather than "Ma, yagodda quadda?"I grew up in Chelsea and Revere and remember expressions like "Will I do as I am?" meaning, do I look all right or should I change clothes?I also moved to Virginia (people must be disguising the accent--I should be meeting more Bostonians!) and we had a joke at work. When co-workers heard that somebody was having a baby, the parent-to-be had to come down and tell me the name. After s/he heard me repeat it with my Boston accent, they'd usually decide not to name the kid Garth.The R at the end of words is pronounced if the following word begins with a vowel. "You'll need a lawyer if..." is pronounced "Ya'll need a lawya rif..."Here in Virginia, I learned that the plural of "y'all" is "all y'all". Back home, I remember "yiz" as a plural, as in, "Are yizall goin', or just summaya?"This is a great site, and I agree: It's Medfid, not Meffa.
Ha ha I got a great laugh reading through this. I used to live in the Belmont/Watertown (Belmont St district) area and Lowell (Highlands) for a while back in the late '90s when I was married to a women studies prof from a boston liberal arts college. Her and her daughter always thought that my Adelaide accent sounded a bit like a Boston accent, especially when I said "car" or "saw" ... actually I liked the Boston accent and picked a bit of it up, more so than her, she had been fighting picking it up for the 20 years or so she had been living there. I think it's the coolest accent in the USA, and really my fave accent in the world ... I'm back in Adelaide wishing I could meet another Boston girl (a real one this time!) and move back to Boston ... wearing my Red Sawx St Paddy's hat right now, ha ha
found this site and am lovin' it! I wondered if anyone ever heard Ireland pronounced island. a bostonian i know told a "transplant" that he was going to island. the transplant asked -which one? also the word Japan pronounced with emphasis on the first syllable JA-pan I've always said japan,accent at the end of the word.
You also say "dude".
I was in Boston this weekend and the phrase came up. First time I had ever heard it. Fascinated by it. Could someone parse it out so that its seeming utter contradiction as a response of "Yeah, me too" is exzplained?
The Foster's Lader ads that ran on American TV made everyone in this country aware of the similarities between Australian and Boston accents.
Some of the ads ended with the tagline"Foster's -- Australian for Bee-ah." Exactly how a native Bostonian would say it.
Another showed a guy's girlfriend sticking her entire head in an icy cooler in search of one last can of Foster's. The voiceover: "She's a keep-ah."
Bob and Barb do not sound the same in my Boston dialect. The vowel in Bob is rounded (lips pursed during pronunciation). Barb uses an unrounded vowel.
You must be from the Midwest where Bob is pronounced Bahb.
Born and raised in Medford in the 1950s. My experience was that it was "Medfid" EXCEPT that the Italians living mostly in South Medford said "Meffud" but sometimes the "d" was not enunciated well, giving rise to the rendering "Meffa".
I am a native Bostonian living in Australia now.
There are lots of ways that Australian English and Boston English overlap.
I had not trouble understanding things like a U turn being a "U-ey" where in parts of the states that is biz-ahh.
I still ask for jimmies at the icecream shop with my kids, who appear suitable embarrassed and ask the to 'take the barrells out' on trash day. I could bnever bring myself to say 'wheelie-bin".
also coach basketball locally in Melbourne (yes the team in called Celtics, is there another option?) and ask the kids to have a break and get a drink from the bubb-lah.
In Boston however, there is no arvo, no breakie, bickies, and fair dinkum.
so do I, what's that? who talks like that? They don't even say that on TV.
I once had some New Jersey guys who picked me up hitchhiking pay me a quahta every time I said forty-four (foahty fo-ah) (they say, I guess ferdy fer or something like that.
hahahah omg this is legit ME. i went on vacation and I was ordering icecream and im like can i have Frappe with whip cream and jimmies? the lady goes.. a what with "whipped cream" and what?
Yes, I was researching the phrase "so don't I" and saw that you said you were writing a paper on it. Was this something you did for school? If so, I was wondering if you didn't mind sharing your findings with me. I'm interested in researching it myself...
"So Don't I" simply means "So Do I", it's a form of agreement, not a disagreement as it would seem. Also, whoever wrote it's pronounced "so dunn-eye" is wicked retarded. Perhaps some people say it that way but it's more often said the way you think it would be but without the "t" sound. so-do-neye.
We said yes suh or no suh all the time as kids. No suh meant I didn't do something or it's not true. We would say it obnoxiously over and over again as if that would make a difference. It was just as irritating as "Take a picture, it'll last longer." I discussed this not too long ago on Mingya Valley @ Facebook. I also read here of a fellow asking how did we exist without saying y'all. He said it's essential down south where he lives now. We said you guys, not youse guys like New Yorkers. I'm from North Andover, nearby Lawrence and Lowell. I never said packy in my life. What is it, the package (liquor) store? And I wonder if other places call the liquor store a package store.
You can actually get this construction in varieties of New England English with modal verbs:
So can't I
So shouldn't I
Although I think some are more common than others bc I don't think I have heard "So mightn't I"
At least in my dialect (Hartford) you don't need to use first person either:
I'm going to buy ice cream and so shouldn't you.
I'm pretty sure this structure which actually has positive meaning (as opposed to negation) is restricted to New England. In fact, I am from CT and once you get to Southern CT where things get more New Yorky people are less likely to accept the form as grammatical. I've read that you can find it in Hawaiian English, and that in certain parts of Illinois it can't be used but you get an ironic meaning that you don't get in New England. It's been written on even recently by Larry Horn, a linguist that does pragmatics and semantics at Yale:
In any case, it's a marker of New England identity and for that reason it rocks!!!!
A lot of sayings and pronounciations of the region are now fading away, sadly.
Liquor stores are known as "package stores" because back during the years of Prohibition, people used to wrap liquor in plain brown paper to disguise the contents, hence, they appeared to be 'packages'...I wish I could make a packy run right now.
We don't pronounce our (ah) "r's" around areas of New England because the original English settlers to the region came from the East Anglia area of England and they didn't pronounce their "r's", either. That's perhaps how many Aussies drop several of their "r's" in their pronounciations, too?
Subs were "grinders", soda was "tonic" (more common in Boston rather than the outer suburbs, though), margerine was "oleo"(at least in my Medford relatives homes), "frappes" have ice cream in them, but they're 'cabinets'in R.I. I think that name is probably extinct now there.
I didn't know that 'bang a left' and 'do (or pull) a U'ey' were local phrases! Are directionals called 'blinkers' in other places, what other words useages are different?
"Jimmies" were, and are, any kind of candy sprinkles in my family.
We used to use the phrase "that rots!" rather than "sucks" when I was young because "sucks" was considered a swear word.
How things change. NO SUH!
"wicked" is still a stand alone sentence which, depending on the context, can mean anything!!!
Oleo isn't a regional word, it was an old (national) brand name for margarine. It's like calling all tissues 'kleenex'.
To the contrary,"oleo" was merely short for "oleomargarine" which was the generic term for the substance, never a brand name.
I was born in Boston to Boston-born and raised parents who would put most of your phonetically-retarded accents to shame. I think the reason I'm now so good at English spelling and grammar is because of the keen eye I had to develop for the difference between the written and spoken word.
I grew up on the Cape in Yarmouth Port. To this day, despite my Connecticut education, I cannot say that town correctly. It is and will always be "Yahmith Pou-it" (always said wicked fast of course). People say Cape Codders don't have the Boston accent but despite the 2 hour trek it takes to get there, we still have it. We say "wicked" and "so don't I." I've banged many a U-y in my day and prefer jimmies to sprinkles (the brown ones to the rainbow ones). I think it's definitely dependent on your parents, though, in this generation (I'm in my 20s). My friends from NY and CT can't even understand my parents (or me after a few drinks sometimes!).
But I'm proud to "leave the clickah r-in my rum while I get a soda r-and talk to my mum."
I moved down to the south a couple years ago and was told that I pronounce "Sarah" differently from everyone else. I sounds more like "saahrah." I don't think my spelling does justice to the sound. I never noticed it, but my coworkers would laugh at me whenever I said the name. I grew up in the south shore, and had a thick accent till I was 12, since both my parents were from Dorchester and Roxbury. Most of my family still lives in Boston. I further lost my accent when I went to college at UVM in burlington, VT, but there are still words that I apparently cling on to and get made fun of for.
I was also wondering if anyone else noticed, similiar to the idea of the "Mary, Marry and Merry' sounds, is the names "Erin and Aaron," as well as "Pin and Pen." I have always heard distint vowel sounds for these words, but many people I have meet in the deep south and midwest do not distinguish the sounds andd it drives me nuts. I've gotten laughed at for using the words "elastic, tonic and bubblah." Again, my accent is extremely water down now, but there are certain sounds and words that I never shook. So don't I is another phrase I still say, but never got weird looks for.
Is the phrase my car "sh*t the bed" only found either boston and/or New England. I've had alot of people in the south and midwest tell me they don't know what I'm talking about.
I grew up in Mass back in the 80's. I ended up in the Army for 20 years, and now I find myself in the Mid West. To this day, it kills me when I hear some of the things they say here. At the market the guy bagging groceries will as me, "Do you want a sack?" Whoohoow there fella, I ain't from P-Town, just put my stuff in a bag and I'll get outta here.
Another thing: "Do you want a pop?" Buddy you and me are gonna scrap. Oh! you mean a soda. the final kicker to me: I'll be out with my kid and someone will ask my kid,"Do you want a sucker?". Seems to me I just found one. My bad! you mean loli-pop.
I noticed that in and around Worcester they say su'i' where in and around my Woburn we say sump'm
i HATE this. it's also a northern NY thing.