And welcome to another step back into the Prima Donna past….this show aired in September of ’13
Let’s start in the beginning, as all things do…with part 1 (of four parts)
Full of some great classic rock…plus: pay witness my bad Martha Stewart impression and (for the non-New Englanders) learn a little about some of what constitutes a New England accent..
Aside from the music (which is incredibly awesome), A possible career change for Rick Derringer…a request from Steve…What’s so special about the J. Geils Band’s album “Blood Shot” (aside from “(Ain’t Nothin’ But A) Houseparty”…and Styx wrote “Goodbye Stranger” about WHAT…?
(and here I thought they were nice boys…)
Sliding elegantly into the 80’s with “Brian’s Block”…And “Greg da Hat with his Aussie selection of the day!
I was in the mood for a group dance-a-long
(Dont worry…the video with the example of the steps will be posted below)
Plus: The story of an Austrian woman who is either a criminal…or a genius…
Now….about that dance with the group “Was, Not Was” – no excuses next time!
And from The Website The Heart of New England
Ayuh, the Northern New England
Accent in a Nutshell.
By Mike Szelog
As a very basic overview of the New England accent (northern New England), you’ll note a few things — we don’t seem to have the letter “r”— it’s usually replaced as though the word was spelled with an “a-h”. (This, by the way, happens only at the ends of syllables, not at the beginning).
So it’s “pahk”, not “park”. If the word ends in “r” itself, typically preceded by an “e”, “i” or “o” we generally insert a “y” sound in the case of “e” and “i” and a “w” sound in the case of “o” before that final “ah”.
So, it’s “theyah” (not “there”), “deeyah” ( not “deer”) and “doh-wah” (not “door”).
The combination “er” at the end of a syllable represents a very unique sound that is very difficult to describe; it’s best described as a sound very similar to the German letter “ö” or the French “eu”.
If, however, you listen closely, you’ll notice we put “r” on the ends of words that end in “a”— now it ain’t New Hampshire (say “sheer”) or New Hampshire (say “shire”), what it is, is N’Hampshah.
Our capital city is not Concord, but rather Concord (KON-k’d). The country I live in is Americar — it lies to the north of Cubar. Our southern most state in the continental US is, of course, Floridar. This “ar” by the way, is pronounced as if written “er”.
The “ing” endings on words tend to be dropped in favor of “in,” so it’s speakin’ not speaking.
The intonation, I find, is also rather unique. Some will say it’s as flat as a pancake with the exception of a phrase ending slur (whatever that may be).
Though that form is correct, what I tend to hear more of is the distinct sing-song type quality of the intonation. It’s quite possible that this may be a remnant of the so-called Irish lilt and the Scottish burr from earlier times when most New Englanders were from these two countries along with, of course, the English.
It’s generally difficult, unless you’re trained in the field, to tell if someone is from Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont — we all tend to sound alike in the tri-state area. The accent of the Maine coast is very similar to the accent of the deep New Hampshire woods.
Massachusetts, however, has a slightly different variety of the New England
accent — I dare say, it’s partially influenced by the typical New York accent.
People from Connecticut and Rhode Island, though located in what is
geographically New England, do not speak with a New England accent — it’s
actually more of a New York accent.
Ayuh and Wicked
I feel I have to address what may be the two most quintessential words in the Northern New England repertoire. They are, of course, “ayuh” and “wicked.”
Now, it really irks us when you get these people “from away,” like down to
New Jersey, who try and imitate these words and their uses. It just don’t work!!
The word “ayuh” — though it may seem at first to have a positive connotation — may in fact be used both positively and negatively. It has extremely subtle
undertones which, if you’re not native, you can never hope to master. Only a native New Englander can discern exactly how the speaker intends it by the
subtleties of intonation. Something which confuses people from away some
The other word “wicked” — in addition to its normal meaning of bad/evil
(same meaning as in other parts of the English speaking world) in New England an added attraction. It is essentially an intensifier and may be used, like “ayuh,” in a positive or a negative way or even a fairly neutral matter-of-fact way—again, depending on the situation at hand. To complicate matters even
more, the word that “wicked” intensifies is frequently omitted!
Here’s an example of the use of “ayuh” and “wicked” (written in a wicked
thick/broad New England accent…something like you’d hear in the backwoods
of New Hampshire):
“Hey, John! Heard Chestah an’ Vern went up to Berlin (that’s BER-lin) this
pahst week ta do some huntin’, snow and all!”
“Ayuh, said they had a wicked hahd time gettin’ up there with the snow, but
the huntin’ was wicked good. ‘Course that blizzahd they had the lahst night
theyah was a wicked pissah, ayuh! Guess they couldn’t get that Joe-Jeezly cah of Chestah’s stahted the next mornin’ thought they’d have to go the bahn and get that John Deeyah tractah goin’ and ride it all the way back to Franconiar!”
“Ayuh, but it was worth the trip—heard they got a moose and a couple a
As you can see, the use of “ayuh” and “wicked” varies here. A “crunchah,” by the way, is a wicked big deer.
The spelling above is a bit misleading as it doesn’t represent the full flavor of the accent. You have to hear it to fully appreciate it.
Ayuh, so, there we have it, folks—the New England accent in a nutshell.
About the author Mike Szelog, who is a linguist, is a native New Englander born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire.
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