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Old 04-27-2013, 02:31 PM
 
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Came across this article today: News - philly.com

Just out of curiosity, do you all speak with the Philly accent? I do to a certain extent. I love the look people here in DC give me when I say wooder.
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Old 04-27-2013, 03:44 PM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
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Like many Philadelphians, I never really had much of "the accent".

Although I do say wooder.
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:20 PM
 
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It seems "wooder" is a relic of the British rule in this area. I say this because the British today say "woolking" instead of "walking". Also, the way many white Philadelphians pronounce the letter O sounds very British. And the way many Philadelphians would pronounce "down and out" sounds very Australian. And "peanuts" sounds like "paenuts" in both the British and Philadelphia accents. We know the Australian accent was based on the Cockney accent of the UK, so perhaps we're hearing Cockney influence in this area too?
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wardwhirlboromarlpool1955 View Post
It seems "wooder" is a relic of the British rule in this area. I say this because the British today say "woolking" instead of "walking". Also, the way many white Philadelphians pronounce the letter O sounds very British. And the way many Philadelphians would pronounce "down and out" sounds very Australian. And "peanuts" sounds like "paenuts" in both the British and Philadelphia accents. We know the Australian accent was based on the Cockney accent of the UK, so perhaps we're hearing Cockney influence in this area too?
that doesn't really make any sense at all. All of the East Coast once was under British rule and Philadelphia had by FAR the lowest percentage of British people. If you don't account for African slaves, the rest of the colonies are basically entirely British. Philadelphia however due to the religious liberty that had existed here since founding, and far before most of the other colonies, led to Philadelphia forming into a much more diverse city. Germans, Irish, Swedes, Jewish populations from literally all over Europe, there were even Spanish and Portuguese communities. Also while other colonies had MUCH higher ethnic African populations, they were slaves and could not interact with or influence society. Philly on the other hand had the highest free African American population of any city throughout the colonial period and early American History.

So yea. Nice theory but absolutely baseless. The British were everywhere back then, but they were a smaller percentage here than anywhere else so the thought that it was this British heritage that influenced our unique accent does not make any sense.
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:54 PM
 
Location: New York City
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People in philly pronounce walking like "wawkin" I ju saw youz guyz wawkin to the store.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:10 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
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I don't say "wooder" or "begel" and I try to avoid the extended Philly "eauh" ("O"). I do pronounce my "ors" as "ahrs" though (hahrrible, Flahrida, etc.). That I don't tend to care about. I do try to not say "Nahrristown" or "Mahriss" because I think it sounds ignorant but I end up failing about half the time. My grandparents have/had rather thick working class Philly accents. My parents and myself, not so much, probably due to, both increased education and suburbanization. People who "know" Mid-Atlantic accents can generally tell I'm from the Philadelphia Area, though ("on" rhymes with "dawn," "cot" and "caught" don't rhyme, "Mary/marry/merry" all sound different from one another, etc.). Also, when I have a bit too much to drink, I start sounding like my grandfather, with his Souf Filly pidgin English speak.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia,New Jersey, NYC!
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in center city, people either sound like brian from family guy or comic book guy from the simpsons

with the occasional snake

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Old 04-27-2013, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Burlington County, NJ
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Dialects are always changing and evolving. I'm sure the Philly dialect 200 years ago sounds nothing like today.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:31 PM
 
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I am African American and have most of the traits heavenwood mentioned. I don't say Florida like that though. I have a question about the Philly accent. Recently I met and man who is an older African American man from lower north Philly. His speech is very non-rhotic. He even says "fury" like "furry". I say them the regular way. Is his accent more like South Philly Italians. I notice in Black communities some have the South Philly sound and some have the standard regular Philly accent. Is this true? Although Philly accent is rhotic I notice non rhoticity snuck in.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:33 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antdawg1 View Post
I am African American and have most of the traits heavenwood mentioned. I don't say Florida like that though. I have a question about the Philly accent. Recently I met and man who is an older African American man from lower north Philly. His speech is very non-rhotic. He even says "fury" like "furry". I say them the regular way. Is his accent more like South Philly Italians. I notice in Black communities some have the South Philly sound and some have the standard regular Philly accent. Is this true? Although Philly accent is rhotic I notice non rhoticity snuck in.
Unlike speakers of most other Philadelphia dialect, some (though definitely not all) Souf Fillydelfians do speak non-rhotically (per the legendary graffito "Frankie is a Bastid." Neither my grandfather, who grew up in South Philly, nor my grandmother, who split her childhood between the West, North, and South, speak non-rhotically, although they're Jews--not Italians. But I suspect Jewishness is not the reason, given that NYC Jews and Italians alike drop their R's like there's no tomorrow.

One of my cousins pronounces "fury" as "furry" but her speech is 100% rhotic. She split her childhood between Mt. Airy and the Northeast, though her father was Souf Filly through and through.
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