Mom Wants A Diabetes Cure

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Accent

Brendon is developing a Boston Accent. I just know it. I like Boston Accents, so I think it'll be cool to have a kid who has one.

The other day, I was itemizing the foods he ate during lunch so that I could count up the carbs.

"Mom, I'll tell you what the bread is."

"OK, what is it?"

"The bread is 14 cobs."

Come again?

"Say that again, how many?"

"14 cobs."

Hmm. Maybe it was a fluke. I thought it was...until today.

He came home from school today asking me where the sign up sheet was for a jump rope fundraiser the students are doing to promote physical fitness and to prevent cardiovascular disease.

"Mom, where's the form for the jump rope contest?"

"It's somewhere on the counter. Why do you want to know?"

"Well, we have to raise money so that people can stop having hot attacks."

WHAAAT??!! There it was again. No mistaking it.

"Bren, what do people have to stop having?"

"Hot attacks."

There you go folks. Brendon has a bit of the Boston Accent.

Let me tell you the adjustment I've had to make to translate this Boston Accent that actually creates its own Language.

The real estate agent who showed us houses while we were making our move up here, had a really heavy Boston Accent. We found and bought the house we're currently living in, but the kitchen needed to be gutted and replaced.

He and a friend did kitchen remodeling on the side and he offered his services. We set up a date for him to come over to discuss plans. Here's a snippet of a call I got from him the day he was to come over:

"Hi Shannon, I'm going to be late for our appointment. My friend's boila (boiler) broke and I have to help him fix it. They don't have a pot, so I have to go out and buy one. I'll let you know when I'm on my way."

"OK, fine, I'll be around."

Hmm, I thought to myself, why doesn't his friend have a pot, doesn't he cook?...Why do they even need a pot, maybe a pipe burst or something? Wouldn't a bucket work better?

Hours later our agent finally shows up and I ask him about how it worked out with the pot...did the basement flood while he was buying one?

"What? Whataya talking about."

"You said you needed to buy a pot, so I assumed a pipe burst or something."

"Nooo, we needed a pot to fix the boila."

"OOOHHH, you needed a PARRRRT."

Laughing at our misunderstanding he said, "Parrrt, right".

During another instance of "lost in translation", I was walking the neighborhood with my neighbor and we were talking about our houses and what had to be done.... All of a sudden, she says, "WOW!! LOOK AT THAT YOD!!"

"WHAT!!!??? WHERE??!!" I was startled. From her tone, I figured yods cannot be good. "What's a yod?"

"Oh, I meant yarrrd."

"Where the hell did that accent come from? I've never detected it."

"Well, I don't like to admit that I'm from Methuen (a suburb close to Boston), so I've made a point to hide my accent...I guess I slipped."

Another mistranslation happened yearrrrs ago to my mom's cousin who's son was getting married. His son had his Boston friends staying at the house instead of a hotel. One night while hanging out in the basement, one of the Boston friends asked:

"Where are the dots?"

"What was that?", my mom's cousin asked.

"The dots, where are the dots?"

My mom's cousin was shocked he would ask such a thing. You see, in New Jersey "dot" is short for "dot head", a derogatory word for Indian (the kind from India with the dots on their forehead). He had no idea why they would want to know where the Dot Heads were...were they going to cause trouble with them? Were they just curious? If so, then why? These Boston friends were known to be hot heads (that's actually hot, not heart) so maybe they just needed to blow off steam and cause trouble.

Finally my mom's cousin asks with a bit of trepidation:

"Why do you want to know where the Dots are?"

"Uh, so we can play dots? You know, on the dot bawd?"

Ahhh. My mom's cousin relaxed and gladly showed them where he kept the darrrrts, relieved that they weren't out to start trouble.

I often have to ask people to repeat what they've said because they lift the RRRRs from words and create whole new words. Sometimes I feel like I've moved to a foreign country...well, this is New Hampshire...maybe I'm not so far off.


  • Ha! My raised-in-NH-husband is spotted as a yankee here in VA the minute he opens his mouth.

    Our first week here, we went grocery shopping and I left him at the checkout while I went over to use the bathroom. In the few minutes that took, the groceries were all rung up and he'd managed to learn that the kid running the register went to Daniel Webstah Cawllege in Nashua and had our friend Dawn (that's Don to you and me) Fagan as a professah.

    I celebrate the fact that my kids now have a shot at learning the correct use of the letter 'r'.

    By Blogger Kassie, at 4/06/2006 11:52 PM  

  • LMAO - especially about the pots and dots... Let's just say I'm from NJ.

    I praaaaaaaay Hannah doesn't get that harsh philly accent or say 'youse'.

    By Blogger Erica, at 4/07/2006 10:15 AM  

  • Where in NJ are you from? I knew there was a reason why we click, LOL.

    I went to college at Glassboro (Rowan University now).


    No offense if you have a South Jersey/Philly accent, but they got on my last nerves, LOL.

    By Blogger Shannon, at 4/07/2006 10:19 AM  

  • Hee.

    You should go to othah pahts of the country and ask wheyah's the bubblah or if they have any clam chowdah. And then ask "Do you have any idear if they sell soder in theyah?"

    If you really want to laugh your ass off at some wicked funny Boston stuff, go read this website:

    By Blogger julia, at 4/07/2006 11:05 AM  

  • Kassie, now you just have to worry about your kids obtaining a southern accent!

    Julia, my father-in-"lawr" is from Brooklyn and adds r's where they shouldn't be like soder, dinersaur.

    Why can't people just pronounce words they way they're spelled, LOL. I'll be checking out that site...thanks :)

    By Blogger Shannon, at 4/07/2006 11:12 AM  

  • I got a kick out of this post! Thanks!

    By Blogger Scott K. Johnson, at 4/07/2006 2:05 PM  

  • You're welcome Scott :)

    By Blogger Shannon, at 4/07/2006 2:08 PM  

  • lol!! Oh I get this, the accent of words! Your son and I rule the world! Accents rock!!

    By Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques, at 4/07/2006 2:53 PM  

  • because that would be boring. I love hearing other accents. I was watching No Reservations last night and there was a guy from southern Florida on there and man, his accent was hysterical. And I'm sure he'd laugh his ass off at me - I know when I lived in Georgia, I regularly flummoxed people when I'd talk to them. They'd do that really slow eye-blink and get this "Qua?" look on their faces.

    By Blogger julia, at 4/07/2006 3:41 PM  

  • I love accents too, but when that extra R is added, it perturbs me for some reason.

    By Blogger Shannon, at 4/07/2006 3:44 PM  

  • I heard an NPR story on this once.

    According to the story, the extra "R" is added when Bostonians overcompensate to put the R back on words that actually do have them. The "R" gets mistakenly applied to words ending in "A".

    As someone who is originally from Georgia not Georger, I know whatcha mean, Shannon. Still, I love hearing and attempting to reproduce regional dialects. It's a hobby almost.

    Erica...i was with my folks once in a NJ diner. The waitress asked, "What would youse like to drink" to which my dad responded, "Wese would like unsweetened ice teas." :)

    By Blogger Johnboy, at 4/07/2006 4:35 PM  

  • HAHA LOL That was great! Thanks for cracking me up!

    By Blogger George, at 4/08/2006 1:42 PM  

  • I have a love/hate relationship with the lack of R's in the diction of New Englanders. I find the accent charming. And I love listening to little kids talk that way, in particular. (I bet Superman Brendon is completely adorable when he says it.)

    But when I hear my family members or my friends or (gawd fahbid) my boyfriend dropping their "ah's", I completely lose it.

    "There's an R in there, you know. In the word 'supervisor?' An R."

    "I know. Supahvisah."


    On the other hand, give me a British accent any day and I melt like buttah.

    By Blogger Kerri., at 4/11/2006 9:49 PM  

  • I have been getting caught with my accent for yeahhs. Ni matta where we move to, nomatta how hod I try. So I gave up and just let it all go. So I pok the cah in the yod, eat chowdah, and evry otha word that gets me pegged!!!!

    You think a new england accent is bad you should hear Hawaiian pigeon!!!!

    By Blogger SUPERMOM, at 4/11/2006 11:43 PM  

  • I like Cockney accents myself.

    As for Hawaiian accents, I like them...from whatever movies I've seen, bra :)

    By Blogger Shannon, at 4/12/2006 7:27 AM  

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