Talk:Boston accent

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audio[edit]

Some feedback about this: I grew up in Waltham and our accent was distinct from other cities in the area. It might be useful to have audio of natives' accents.--24.7.68.160 17:59, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

X-SAMPA[edit]

This article is really interesting, but I suffer from a lack of X-SAMPA, and I'm not even sure if the characters are appearing correctly on my screen. So I want to second the suggestion to use sound, the most reliable representation of voice. 61.117.20.72 10:17, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)

differences[edit]

Ya the boston accent for example is different from the worcestor accent, and where i'm from, concord, has no discernible similarities to other towns nearby, most people can actually say "harwich" instead of "hahwich". One thing i thought was missing was the addition of an R after words ending in EA, most notably "idea" most everyone in massachussets says "i have an idear"

I definately say "idear", and I don't think this is due to "over-correction" like the article says. This is something done in British English as well. I tend to place r's on the end of open vowels at the end of words.

I think whoever said over-correction meant "hypercorrection", which is actually a linguistic term. It doesn't mean anything bad, it just tries to explain the origin of certain linguistic phenomena.

Before adding anything to this page, please remember Wikipedia:No original research and Wikipedia:Cite sources. That means everything you add has to be documented in published work, written by someone other than you; you should not add anecdotal information on the basis of your own observation of your own accent or that of the people around you. --Angr/comhrá 19:26, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
Idear is very common around Boston. I live close to Boston and my family has lived here for generations. Those who have Boston accents often add an R to words that end in vowels - not all words, though. It is not "over-correction" - it is part of the Boston accent.Alcinoe 08:43, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
To add, this phenomenon also extremely common in a Maine accent (which, as the article notes, is closely tied to a Bostonian one).--Aderack 00:07, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Not to be a west coast dick, but could it be worth mentioning how irritating aspects (especially the nasal short-a) of this accent are to 'normal' american english speakers?

No, it couldn't. That would be in violation of Wikipedia's neutral point-of-view policy. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 17:57, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
Stating that something is "irritating" is a Point of View, (see WP:NPOV and does not belong here. And there is no such thing as "normal american english speakers." Crunch 17:11, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Besides, nasal short a is found all across America. You'd sound British to me if you didn't have it at least a little bit.

While I agree that the rest of the country is wrong to label the Boston accent as annoying. There are examples going back to at least the days of the revolution of people from other parts of the country calling it such (I would have to rummage around for references, but I know I have them on hand some where). However, this would need to be balanced with some inclusion in articles about the west coast. I've noted a delusion among west coast speakers that they speak English "correctly" and "with no accent". They also reserve tremendous anger and aggression for the Boston accent, which can only derive from envy of our physical and intellectual superiority. Deliciousgrapefruit (talk) 15:58, 26 December 2010 (UTC)


The accent extends through the state hell no I live in Wellesley and don't know a single person person in my town with a Boston accent. Pug6666 (talk) 20:55, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Vocab[edit]

I'm from here, and I always thought "packee" was spelled "packy" and "statee" was spelled "statie". I don't know how widespread this is, but teenagers in the Metro Boston area sometimes refer to the act of using marihuana as "Getting Chiefed", with the word "Chiefed" pronounced "Chief" "ed", with the "ed" pronounced distinctly. This usage originates from the terms "joint" and "Joint Chiefs of Staff". --McDogm 16:30, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

actaully getting chiefed was in reference to Robert Parish, The chief, being he was caught with large quainties of pot back in the early 90's --Kev62nesl 08:23, 24 May 2006 (UTC)


I've never seen the word "statee" spelled, to be honest. It's so colloquial, it's rarely written apparently. Karmafist 23:48, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree. I don't believe there are formal rules regarding spelling. Crunch 17:11, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
-The spelling is "statie," not "statee." Also, "townie" may in Boston itself refer to people from Charlestown, but outside it simply refers to any parochial person whose experience is primarily limited to his own town.


I'm not from Boston, but a small town in MA, an hour away. Packee is short for Package Store. I've usually just heard the latter. "Pissa", I thought was spelt pisser and have heard it rhoticized sometimes. "Tonic" is strictly old fashioned and is now usually called "soda", which originated in NYC. I've heard dungarees and never connected it with Mass. "Wicked", amongst older generations, I'd say strictly New England. However, amongst people born after 1980, I'd say more universal. There are probably tons of phrases and words that are Mass, that I are part of my lexicon, but I am not aware that they are regional.
- Pretty sure that "Wicked" was originally spelled "wikkid". From my understanding, the word stems for an old lexicon. In addition to this, the word "Pissah" comes from this same lexicon. I had read some articles in the past on this dialect, but am having trouble locating it. If anyone can do so, I think it would be a great contribution. I think it was called something along the lines of "Norfolk English" dating back a couple hundred years. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.171.29.150 (talk) 07:06, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
- In my 70's now and have lived in California since 1951. Born in Boston and raised there and other Suffolk County burgs. My Dad always called it "tonic". Which brings me to the Beantowner who walks into a bar with his feline pet nestled in his arms. Says to the barkeep, "I'll have a Pabst and give my catatonic." (You had to be there.") OK, anybody know what a "musty" is?Luzenrf44 (talk) 01:56, 6 July 2008 (UTC)luzenrf44
-Look, I'm 40 and I still use "tonic" now and then, so that's not really "old fashioned." "Out of style," maybe. Otherwise, I second the spelling of "pisser" - it's a non-rhoticized pronounciation of piss + -er.

I grew up in Brookline/Boston and I don't ever remember people saying "tonic", we always said "soda". --Thepdaswamie 00:45, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I grew up in Everett and we always used "tonic". It is the only Boston word that I had to prurposely remove from my lexicon since I often consult with soft drink manufacturers! There are still eating establishments north of Boston that list "tonic" (representing Pepsi, Coke, etc.) on their menus.Wspta 17:00, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
-I grew up in Lowell and we also always use "tonic", not "soda."
-"Barrel" usually refers to a "trash can," not a "wastebasket" (though it is sometimes used of a "wastebasket," I think that's an expansion from its usually meaning). It is short for "garbage barrel."

I deleted all words form the Lexicon that were not referenced (Wikipedia:No original research and Wikipedia:Cite sources). There are many words that I notice that are used only in the Boston area that I could add, but I suppose this represents original research, and hence should be excluded. This justifies the deletion of the vocabulary without references. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Euler57721 (talkcontribs) 14:03, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Revere-Tonic,and I am not old! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.214.142.20 (talk) 07:14, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

New Babel Userbox for Boston accent[edit]

Chowdah This user can speak with a Wicked Pissah Boston accent.
Karmafist 22:09, 28 August 2005 (UTC)


Update[edit]

Ok, i've improved it a bit, now you can just put in {{chowdah}} to get the template, which you can see at {{chowdah}}

Milkshake and Frappe[edit]

Note: I've put this here since I had this exchange on an anon IP's talk page, and it could be of interest here, since the changes were to this article. BCorr|Брайен

Why are you deleting the references to a milkshake without ice cream? Are you thinking about McDonald's milkshakes or something? BCorr|Брайен 22:25, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

I grew up in Boston, and have never heard of or seen anything without ice cream called a milkshake. Nor has anyone else from the area that I asked. The information was inaccurate, so I removed it.
I've lived in Boston since 1987, this was one of the first things I learned here -- after being teased mercilessly for saying "pop" for a soft drink -- and it's not terribly common anymore, but it is real, and not just at one or two places. It's more common south of Boston (Quincy, Brockton, etc.) as it's the standard in Rhose Island, but can be found up in New Hampshire too. A more complete explanation is in the milkshake article here, but there are plenty of non-Wikipedia references to it:
Thanks, BCorr|Брайен 15:15, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Without cited sources to back it up, no claim as to the meanings of "frappe" and "milkshake" in Boston is verifiable, and so should not be included in Wikipedia in the first place. --Angr (t·c) 15:43, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Found one: http://www.bartleby.com/61/66/M0296600.html --Angr (t·c) 15:56, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
is there actually an arguement over what a milkshake is, it is milk mixed with vanilla sryup, no ice cream. I didnt think there was anything to dabate or argue over. Anyone from the regions knows this.--Kev62nesl 05:09, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
No question. I'm just a teenager, so my dialect isn't probably traditional, but a milkshake is not a common drink. A frappe with ice cream is. I don't live near Boston though. I live near the cape. This is a huge distinction to make when addressing this dialect. Another biggie is "grinder".
In my mind, a milkshake does not guarantee ice cream. It should be clearly a beverage (thin straw) as opposed to a frappe (thick straw or spoon). Ladlergo 05:16, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Okay, I grew up on the South Shore, and my family goes back a few generations here. Milkshake, ice cream soda, and frappe are three things that mean different things here than elsewhere, but all I know is that the one I want is a frappe. It's thick and ice-creamy and delicious, where a milkshake is more watered-down (due to the milk), and an ice cream soda is wicked watered-down (due to the soda water). Elsewhere in the country (and even here in Boston sometimes) a milkshake is more like the aforementioned McDonald's milkshake, meaning it's more like a frappe.

"I grew up in Boston, and have never heard of or seen anything without ice cream called a milkshake. Nor has anyone else from the area that I asked. The information was inaccurate, so I removed it." <- You are quite wrong. Before national chains moved into the area a milkshake did not have ice cream but a frappe did.


Well, I'm from Rhode Island, and we have clear differences between a frappe, a cabinet, a milkshake, and ice cream soda. See the milkshake article. -Daniel Blanchette 00:43, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Frappé is a coffee-milk drink, made with out iced cream. The term is not a Bostonian term by any definition other than by the masses. Also, the association of an iced milk-syrup "shaken" drink, a milk shake, is not Bostonian. I will have you all know that in London and by else that frappé is defined the same--perhaps by only lower classes. WiZeNgAmOtX (talk) 20:58, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

T for two[edit]

As a native of Massachusetts who has lived in both the Western and Eastern parts of the state (and it really does make a difference), I've noticed that us Massholes tend to drop the letter "t" if it occurs in the middle of a word along with other consonants or at the end of a word. Instead, we use a glottal stop ('). In the case of double "t's", the "t" sound is closer to a "d". Examples: -Moun'ain (for "mountain") -Restraun' (for "restaurant") (However, "Worcester" is pronounced "Woosta.") -Boa' (for "boat") -Bai' (for "bait") -Beddah (for "better") -Mea' cuddah (for "meat cutter")

Frankly, I don't know enough about phonetics and the IPA to write about this. Nor have I done any real research into the topic, aside from observing my own pronunciation and that of those around me. However, if anyone else has noted this habit of pronunciation and knows more about it then I do, I would appreciate the addition of the information to this article. Grammar nazi 05:27, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

This is true of American English in general, and some other dialects of English as well. It's not specific to Massachusetts by a long shot. --Angr (t·c) 05:56, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

-I think this is stronger near Connecticut. I hear this a lot, even in refined speech, in Connecticut, which is as close to newscaster as you can find usually.

On a somewhat related note, what about the phenomenon that might be called "over-aspirated plosives"? In some of the more extreme local accents around Boston, I hear a tendency to add an extra "breathiness" to both voiced and unvoiced plosive consonants in initial and occasionally final position. A classic example for me is "burger" sounding almost like "bvurguh". —Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.81.33.251 (talk) 00:47, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Truly "non-rhotic?"[edit]

I know nothing of linguistics and phonology... I may be deceiving myself but after some years of living in the Boston area I am convinced that the "r" is not truly missing in the Boston accent, it is just different. (And, yes, subtle). A good example is the pronunciation of the town name "Arlington." I am not sure exactly what I am hearing, but something is going on. There is some kind of consonant-like-thing happening before the L. It is not pronounced "Ollington." Similarly, on close listening, I am convinced that "Harvard," while certainly not pronounced the way I would pronounce it, is not pronounced "Hahvahd." There are seven phonemes pronounced, not five.

The best way I can describe it is that when the syllable "ar" is pronounced, there is no real consonant, but the vowel is pronounced as a diphthong. The problem for me is that I can simultaneously perceive that there are two different sounds, and yet both of these sounds to me are perceived as the same "ah" phoneme.

I'll bet that native Boston-accent speakers perceive themselves to be enunciating an "r" and I'll bet they hear an "r." This is certainly true of the few that I've asked.

Lady Mondegreene department: a friend of mine mentioned misperceiving something said by a native Boston-accent speaker. The speaker was a Dr. Armington, who I met on a couple of occasions, and he pronounced his own name much the same way as the Ar- in the name of the town of Arlington. My friend said that Dr. Armington had, on a couple of occasions, used the phrase "a nominal egg" to mean "the price of something expensive." He finally asked about the meaning of this quaint New England expression, since an egg didn't seem like a good exemplar of luxury. It turned out that Armington had been saying that something cost "an arm and a leg." Dpbsmith (talk) 13:20, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Could be a glotal stop, but I'm from Kansas, so I don't hear many people speaking with a Boston accent around here. Don't know man.Cameron Nedland 03:57, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
Us English usually refer to the typical American 'R' as a hard r, non-rhotic accents do pronounce the R, it's just not as prominent or hard as standard American, i presume non-rhotic accents in the US are similar. 167.1.176.4 (talk) 11:51, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Non-rhotic accents truly don't pronounce any type of "r sound" in words like car. Instead they lengthen the vowel preceding the "r". It's hard to explain this to a non-rhotic speaker, because in their own minds, they are pronouncing the "r" in words like car. This is true, of course. They are pronouncing it in their own way, but they're just not using any consonantal sound like rhotic speakers. That's why rhotic speakers often call it "dropping the r"; they're referring to the consonantal sound that they're used to hearing at the end of car being "dropped", and the preceding vowel is lengthened to compensate for that. Thegryseone (talk) 18:07, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
It's more than just a lengthened vowel though, for example harder is not pronounced like haader would be. 167.1.176.4 (talk) 05:57, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, haader is not a word, so that's perhaps not the best example. In words like harder, the vowel is also fronted to [ä] which sounds a lot different from how New Yorkers would pronounce that word. In the traditional Boston dialect, the stressed vowel in harder and father is the same. Thegryseone (talk) 06:08, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
An even better example is the pair father and farther. That's a good way to prove to some non-rhotic speakers that their speech is truly non-rhotic, because one can tell by the spelling of those words that they originally weren't homophones. Thegryseone (talk) 00:42, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
I pronounce father and farther differently, yet i am a non rhotic speaker, also when learning our abc's as a child we pronounce the r unlike a rhotic speaker, non-rhotic speakers do pronouce the R, it's just different to a rhotic speaker. 167.1.176.4 (talk) 07:49, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
Where are you from? More importantly, what type of accent do you think you have? Thegryseone (talk) 01:01, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
England and English, it's not the RP variety obviously but i'm convinced we do pronounce the r, when learning your abc's an American would probably think we're saying aww, but to us it's an arr, saying we pronouce the r as aww would suggest we actually do not coantian an r in our vocabulary which would beg the question what are we pronouncing when learning the alphabet?
For the record father is pronounced with a short a where i am, not to different from the sound found in unfathomable. 167.1.176.4 (talk) 08:16, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that's because you're a Geordie I'm guessing. Geordies use a "short a" /æ/ in father for some strange reason. But a Geordie accent isn't the same as a Boston accent so that's irrelevant to this talk page. In the vast majority of non-rhotic accents, father and farther are homophonous. This is the case in RP, Cockney and other southeastern English accents, Australian English, New Zealand English, South African English, "good" non-rhotic Boston accents (what I would call "real Boston accents"), etc.
What about alms-arms or balmy-barmy? Are those pairs homophones for you? They should be. One can tell by looking at the spelling of arms and barmy that there used to be a "consonantal r sound" before the "m" in both of those words (there probably used to be an "consonantal l sound" in alms and balmy at one time too, but that was deleted earlier, so it's beside the point). The only way you could make alms-arms, balmy-barmy homophones is if you are not pronouncing the "consonantal r sound" in both of those words.
The "alphabetical r" can sometimes be an exception to the rule. This is the case in South African English and New Zealand English, for example, where they will pronounce the letter "r" itself with a consonant sound at the end. I had a South African linguistics teacher that would pronounce the letter "r" itself rhoticly (if that's a word). I'm not sure about other non-rhotic accents though.
No offense, but I think you might be missing the point here. The argument is not about whether non-rhotic speakers pronounce all of their "r's", it's actually about whether or not they pronounce the "r" in words like park how it was originally pronounced, i.e., as a consonant sound. I guess you could say that non-rhotic accents have their own way of pronouncing the "r" in park, it's just that this way happens to be deleting the "consonantal r sound" that formerly came before the "k", and lengthening the vowel sound that previously came before the "consonantal r sound." Thus the "ar" part of the word park simply becomes a vowel sound. This merged with the vowel in words like palm, rather and half (even in Geordie), because the vowel that preceded the (now non-existent) "consonantal r sound" in words like park had the same phonetic quality as the vowel in those words I just mentioned and once the "consonantal r sound" was deleted, all that was left was that vowel sound that sounded just like the one in those words, i.e, palm, rather and half. So basically, non-rhotic speakers only pronounce "r" as a consonant sound when it comes before a vowel. Otherwise, they replace what used to be a consonant sound with a vowel sound. You have to understand the difference between vowels and consonants (I mean in the linguistic sense), before you can understand what I'm telling you. Thegryseone (talk) 18:58, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm definately not a Geordie, barmy and balmy also are pronounced differently,balmy has longer and flatter a sound. 167.1.176.4 (talk) 07:06, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm...you must have some extremely unusual accent then. I'm tired of trying to convince non-rhotic speakers that they have non-rhotic accents. It's obviously futile. I don't see why people take so much offense to being told they have a non-rhotic accent; it's not like being accused of murder or anything. It's just a stupid accent; get over it. Thegryseone (talk) 07:14, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm not offended, i just disgaree with the whole concept, some people drop their H's some people pronounce their T's as D's, see the American pronounciation of Water or Butter, sounds like Wader and Buder to me. 167.1.176.4 (talk) 08:15, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Agree the R isn't totally eliminated, there is something there. When I say Arlington, I certainly do not say Ollington. But I also don't say Arlington. However does not rhotic truly mean the R is absent or just more vague. Don't know much about the subject. I think the sound new englanders hear in there is the extension of the A. So it it isn't simply changed from Arlington to Ollington, but to something like Aaalington. Deliciousgrapefruit (talk) 16:03, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

geographic area[edit]

I found this page very interesting! I might also add that this accent can also be found in (or is very similar to) much of Rhode Island, and eastern Connecticut (in addition to the already mentioned eastern Massachussetts, New Hampshire, and Maine). Since I'm not a linguist, I dare not attempt to change the page on my own. But basically anyone from east of the Connecticut River shares some traits of the Boston accent. It's just food for thought. Any suggestions? --VingenzoTM 15:56, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Not all of RI. --64.223.54.147 (talk) 14:53, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
If you get someone from Boston(a true resident not a college student that never left), someone from the North and South Shores, Rhode Island, The Cape and Western MA. Someone from the left coast will be able to tell that we are all from different areas.Bazzledorf (talk) 21:53, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Nobody in Connecticut speaks like this... Why would people hours from Boston talk like Bostonians? They don't. Bottom line. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.118.155.92 (talk) 19:58, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Nobody talks like the Kennedys[edit]

I take issue with the note at the end of the first paragraph stating that the best-known user of the Boston accent was JFK. NOBODY in Boston has that accent except his brother Teddy. Nobody. Come to Boston and you'll never hear this peculiar accent.

I'd also like to note that, although to the outside world all the accents from Maine to Connecticut form the larger Boston-y accent, there is a gigantic difference in accent in different areas. For example, I grew up on the South Shore, where most people speak very low in their vocal range (think words like "cahnt" for can't) and with more of a Brooklyn-like punchiness than on the North Shore, where the voice is much breathier and words are spoken much more quickly (Think PEE-biddy for Peabody). Despite the Big Dig's connecting us all together like never before, these differences seem to persist.

Hailing from North-Eastern Connecticut and having very heavy experience in Mass, Rhode Island, and Southern CT, I can say for a fact that Connecticut is for the most part "Standard American" in its accent, with a few MA and RI influenced folks here and there. Maine and Vermont, however, have quite a large "accented" population. That said, you're completely right, no one has an accent like the Kennedys. --Shaikoten 16:13, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Joe Quimby (the mayor of Springfield, from The Simpsons) has the distinctive "Kennedy accent."

Joe Quimby you've got to be kidding--Kev62nesl 06:24, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, with Quimby. The Simpsons writers were not from New England. They, like Trey Parker and Matt Stone on South Park during Cartoon Wars, confuse the dialect with New York. Kennedy's dialect is bizzare. And its his whole family. Its more reminiscent of the accents in rural areas, where words like there and four are two syllables, than Boston sub-urbs.

Quimby is modeled after the Kennedys Joe Quimby --Kev62nesl 08:31, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm from the Metro West area and few of the neighbors have anything like a Boston accent. Maybe the range of the accent should be defined a bit more clearly. Ladlergo 05:11, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

It's true that no one speaks like the Kennedys. I'm from Cambridge (a city across the charles river from Boston, for those of you who don't know) and I know this to be a fact. It is just a bureaucratic thing they have to make them seem closer to the people. This may become controversial, but I doubt it's real. J-stan 19:55, 2 August, 2006.

Time factor in debate over whether anyone talks like the Kennedys[edit]

I moved as an early teen to the Boston are(r) in the early 1970s. It was like moving to a different country. There were all these new words, like wicked, pissah. Many people talked like the Kennedys. That was nahmal. (The accents of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in Good Will Hunting give you a sense of this. Softening of Boston accent With time, the Boston accent has softened. This has happened with the influence of television. Television provides a national standard. Children spend many hours listening to it. Aside from their parents, television is an important factor in shaping children's speech. Cumulatively, more generations have become influenced by standard American speech, and less influenced by Boston speech. Furthermore, local television stations have influenced this by employing newscasters with Standard American accents, rather than with Bostonian speech. Actually, Senators John F. Kerry and Edward M. Kennedy had stronger accents in the 1970s. When one hears recordings of their speeches from that period their accents are more pronounced.

For many people there was the notion that having the Boston accent was low class. These speakers have shed or never adopted the accent. Additionally, the colleges of Boston and Cambridge have attracted migrants from other pahts of the U.S. Many of these migrants have stayed and have influenced the mannah of speech in the Boston area(r).

So, we now have the softened Boston accent. It is too bad that aside from the Kennedys we have few easily accessible recohdings of standid Bahston speech in the 1960s. Dogru144 14:39, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Okay, I'm the person who wrote the original comment, and I have to argue with this. My family has lived in Boston since the Irish Potato Famine (mid-1800s), and despite the fact that my mother's family is from the same county as the Kennedy's, there's no similarity in the accent. I take issue with your statement that in the 1970's a lot of people talked like the Kennedys -- ask my parents, aunts (pronounced "ahhntz") and uncles, and they all had a big issue with how the entire country thought people here spoke like that. If you spend any time in downtown Boston (and plenty of other outlying areas) you'll here the same accent -- at the same strength -- that you heard from politicians and actors of earlier times -- think Mayor (of Boston) Kevin White in the 70's and the Tin Woodman in the Wizard of Oz in the 30's (!!). You'll hear variations between South Boston and Charlestown, Cape Cod and Cape Ann, but none of them sounds like Teddy, Robert, and JFK. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.19.109.241 (talk) 02:08, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Lower classed and new middle classed Boston speaks a lower classed English accent similar to that of working London and lower classed Virginia. The proper English is Oxford's English. The Kennedy family speaks an English that is very much not Bostonian. Rather, the Kennedy family speaks an English that is like Oxford English and upper classed Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, and North Carolina. This page should not be called Boston English, but rather have a dedicated Boston section--which may dominate the page. I hope that I am responded to, or I will enforce mine ideas by mine approval. WiZeNgAmOtX (talk) 21:05, 25 November 2009 (UTC)


This is a good point, if you start your day on the Cape, travel into Quincy, then Dorchester, then go Malden, Revere, Lynn, Marbelehad, Beverly, then head out to Danvers, Lawrence and Lowell, you will have heard a bunch of different Boston accents. And then within each community you are going to hear different accents. I don't think I've heard many inner city black people in Boston talk with a standard Boston accent for example. Deliciousgrapefruit (talk) 16:05, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Ben Affleck & Matt Damon[edit]

If those two have Boston accents, then Moxie is a delicious soda. -- Toscaesque 16:49, 12 April 2006 (UTC)


-You honestly don't know what they have. They're actors who have experianced many dialects and accents. In Good Will Hunting, Damon's accent was pretty convincing. If he spoke like that in person, I would not be able to tell if he was affecting it or not.

Many native New Englanders have learned to slip in and out of the accent at will. Early interviews with these two have shown that they have this accent. -- Malber (talkcontribs) 16:27, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

But Moxie is a delicious soda!--Mayor Beauregard 19:27, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Agreed!!!Bazzledorf (talk) 21:57, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Ben and Matt grew up in the Boston area and Matt went to Harvard. I would think since the grew up in Boston Proper that they would have actual accents and if they needed to exagerate it for the movie, they would be able to do so! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.93.95.228 (talk) 02:46, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

I found their accents to be very believable, although I've never heard anyone from Southie refer to Harvard students as "bahnies" as they do in the movie. talk —Preceding undated comment was added at 07:09, 10 January 2009 (UTC).

Keep in mind there isn't just one Boston accent. Lots of people have "vague boston accents", especially folk from more white collar communities. I suspect, like a lot of us in the region, these guys have two accents. Deliciousgrapefruit (talk) 15:47, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Slang section[edit]

This section says the word 'jimmies' means only chocolate sprinkles. I have heard and used the term 'rainbow jimmies,' for meither of them would anyone around here use the word 'sprinkles,' it sound so weird. Rmpfu89 14:14, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

-Hate to say this, but "jimmies" originally referred only to chocolate sprinkles: and the reference was to "jimmy," a offensive slang term for a dark-skinned man. A number of black candies had similar names - for instance, there used to be a candy called "n***** babies" (obfuscation was my own).

Screw you urban legend spreading bastard. Jimmies was not and is not racist, learn your history, --> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmies

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 71.233.33.198 (talk) 13:16, 17 February 2007 (UTC).

Oh, and to the comment above.... Moxie is a delicious soda.
I'm familiar with the word "sprinkles" in reference to both kinds. However, both of my parents are from NY (Brooklyn and Niagara Falls), so maybe my vocabulary is a bit skewed. Ladlergo 05:13, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Some of this "Boston Slang" happens to be pretty popular out in NW Kansas, so I think some of it is GA slang. Just food for thought.Cameron Nedland 04:01, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

A note on slang- Growing up in Boston, I never heard the word "grinder" used to mean a "submarine sandwich." We used the word "sub", and I only heard "grinder" when I moved to Western Mass. Liz S. 7/23/07

In Eastern Mass, Sub is the standard.Deliciousgrapefruit (talk) 15:47, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Suggested move with redirect[edit]

I suggest that this article be moved to the more accurate title "Eastern New England accent" as other states throughout New England are mentioned. The accent is more widespread than just Boston (with minor variations which are discussed in the article). A redirect will insure that anyone searching for "Boston accent" will come here. -- Malber (talkcontribs) 16:30, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

British Heritage[edit]

It is interesting how you can actually hear the transition from British English to American English within the Boston accent - like in certain features throughout the East Coast. Think about how an Englishman says 'got' and how an average American says it. The former pronounces it almost like 'goat', while with the latter it is more like 'gat'. Both of these sounds are contained in the word when a Bostonian says it.

Also, Bostonians often pronounce the H in words like "herb" while the rest of the US does not.

'Got' in the UK is pronounced nothing like 'goat'. 'Got' is /ɡɒt/ while 'goat' is /ɡəʊt/ Vauxhall1964 (talk) 17:44, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Mayor Quimby or Moe Szyslak?[edit]

If anyone from "The Simpsons" series talks with genuine Boston accent, it is bartender Moe Szyslak. I wouldn't say that Quimby is necessarily a good example.

Moe Szyslak is a "bad imitation of Al Pacino", in Hank Azaria's words. That is exactly Al Pacino's accent, who grew up in the Bronx. 71.195.31.76 05:43, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Bang a Uey[edit]

This article claims (without reference, shocking) that this phrase for "make a u-turn" is exclusive to New England. I can report, however, that it is used regularly in the Midwest, and certainly in Indianapolis, where I live.

Non-rhoticity elsewhere in New England[edit]

The recent edit says:

Traditional maps have marked most of the territory east of the Connecticut river as non-rhotic, but this is highly innacurate of contemporary speakers. The University of Pennsylvania's Telsur map shows non-rhoticity as only occuring with any significant frequency in Eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Southeastern New Hampshire, Southeastern Connecticut, and Coastal Maine.

However, Penn's Telsur project only interviewed speakers from major cities. In other words, Eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Southeastern New Hampshire, Southeastern Connecticut, and Coastal Maine are all the areas east of the Connecticut River for which Telsur has any data at all. Thus this is in no wise inconsistent with "most of the territory east of the Connecticut River" being non-rhotic—in fact, it supports it. AJD 21:57, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Well I can agree with the non-rhotic comment east of the Connecticut River. I'm from Rhode Island and I know that we are non-rhotic. Even then we have a subset of the Boston slang - i.e. coffee milk, johnnycake, quahog chowder, CF, Borington, and other things like that. However, a clearer disctinction needs to be made between the Rhode Island and Boston accents. -Daniel Blanchette 00:27, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

boston brahmin[edit]

i added a clarification at the top of the page to distinguish from the Boston Brahmin accent. i don't know if this is the conventional way of such notation, so if anyone else wants to bring that into line with other wikipedia conventions, please do so.

As far as I know, your link was stylistically all right; however, I removed it because I have yet to see a reputable source which states that the accent of Boston Brahmins differs from the characteristics of the Boston accent described in this article. The Boston Brahmin accent article itself is linguistically confused, hopelessly vague, and totally unsourced, and it only refers to the speech of individuals who are not Boston Brahmins; see my comments in Talk:Boston Brahmin accent. AJD 05:55, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Southeastern New England[edit]

Boston is not considered "Southeastern New England" which is usually used to describe areas south of Boston. The Boston accent is common to areas to the North and South of Boston and in Boston itself. The accent is very similar in areas of southern Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. A very different accent is heard in central and western Massachusetts. I don't really know how to define the area perfectly, because there is a gradual shift in the accent. In Portland, Maine, one can hear something very similar to a Boston accent, with differences such as "ayup" instead of "yup," for example. It is hard to tell where the Boston accent ends and the Maine accent begins. Alcinoe 11:57, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Vocabulary Section[edit]

I live in Northern Ireland and I just wanted to point out that I recognise some of the words and phrases which are listed under Boston slang. For example: "blinker" to mean a car indicator light, "mint" for good, and "says" in place of said. I also notice a parallel between the stated use of the word "wicked", as in very, and what some rural dwellers in Ulster say - wild, ie "That car was going wild fast!" Less common in these parts is the use of "hey" to end a question or statement - "What time are you going home, hey?". In this case, it is peculiar to Ballymena and "hey" is pronounced "hi." I wonder then if the Boston dialect is just a descendent of the language used by the many Irish settlers who left these shores to make their home in New England. I'm not a linguist by any means, but has anyone else got any ideas? Paddyman1989 00:33, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Old post, but I've always thought this. I got my accent from my mother I'd assume (my dad's is much less strong), who, although only the granddaughter of Irish immigrants (Cork, of course...), was raised only by her 100% Irish decent mother in Lowell, Massachusetts. She calls Horses Haasiz and Corn is Cahn, Bath is Baahth, etc. So, not only do we have no rs, but we have that flat A that is very atypical of American English. So, it wouldn't surprise me if our words were largely Irish based as well. One thing that seems to have definitely changed is my generation very rarely says "So I says:" etc. We use "I'm like" like the rest of young America. CSZero 17:19, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Carol Danvers (Ms. Marvel)[edit]

Can anybody tell me if this is the accent Ms. Marvel talks in? I'm from Holland, and I love to hear the voices of the characters in my comic books in their genuine accents; I hear Rogue (from X-Men) in a Mississippi drawl, I would love to know if this is what Carol sounds like. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 81.69.56.237 (talk) 17:50, 3 April 2007 (UTC).

Yes, most likely. Carol Danvers is from Beverly, MA, north of Boston. I actually work in Beverly--most people in Beverly have the standard Boston accent. BostonFrank (talk) 02:49, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Family Guy[edit]

Lois and Peter Griffin from Family Guy should be added to the list because they have Boston accents. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 68.78.96.151 (talk) 18:36, 17 April 2007 (UTC).

Umm, isn't Family Guy suppose to be a parody of Rhode Island? --Daniel Blanchette 00:45, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

They sound like Rhode Islander's to my Boston ear.. It's half Boston, half New York, but exactly like neither. If you pay attention, they are much more rhotic than we are around here. (sorry, I don't have an account..)

Yes, they live in Quahog, Rhode Island and as far as I know, they do not have Boston accents. Zomic_13 01:33, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Thus, if that's so, then if they are a parody of RI, then they have Rhode Island accents. --Daniel Blanchette 23:01, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

The Rhode Island accent is basically a Boston accent. You pretty much hear variations of the accent throughout New England (whether its Boston, Maine, NH, Rhode Island, etc. Deliciousgrapefruit (talk) 18:01, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

-ing becomes -in[edit]

Having lived in Nashua, New Hampshire for most of my life, I can say for sure that many in the area, especially in and around Boston, drop the g in words ending in ing. Thus, walking becomes walkin, and so forth. I didn't see this aspect of the accent in the article.

Also, I changed coffee regular to coffee; regular in the vocabulary section, the same way it's listed in the Boston slang article. Verbatim, people order a "regular coffee." The words are most likely reversed in the list to put the noun first.

note i moved it to regular coffee. as for the dropping g's I'm positive other parts of the country do so too. New England 07:59, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Never mind, I restored your version of the coffee thing. New England 08:06, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Question[edit]

Does it say in this article or does anyone know if Boston is continuing to be non-rhotic for the most part? Or is it becoming like most of the country in that way (rhotic)? Just curious. 208.104.45.20 03:18, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

It is still mostly non-rhotic, but since the internet, and globalization more people are aware of the accent, and compensate. More "older" (over 35) still have it, but it's less so than it was years ago, when we were ignorant to the fact we ever did have an accent at all. After traveling, more people pointed out my accent so that I became self-conscience, and modified my speach. It's still hard to do, almost like another language. I have to watch my R's. I hate words or names like Mark, car, park, etc. My sister and I now live in the Midwest (we're older) and we laugh at times, especially when trying to be conscience of our "R's". One funny thing that we are both guilty of, is saying, "con on the corb", instead of "corn on the cob". It's weird, subconsciously, being unsure where the "r" belongs, as in the phase above. lol. All my family who still live there have the pure Boston accent, the younger ones, have it to a lessor degree, but it's still obvious. They say I sound like a "hick", here they think I'm from New York, or have a speach impediment the longer I'm here, because it's not a real Boston accent, and some words I find hard to say (like "hard") <shrug> - Jeeny Talk 03:43, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I was born in Southie, but now live in the suburbs and I've noticed that me and my friends seem to slip in and out of using the accent (mainly our pronunciation of R). New England (C) (H) 04:10, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

The Boston accent was always a white thing, so the massive exodus of whites from the city has removed it in many places. I'm sure it's still there in the suburbs they moved to, but the strongest examples are probably being smoothed over. I don't talk to kids, so I don't hear them very often. Isolation was the key, and the tight, crowded neighborhoods of the city encouraged the differentiation. MarkinBoston 03:10, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Not covered: Intra-Boston differences[edit]

When I went to a city-wide high school in the late sixties, I learned that different parts of the city had different accents. The Southie kids were immediately recognizable, as were some from Dorchester. West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, Hyde Park, and Brighton were all about the same. Since then, many of those people have moved out of the city, so I suspect that the differences won't last much longer, if they even haven't already disappeared. I have no references, so it's purely anecdotal, but real none the less.

And for the love of God, the Kennedys have NOTHING to do with the classic Boston accent. I have no idea where they got it, but it's more downeast yankee than Boston streets. I can only assume that it was some kind of Lace Curtain posing. MarkinBoston 02:58, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

If you can find some reliable research on this stuff, go ahead. For the most part, dialectological differences between different parts of the same city have almost never been found that weren't actually the effect of social class and/or ethnicity, rather than neighborhoods. AJD 03:14, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't have any references - I was hoping to call out someone who does. The differences between Irish-American, working-class housing project dwellers in South Boston and Jamaica Plain was dramatic to my Boston ear. Needless to say, it's too late to do the research now. MarkinBoston 16:36, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

I added the essential link for lace curtain phrase. Dogru144 (talk) 00:11, 29 December 2008 (UTC) I removed link; amazingly, no one has written an article on the topic.Dogru144 (talk) 00:13, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Well-known speakers[edit]

Not only is this section a catch-basin for anyone from eastern New England, it is also full of particularly bad examples. The Kennedys, George Mitchell, Leonard Nemoy, Christopher Lydon? Professional media people work hard to lose their accents, George Mitchell is from Maine, and the Kennedys are in their own world. And Tommy "Mumbles" Menino? God bless him, but if people get the idea Tommy is representative of the rest of us, we're in big trouble. I could take out the most egregrious names, but the section would just fill up again as the page gets views. I recommend removing the section, and putting a mention of Tom and Ray in another place. How many of the rest are known by voice by at least an American audience? Jermaine Wiggins? Andy Card? MarkinBoston 16:51, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

I removed Nemoy and Bette Davis. They do not, IMO, nor did not, have the Boston accent, that I know of. Perhaps they did at one time. As for Bette Davis her accent seems like a cross between the Kennedy's and Katharine Hepburn (who was born in Conneticut)... well that's best way I can describe it anyway. I don't know the others you listed, as I have not heard them speak. Jeeny (talk) 05:12, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Does anyone else think this section is now out of control? I don't know many of these people, so I can't judge whether all of them do or don't have a Boston accent, but I think there needs to be a limit at some point. I see people continually add to the list, and it seems too long to me. Kman543210 (talk) 05:33, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree. AJD (talk) 13:53, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree as well - this is ridiculous. Cut it down to a handful of males and females of various ages. CSZero (talk) 15:50, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Bummer[edit]

Agrofe: The standard for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability. CSZero and I both say believe that bummer is not a distinctive feature of Boston English, and you haven't shown any evidence to verify your assertion that it is (for instance, evidence that it's not used in other dialects). You have to expect that implausible claims made without evidence will be removed. AJD 22:28, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I think moreso we should have a semi-formal add/remove to this list. I am a Lowellian in my mid-20s, so my list of "Boston Words" might be different. Agrofe is from Acton, which I can imagine is even more divergent from the blue-collar generations-old speak this article is talking about. Either way, many words on this list are non-verifiable. I'll post my truncated I'd-like-these-list here. CSZero 01:45, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Here is its. I'm basing these on either (it seems) well-known examples or words I've used even in upstate New York and been looked at funny:
* bubbler or water bubbler — 'drinking fountain'
* bang a Uey — To take a U-turn
* down cellar — 'in the basement'
* frappe — 'a blend of ice cream, milk, and syrup'[2] (milkshake refers to a concoction not made with ice cream)
* jimmies - chocolate 'sprinkles'
* (This one wouldn't surprise me but I don't know) johnny — a medical gown worn by patients for examinations
* milk shake - 'drink composed of milk and flavored syrup, without ice cream[3]'
* packie — 'liquor store', short for "package store"
* parlor - 'living room', 'family room'
* pisser (sounds like pissah) - Good, great. Also an affectionate term for someone who does something mischievous (i.e. "Aaron is such a pissah, he invited us to a party and then charged us to get in!") Also, the cliche term "wicked pissah" is selectively used in Boston, though is becoming archaic.
* regular coffee — 'coffee with milk (or cream) and usually two spoonfuls of sugar'
* rotary — 'traffic circle or roundabout'
* (This is listed often but I've never heard it) spa — 'convenience store' (originally, it meant a store with a soda : fountain). A "Town Spa" is often a pizza restaurant.
* tonic — 'soft drink' (tonic is retreating in favor of soda among younger speakers)
* The Pike - A term commonly used by Bostonians when referring to the Massachusetts Turnpike
* The T - Public transportation in the Metro Boston area. Refers to the subway, the streetcar, the ferry, and the bus.
* triple decker — or more commonly three decker a three-story, three-family home with one unit built on top of the other'
* wicked — 'very'; alternatively, 'wicked' may also indicate approval or become a universal descriptor, e.g., "That chowdah was wicked good."
I would add Elastic at least. Rubber band just about everywhere else. I think we need a section on grammatical things we say as well that are totally wrong: "So he says / I says" as opposed to the newer "he's like / I'm like" and my personal favorite that never flies out of state "Yeah? Well so don't I!" Look that up Bostonians, that should be do :-) CSZero 01:49, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
"Light Dawns on Marblehead" While we're at it - it never occured to me that this expression was about the town. Is that true, and if so, does the expression escape the areas? CSZero 01:55, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree with "elastic", no one here, (OHIO) understands the connection at all. I'm not sure if there is anywhere else it is common or even known to mean a "rubber band". I hate having to change my speech/words for others to understand me. Good lord, I'm actually calling "tonic" "pop"! But, I can't call my aunt an ant....evah. lol. - Jeeny (talk) 09:53, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
I also agree with elastic. But who's idea was "Tzar" for pizza? That's wrong. It's just "Za". BostonFrank (talk) 02:55, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

A note about "Packie" - Packie does mean a package store, but it has also become used frequently to refer to those who purchase alcohol illegally for minors. They are called "packie" without an article preceding the noun. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.130.254.53 (talk) 01:32, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't believe bummer is something unique to mass, but it is a word that is prevalent. Or at least was. Deliciousgrapefruit (talk) 15:49, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

North Shore[edit]

I was sitting in a restarant in Rockport, Massachusetts a few months ago and two elderly men were seated at the next table over. They had a very strong but different accent than the Lowell accent I'm used to (which in my opinion, is practically identical to the Boston one). My first guess was they were from Maine based on the dropped rs, extreme flat as, and drawl, but after picking up a bit of the conversation, they were from the North Shore. My father always told me that people in Essex County speak differently from those in Middlesex, I believe his wording was "higher class." Is there any veracity to this? Is the accent I was hearing typical Naahth Shaah, and is it essentially dead? Should we discuss that in this article? Thanks, CSZero (talk) 18:24, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I was born and grew up in Essex County and have lived there for 20+ years. This is strictly anecdotal, but it seems that those in Essex County have a milder form of the Boston accent which is often closer to the speech in southern New Hampshire than the speech of those who live in the most accented areas such as Revere and Medford. Many of those who live in Essex County, especially the smaller towns, have moved in from other parts of the country, and communities like Boxford, Andover, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Lynnfield are quite rich; and the influence of television is probably more prevalent in outer suburbs than in the inner suburbs and the city. The effect of these influences is a milder Boston accent in the area. I haven't noticed a strong accent or a drawl in Essex County like you have described -- especially when contrasted to those who grew up just north of Boston. They are probably from Maine, but who knows? :-) Midtempo-abg (talk) 09:20, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

I think the accent tends to be milder among the white collar class on the North Shore, but it is still there. However, this isn't always the case. If you go to Nahant, for example, which is a sub-burb and very north shore, there are lots of people with heavy boston accents. There is also the phenom. of people int he North Shore, raised by blue collar parents; who seem to end up with two accents (depending on which circle they run in). Deliciousgrapefruit (talk) 15:53, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Suggested Additions[edit]

There is nothing in this article about "youse" and "youse guys" for the third-person plural pronoun. People that speak this dialect sometimes say "I says" instead of "I said" for the past tense conjugation of the first-person singular as well. There is also a tendency to put the letter "s" at the end of certain words where it normally is not found. I have heard "everywhere" pronounced "everywheres". My Massachusetts neighbors have all these features in their speech. 208.104.45.20 (talk) 23:02, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

You are right that some people say "youse" and/or "youse guys". I know this as a fact, but it is not exclusive to Boston. It's the Northeast's version of ya'll, or y'all. It's not just used in Boston, but New England, Philly, NJ and NY. It's regional. If you can find a reliable source that states it's a Boston thang, then go for it. But, I've already tried and was unsuccessful. Like I said, it's a Northeasterm dialect thing. Now, "I says" for "I said" is so wrong. Maybe you're misunderstanding your neighbors. Well, you said "Massachusetts neighbors", not Boston. Western Mass. has a different dialect. Where do you live? lol Hearing your neighbors say this is using original research, anyway(s). - Jeeny (talk) 18:39, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, but you should trust me. Think about it: If I'm going to waste my time editing dialect articles on Wikipedia, do you truly believe I'm going to make this stuff up? I've always known that "youse guys" is not EXCLUSIVE to Boston, but that doesn't mean it is not worth mentioning in this aritlce, just to let people know it's part of the lexicon (the vocabulary of a particular dialect). I mean it's not NOT a part of their speech, right? Trust me, I can tell the difference between the voiced "d" sound at the end of "said" and the sibilant, voiceless "s" sound at the end of "says". According to this article, the "Boston Accent" is not restricted to the city proper. The husband IS from Boston itself and his wife is from eastern Massachusetts (but still speaks this dialect). The dialect of western (not capitalized) Massachusetts more resembles Inland Northern American English (the dialect with the Northern Cities Vowel Shift). There is a considerable amount of difference between this dialect and the former. The most obvious being the rhoticity. LOL is right, my friend. 208.104.45.20 19:28, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Hi Jeeny, many of the entries in the lexicon part of this article are not exclusively used in Bean Town. Do you think we should be so exclusionary?--Agrofe 19:59, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for taking this to the talk page. I watch this article and the mild edit-warring that brews is obnoxious and makes things hard to follow. Original research still, but it it definitely common for older eastern Mass people to say "I says" "he says" etc. It's been replaced in the younger generations with the national "I'm like" "he's like" etc. Then again, as I've mentioned 100 times on this page, I'm from Lowell, not Boston. I've never heard "youse" used around here. CSZero 20:40, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
And to answer your question, yes, I think we should be relatively exclusionary. Just like you tried to add "Bummer" last time, which is heard in media from many parts of the english speaking world. If we do want to mention some of the larger regional ones, like youse, which now that I think of it, I might occasionally hear "youse have no idear what I mean do ya?" then I would asterick it as being part of larger Northeast English. The one that I mention here from time to time that again, I have no data on, is the use of negative contractions in place of positive ones: "So haven't I", etc. I think in general, Bostonians, for such an educated group, have poor venacular, but a lot of it isn't universial to the area or unique. CSZero 20:55, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't see how "edit-warring" makes anything hard to follow; especially when it's none of your business. We have the right to argue on Wikipedia until we get things right. However, I do respect your thoughts, though I wish Jeeny would respond to my comments instead of someone else. 208.104.45.20 23:00, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Actually, no, you don't have the right to just edit away until you get it right. I'm glad you respect my opinion to take it here instead of the page - however, it's hardly my opinion. Please read WP:Three_revert_rule and note that if not to the letter, the spirit of this rule has been broken here by both sides. You are approaching an "edit war" and it's a problem in this article in general. And declaring it none of my business is also incorrect. This is a public-domain encyclopedia, it's anyone's business who wants to make it their business. As a community member, I have a right to do my part towards having as factual of an encyclopedia and as friendly of a community as possible. Again, I'm not even disagreeing with your edits (nor are you implying I am) but the literally two minutes it takes to register will help make it easier for other editors to assume good faith on your edits a tad easier. I've seen your editing before, you know your stuff, you really should register. CSZero 23:43, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
I've also been watching this slow burn edit war, and all I have to say is that if those wanting "youse" and what not included, they should perhaps read the policies related to original research, verifiability and reliable sources. Until the material is added with sources to back it up, I will support its excision from the article. Mr. anonymous IP: It's like Reagan said: trust but verify. Jeffpw 00:17, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

I didn't mean offense to anyone. Sometimes I just get frustrated. I don't even care much about these edits. I just wanted to see if I could get some successful edits included in this article. The point is I know what I say is true. That satisfies me enough. Thanks for telling me the rules on Wikipedia. I really like the idea of a public-edited encyclopedia. 208.104.45.20 05:48, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Josh[edit]

I was watching This Old House and I heard one of the men use the term "josh". By the context, he seemed to be using it to mean "thing". He said, "Whuddya think of this josh?". I was wondering if that term was unique to the area. It's probably not, but I'm just not used to hearing that. 208.104.45.20 (talk) 00:56, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

I think that was the other dude's name -- Josh. lol. I was born and raised there and the only other meaning that I can think of, and is not unique to the area, is; "josh; to joke, or to tease". - Jeeny (talk) 04:16, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

You have an offensive tone of superiority. As if I did not know what the verb "josh" meant. Please do not use "lol" anymore with me. It is annoying as hell. I don't care how you meant it; it comes off as arrogant when you write it. Thanks. LMAO 208.104.45.20 (talk) 21:38, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

æ-tensing[edit]

It seems like æ-tensing occurs more often in Boston speech than just before nasals. I was wondering if anyone else noticed. 208.104.45.20 (talk) 20:25, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

What does this mean? Why do so many people on this page not register with names, and instead use IP addresses? Dogru144 (talk) 00:19, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

"Accent gaps"[edit]

This whole new section, as a previous editor suggested in an edit comment, lies somewhere between OR, speculation, and fabrication. It's probably true that Newton and Brookline display less in the way of overt Boston accent features, but that doesn't make them not part of the Boston-accent speech community. Rather, I'd suggest, it's presumably because Newton and Brookline are affluent upper-middle-class communities, and many of the most recognizable features of the Boston accent have some social disfavor attached to them and drop off in the higher-status social groups throughout the Boston dialect region. Anyhow, it's simply not true that Jews "have been found" to lack the Boston accent; Jews have the accent just as much as anyone else. AJD (talk) 05:38, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, Conan O'Brien's from Brookline if that gives people an idea of what people from Brookline sound like. But as you said, people from Brookline still have Boston accents, no matter what they actually sound like, which is why I added Conan to the list of notable speakers. Thegryseone (talk) 20:40, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

low vowel[edit]

This term does not belong in phonetics and needs to be replaced with proper terminology by someone who knows what low vowel is supposed to mean!

What? Low vowel is perfectly standard phonetics terminology. AJD (talk) 13:44, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

SE CT[edit]

I am a CT native, not a New Englander as I represent the NY/NJ/CT Tri-state region and know little about New England. However, I have not noticed a Boston type accent in SE or Eastern CT. I whenever I did, I would ask the people where they were from and I would find out that they were from RI or MA. I hate to say it, but they almost sound like they are speaking a different language since I can hardly understand them. My point is, no matter how much people up in New England just want to put CT in there area, we are nothing like those people and we have nothing in common. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.28.93.188 (talk) 23:22, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Native Speakers[edit]

I was reading the list and found many errors. Yes, most of the speakers were born in the Eastern New England, but many do not speak with an accent. I have never heard John Kerry speak with an accent. Mark Wahlberg affects an African American accent, not a Boston accent. Jeremy Rhoenick does not speak with a Boston accent. He is of course a great guy, but he is not even from Boston.

The list is much longer than necessary for giving examples. Please do some pruning if you can do so knowledgeably and responsibly. Also, please sign your talk page posts by typing four tildes or clicking on the signature icon. Hertz1888 (talk) 22:20, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Where do you live? Kerry has progressively softened his accent since he entered the natioanl stage. I remember his Lt. Gov years and his first years as a senator. He definitely spoke with the accent in the 1970s. Haven't you heard the archive video of his testimony to Congress when he was a protesting ex-Vietnam vet? He had the accent then.Dogru144 (talk) 00:23, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
I like how he says Roenick is not from Boston....He was born in Boston, grew up in Billrica and went to High School in Braintree. How much more proof do you need.Bazzledorf (talk) 22:05, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Jeremy Roenick grew up in Virginia and played his youth hockey in NJ, his family moved to the Boston area so he could play at Thayer, he doesn't have Boston accent. Tom Glavine was from Billrica, maybe that's who you're thinking of. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.96.69.65 (talk) 19:17, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Time bias in examples of speakers[edit]

What of the film actors from the [late!] 1920s to the 1940s that had the accent? Surely, Matt Damon is not the only film actor to have spoken with the accent.Dogru144 (talk) 00:15, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Which actors are you thinking of? Jack Haley and Ray Bolger are both good examples who come to mind for me; I'll add them to the list if they're not there already. But I'm leery of making this list any longer than it needs to be. AJD (talk) 01:03, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Inline Citations[edit]

I'd be happy to insert the citation where they are needed (the box at the top of the page says they are needed) but I don't want to step on anyone's toes if I do it. Also, I'm not quite sure which sentences need citations. As a law student, I need to cite after every sentence, but that doesn't seem necessary here. Let me know on my talk page or in here. Swilk (talk) 14:03, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

About[edit]

One of my neighbors from Boston has an interesting realization of /aʊ/ in about. It sounds really far back in the mouth like [ʌʊ]. Maybe that's the "Canadian raising" this article refers to. Thegryseone (talk) 02:08, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Possible mergers[edit]

Would any Boston accent speakers say the following pairs of words identically?:

  • moss / Morse
  • off / Orff
  • often / orphan

or even possibly:

  • shot / short
  • cock / cork
  • stock / stork
  • cod / cord
  • con / corn
  • odder / order

Thanks! Grover cleveland (talk) 21:49, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Did a Google books search, and the answer is "yes", apparently (at least for some of them): link. Grover cleveland (talk) 21:55, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
I think some of them might be possible in an older Boston accent, but not so much anymore. Here's the deal: Eastern New Englanders traditionally made a distinction between pairs like for and four, or horse and hoarse, which is not heard in most of the rest of the U.S. As a result of this distinction, combined with r-dropping, a Boston pronunciation of short rhymes with shot; north rhymes with moth. This distinction may be disappearing among young people (Labov, Ash and Boberg). Lafierre defines the vowel in short and forty (NORTH) as [ɒə], in contrast to the standard [oə(ɹ)]. The words that have this vowel in standard American English are divided, apparently arbitrarily, into two classes in the Boston dialect, some of which allow this alternation and some of which only use [oə]. Thegryseone (talk) 00:57, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Umm, I believe you are mistaken. I live around Boston, I never heard anyone make a distinction between for and four or horse or hoarse. May I please see your sources? Everyone that I know who lives in this region (friends, family, etc) always keeps their r's in their pronunciation. Does the article state it may be, or is, becoming common with younger people to be rhetoric? Я£ΙИӺΘЯСΣĐᴙᶕᵻᴎᵮᴓᴚᴐᶒᵯɘᴎᴛᶊTalk 03:20, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I know someone who distinguishes between "for" and "four". It's the historical hoarse-horse distinction, which has merged in almost all modern English dialects, I believe. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DelAster (talkcontribs) 06:45, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

My fourth grade teacher had a very old school Boston accent. She pronounced "for" and "four" differently and that was noteworthy enough for my to remember it fifteen years later.72.66.69.69 (talk) 03:17, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Personally, I pronounce all the words in your first section differently. Most of the other words are a grey area. Shot and short sound different to me but not my husband when I say them. (I am from Boston, my husband is from another area of the country) 72.66.69.69 (talk) 03:15, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Reliable sources[edit]

Since when is Urban Dictionary considered a reliable source? (WP:SOURCES) --Seascic T/C 17:43, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Quality of /ʌ/ in the Boston Accent[edit]

There seems to be an interesting phonetic quality of /ʌ/ in Boston accents.

Jimmies[edit]

Jimmies have a specific definition they refer to the chocolate colored ice cream toppings. Sprinkles refer to the multi-colored candy coated kind. They are not interchangeable as this article suggests. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.174.6.135 (talk) 05:49, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Not only are jimmies chocolate colored, but "jimmies" is used all over the northeast. It doesn't belong on this list, and neither does "cellar," but I can't begin to imagine any authoritative source for any of the words on this list. It looks entirely unencyclopedic to me. 65.123.43.130 (talk) 00:04, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

The authoritative source is Dictionary of American Regional English. 69.3.72.249 (talk) 04:49, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Hypercorrection?[edit]

I'm removing the small section about non-rhotic speakers trying to change their accents by hypercorrection that uses the hosts of the Car Talk program as an example.

Beyond that fact that there appears to be no citation, it is factually incorrect. I was born and raised in urban, lower-middle class Massachusetts. I have the accent in question and do sometimes add the letter "r" to the end of words that do not have it. However, crucially, I do not do so on purpose. As far as I can tell, for whatever reason, it's simply part of my accent.

I only discovered this when I moved from Massachusetts to the Midwest and obtained a teaching job. My accent was only a mild novelty until I said the word "idea". If fact, I think I said the exact phrase, "I have no idea." It came out like "idear" and my students got quite the chuckle out of it. Since moving from the Boston area, I have become proud of my accent, as a matter of cultural heritage. However, I wish like hell I could get the "r" off of the words like "idea". It's an oddity that I can't quite explain but it is most certainly not deliberate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 4.254.84.90 (talk) 23:19, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Move to Boston accent. Good discussion, but only opposition to moving is two votes including one anon IP. Four in favor including nom and one anon IP. Argument against "accent", mostly about lexicon, is impressive, but so is the point about how limited the lexicon is. Rather than simply removing the lexicon as suggested by some, I suggest considering moving it into a new separate article... perhaps Boston lexicon, thus clearly limiting the scope of this article unquestionably to the accent both in terms of content and title. Born2cycle (talk) 16:09, 8 October 2010 (UTC)


Boston EnglishBoston Accent — Relisting  Ronhjones  (Talk) 22:23, 30 September 2010 (UTC) No consensus for original move[1] to current title and current title goes against WP:ENGLISH as "Boston Accent" is the most common term. As a Boston area resident myself, I was dumbfounded when I tried to find the page and was redirected to the current name. Also, both words in the new title should be capitalized as it is a proper noun, not a descriptive title. Grk1011/Stephen (talk) 00:42, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

  • Support in part because the article does not belong where it is but the correct name would appear to be Boston accent. As the article Dialect explains, and this article shows, native speakers in Boston have an accent, not a dialect. The vocabulary and idiomatic differences are not sufficient to constitute a dialect. 69.3.72.249 (talk) 01:24, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support it's commonly referred to as "accent" not "English" ~DC We Can Work It Out 03:23, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose it includes a lexicon of Boston English terms, which is where accent and dialect diverge, dialects have their own vocabulary. 76.66.200.95 (talk) 04:14, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
That's what the section intro claims, but the claim lacks a source. I also doubt the claim because in my experience most of those terms are American dialect more generally, not specific to the Boston area. 69.3.72.249 (talk) 05:01, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
So bubblers are water fountains across the US? grinders are submarine sandwiches (why would Subway be called Subway then?) ? rotaries are traffic circles? 76.66.200.95 (talk) 12:16, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Okay, let's consider "grinder" meaning a kind of sandwich. DARE maps it and finds it chiefly in New England. DARE lists only two words with special meanings chiefly or originally in Boston: "cleanser" and "coast". 69.3.72.249 (talk) 17:17, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
That doesn't seem to be very general American to me, since it is New England, and not the entire US. 76.66.200.95 (talk) 04:42, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Bubblers certainly are water fountains in Portland, Oregon. When I hear "grinder", I think "sandwich", and I've never been near Boston. "Rotary" is a new one for me, but most US cities haven't got traffic circles at all. -GTBacchus(talk) 01:32, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The term accent properly refers only to pronunciation variants; dialect refers to varieties distinguished by phonology (pronunciation), syntax (grammar), and lexicon (Lippi-Green 1997; O'Grady et al. 2001; Meecham and Rees-Miller 2001. See linked articles for full reference). Since this article contains a section on lexicon, it does not describe an accent per se. Note, too, that this article was moved from Boston English to Boston accent 25 October 2009, then back to Boston English 3 November 2009. It may be advisable to keep this discussion open until a well-supported consensus emerges, even if that takes more than seven days. Cnilep (talk) 13:29, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Also note that it was originally "Boston accent" and was moved to "Boston English" on September 29, 2009 with the rationale "asked" before being moved back to its original title on October 25, 2009 and then once again to "Boston English" without consensus on November 3, 2009, as stated above. What needs to be realized here is that there is an established term for the English spoken in Boston whether it be logically correct or not. If necessary I would advocate removing the lexicon, as that seems to be just a fun little section added onto the article that is mainly about the accent. Grk1011/Stephen (talk) 13:55, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
(ec) I've just checked a few prominent texts. Wolfram and Schillings-Estes (2006) refer to "Boston English"; Laferriere (1979) "the Boston dialect"; Labov, Ash and Boberg (1997) and Kurath and McDavid (1961) both use "Eastern New England" dialect. Kurath and McDavid also refer to Boston without labeling it dialect, accent, or Boston English. Each description centers primarily on pronunciation. This treatment is less consistent than my description of the field above would lead one to expect. Cnilep (talk) 14:18, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely correct. It should be at accent per WP:COMMONNAME. ~DC We Can Work It Out 14:16, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Do you have evidence that this is the most commonly used name? Intuitions are notoriously unreliable in this respect. My very incomplete survey does not suggest that accent is the common name. Cnilep (talk) 14:20, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Google search for both. Guess which one has 90,000 hits and which has 5,000. ~DC We Can Work It Out 14:25, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Google search results, especially those returning more than a couple hundred estimated results, are also unreliable. There is, though, reliable support for your intuition. The Corpus of Contemporary American English shows 21 results for "Boston accent" in newspapers and magazines, compared to three for "Boston English" and none for "Boston dialect". None of the three appears in scholarly texts in COCA, so I searched Google Scholar and went to the last results page in order to over-ride the estimated results. "Boston accent" appears in 517 Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities papers, "Boston English" 391, and "Boston dialect" 55. Cnilep (talk) 14:36, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Boston English could also refer to English High School of Boston. ~DC We Can Work It Out 14:41, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Google search results do not distinguish Boston accent from Boston dialect. Just because alot of Google hits are for Boston accent do not mean that they are about Boston dialect, as Boston does indeed have an accent, as does England-RP, which is the "English accent", which only refers to the accent and not the dialect known as British English. Did you verify that all usages of Boston accent in those Google hits refer to the dialect, or do they only refer to the funny pronounciation that Bostonians use? 76.66.200.95 (talk) 04:19, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Correct, it's not a proper noun. Also, it's probably a good time to close or re-list this, since it's been up for over 2 weeks (I forgot about until you commented). ~DC We Can Work It Out 05:22, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Well my thoughts were that with lowercase it is just a descriptive title, but "Boston Accent" is a term and therefore in my view a proper noun. Like "South Station" for example, that is the name it's not the station that is south. Grk1011/Stephen (talk) 12:12, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Do the article's sources use it as a proper noun? Arbitrarily0 (talk) 16:24, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm having trouble figuring out where this discussion is at this point. We (I think) have determined that Boston accent is the common name, but that doesn't mean that's what the article about. Looking at:

  • bubbler or water bubbler – 'drinking fountain'

makes me think that this article is about a dialect and not an accent, which as previously stated means a pronunciation variant. I suggest that it be called Boston English dialect if this article being confused with the school is really a major concern. --WikiDonn (talk) 19:24, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Remove the lexicon then. I would classify it as trivia anyway. Grk1011/Stephen (talk) 19:30, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Agree it should be removed. And I'm not sure it qualifies as a dialect if only a dozen or so words are different, while grammar and usage remain the same (Southern American English has grammatical variations). ~DC We Can Work It Out 06:01, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Boston lexicon[edit]

NOTE: If anyone moves the Lexicon section of this article somewhere else, please fix the redirect at Boston slang (currently points directly to the Lexicon section of this article) accordingly. --Born2cycle (talk) 16:15, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Misleading bullet item under Lexicon.[edit]

The "blinkers" bullet item currently reads: blinkers - automobile directional signals (commonly used in Eastern Massachusetts). While directional signals are commonly referred to as blinkers in Eastern Massachusetts, the directional signals themselves are only rarely used in Eastern Massachusetts, generally to signal, "I am about to cut you off and there is nothing short of teleportation that you can physically do to prevent this." When I read this bullet item, the parenthetical expression immediately jumped out at me as possibly misleading the reader into believing that directional signals are commonly used in Eastern Massachusetts. Rtameo (talk) 02:18, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Please do not remove material being worked on[edit]

Someone unkindly removed my many edits without extending the courtesy of speaking to me first. Had he done so I would have explained that I have a lot more work to do and plan on adding sources to support all of my edits. I would like to add that it is unfair to delete work currently being worked on due to the cites not be added in yet, while the main text of the article has been grossly devoid of adequate citations for quite a while. So, as we say in Boston: "Keep your shirt on!" ( meaning: no need to be so impatient) As for DC's claim that the accent/dialect has only a dozen or so unique word usages, that is not correct. There are a great many special word usages. Some have lessened over time, as the old Boston neighborhoods have changed a lot from the old Irish Catholic, Italian, Jewish, and other ethnic neighborhoods of the past. But if he keeps deleting my work, he won't ever learn about that! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 63.215.27.57 (talk) 05:43, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

There is no "sources will be added later". Add the sources when you add the information or anyone has the right to delete. Grk1011/Stephen (talk) 13:09, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I removed some things because even if you had a source to prove that they exist, they are not unique or part of the specific lexicon of Boston. "The Cape" and "the town" are short ways of referring to a place, that is nothing special nor unique to the Boston area; not sure where you got the description of a clambake, never heard of it being on a beach nor it requiring seaweed; cobble and cobblestones are the name for the stones, there is no difference here; commons can be found everywhere, "the town common"; "cupboard" is not needed because it's definition is just the same word using the Boston accent; most old homes have a pantry. I am prepared to further discuss any of the above or any that I missed if necessary. Grk1011/Stephen (talk) 13:21, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

grinder/sub[edit]

Changed "grinder" to "sub", because that's how it is. When I came to Western Mass, I found people were often confused by the word "sub," as they use "grinder." —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.162.121.192 (talk) 19:05, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

I was going to say something similar. They are always subs in the Boston area, but called grinders out in the Berkshires. Grk1011 (talk) 23:14, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Frappe[edit]

Does anyone care where these words came from? It would have been nice to have either originated in Boston, or come from Boston from England and were distorted or maintained locally. Frappe is neither. It clearly came from Quebec during the French migration and spread throughout most of New England except possibly for Connecticut. It is frivolous to claim it as a "unique" Boston word, though it may be the only place it is still commonly used. Student7 13:20, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

The list is for current words heard only in the Boston area. Regardless of where it came from, you admit yourself that it is the only place it is still commonly used. Right now it is unique to Boston, no? Grk1011 (talk) 14:47, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Probably. The problem is that the people that are constructing these lists are all amateurs (us!). There is no honesty (scholarship) in reporting them. Roots, etc. Each should have some small history with it, or maybe under a different subtitle so we are not pretending that Bostonians "invented" them all from scratch. Borrowed. From French. Whatever. Student7 (talk) 21:26, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Lexicon[edit]

I'm not the first to think of this (see above), but it seems to me that we should either rename this article (I have no ideas) or move the lexicon to it's own article (probably with a different name). It's really not germane to "Boston accent" per se. Boston dialect maybe, but that loses the thrust of the "accent" in the article. Student7 (talk) 20:20, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Note that the Southern equivalent is named Southern English, not "Southern Accent," but perhaps there is a redirect from there. This is proper for an article which includes a lexicon and misnamed here for one which does. Student7 (talk) 12:07, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
IMO, we should move this to "Boston dialect." This would result in a redirect from here to that article. The material is currently incorrectly named because it includes more than mere "accent". Student7 (talk) 14:18, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Unnecessary reference to Australian English.[edit]

The sub-section on non-rhoticity states,"Note that the r in car would sometimes be pronounced in this case, because the following word begins with a vowel (see linking R below). This is also present in the Australian English." I don't see how this is helpful to the article and might confuse readers unfamiliar with either by comparing a less notable trait in unrelated accents. I would think further explanation or examples of the linking r should replace the reference. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.63.193.55 (talk) 06:09, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. Agree. Also not referenced. It could be in some other article on speech, just not in one on Boston. Thanks for pointing that out. Student7 (talk) 20:24, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

More than one Boston accent; apparent racial bias[edit]

Does anyone else feel that this article tends to privilege the archetypal "Boston accent" of predominately white areas and white speakers? That there are a multitude of accents within Boston itself rather than just one accent which is cast as "Bostonian", and that these accents often reflect location within the city and the attendant racial segregation? I realize that the accent reflected in this article is that most associated with the idea of a "Boston accent", but I think those of us who live in the area can easily discern between the accent of someone from Charlestown or South Boston and that of a person from Lower Roxbury, Grove Hall, Franklin Hill, et cetera, which are unique accents in their own right. On the academic side I know next to nothing about linguistics or accents/dialects so I'm definitely not the person to add content reflecting other Boston accents, but I'd like to see at least a subsection summarizing some of the other accents of the city. Better than that, I think, would be to re-word the bulk of the article (though not removing or really changing the content) after adding such a section so that the article itself reflects that there isn't simply one accent in the city. Please bear in mind that I'm in no way insinuating that all white people in Boston speak a certain way while all black people in the city speak another way -- I've met black, Latino, and Vietnamese people that speak with the accent reflected in this article, white people who speak with an accent typically heard in predominately black parts of the city, Latinos who speak with an accent wholly different from the two, and so forth. I'm just saying that I think this article as it stands now would give the wrong impression to someone coming here for the first time, expecting a relative uniformity in manner of speech among the city's inhabitants and being subsequently surprised when he or she found that wasn't at all the case. Feel free to disagree with any or all of what I've written :) BostonFenian (talk) 08:46, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Comment from newbie[edit]

A comment from a newbie was correctly reverted for lack of citation and general language. It read:

"Massachusetts Born and Bred. Still live here. Spend lots of time in Boston. Where did you come up with some of these words???

spa - A convenience store that (usually) sells sandwiches This is wrong. No one says that. A spa is a place to get a facial and a massage

piazza - a porch, typically on the back of a three-decker house

NO ONE uses that word ... haven't heard it since my grandparents were around, they passed in the 70's

parlor - living room No ... we say living room

guzzle - a small inlet on a beach creating a tidal pool. Also a term used to describe drinking beer or an alcoholic drink quickly.

Never heard of the small inlet definition. We use it to describe fast drinking

grinder - pronounced "grinda"; a baked submarine sandwich, but not the equivalent of a toasted sub

NO ... not used here. We say sub.

frappe (pronounced /fræp/) – 'a blend of ice cream, milk, and syrup'[39] (In Boston milkshake refers to a concoction without ice cream, but merely with milk blended with flavored syrup by shaking.[40][41])

gonzo - crazy, bizarre; the term originated in South Boston but is now used nationally

We don't use either frappe or gonzo

banger - a wicked bad headache Never heard anyone say this

bubbler or water bubbler – drinking fountain When was this written? I haven't seen a working, usable bubbler since the early 60's

bundles - full bags of groceries from the supermarket I guess so. This is regional? I never use bundles"

I'm not sure that I agree totally with the remarks but we are eventually going to have to take some reality into the article sooner or later. Some of his remarks do reflect current reality. Some of the article reflects older usage - or current rural New England usage but not in Boston. Student7 (talk) 12:55, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

You do realize this is correct though right? Pug6666 (talk) 15:45, 10 June 2012 (UTC)\ Also who the hell collected the data on how wide spread the accent is? They have no idea hat they are talking about as a person that lives close to Boston I can say that the accent is most likely a minority even in Boston and definitively is one outside of the city. People usually have something closer to a western New England accent missing the glotal T. Not sure other features of the western New England accent being excluded as I'm no expert. Pug6666☼☯, 17:45, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

What we have here is two articles merged together. The "Boston Accent" which should be here, can be discussed fairly objectively with WP:RS. There may be a history associated with it which suggests that it is dying out.
The second topic which has intruded and should be moved to its own article is "Lexicon of Boston words," which has nothing in particular to do with accent though one might link to the other. Each word needs its own WP:RS and is harder to write for that reason. Mixing the two together arbitrarily creates unnecessary hardship and confusion for editors attempting to address errors. Student7 (talk) 14:42, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

I do live near Boston but almost nobody has it where I live. But I know people with this accent most of them only sometimes delete R in the word car for example. The r is weaker than a Rhotic accent but is has r enough that car is not caah. Alas it is impossible to source your own observation. Pug6666 00:35, 13 April 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pug6666 (talkcontribs)

Understand.
It may be dying out. I once had a roommate who sincerely, with concentration, could not pronounce interior (rhotic?) "r"s. He was from nearby NH. Maybe would be hard to find such a person nowdays. Student7 (talk) 17:58, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

The Letter A[edit]

I was born in Boston and have lived most of my life in Lynn. For 10 years I lived in the Midwest, where they pick up out r's. my daughter has was you would call a country accent so when we can to Lynn, MA she was overwhelmed with hearing the accent. She met her older sister who talked do fast I do believe there were flames coming out of her mouth. I took a little test to see where I was from, Niston, w00t w00t and I think one of the things that can make people sound more like us is 3 words: Mary, marry, merry. To a Bostonion or New Englander all 3 words should sound different. I was discussing this with my daughter and she said to try and make all3 different then the way we form our mouths when pronounce a is a large part of the Boston Accent. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.110.162.13 (talk) 22:15, 7 June 2013 (UTC)