AEE 394: 3 Guaranteed Ways to Know You’re Speaking to a Bostonian

learn Boston American English accent

Have you ever heard a Boston accent? You will today!

Today you’ll hear a real Boston accent and you’ll get 3 clues to know for sure that you are speaking to a Bostonian.

The Boston accent is linked to our history.

In 1621 Boston was settled by British people who came from 25 miles southwest of London and for 15o years  Boston was a very British city.

The accent has changed from British but you will see the similarities to the British accent if you listen closely.

 

How to know you are speaking to a Bostonian:

  • They drop their R’s: If someone says “Wow, that’s a wicked “bummah” (instead of bummer) then you know they are from Boston. Other examples of dropping the R are: “Pahk the cah in the Hahvad Yahd” (instead of Park the car in the Harvard Yard).
    • ** Bonus! They use the word “wicked”: This term can mean that something is incredibly good or it can be added to show that something is extreme. For example, a Bostonian might say that “it’s wicked cold” and not just “it’s cold” which means that it’s extremely cold.
  • They say “all set?”: When they say this they are asking you if you are ok or if you need any help. This might be used at a restaurant. The waiter might ask, “all set?” to ask if you need anything else?
  • They say “Grinda” (Grinder): This is a large sandwich that contains meat and vegetables. In other parts of the US we might say ” a sub sandwich” or just “a sandwich.”

 

Do you want to watch some movies to hear more of the Boston accent?

  • Good Will Hunting
  • The Town
  • The Departed

 

Languages marks us!

When we hear someone we make assumptions about where people are from and we may have certain stereotypes.

Diana has had a few challenges where she has tried to order food using the Boston accent but people couldn’t understand what she said.

It can be frustrating when people don’t understand what you are trying to say, even when you have been in this city your whole life.

 

Diana’s Bio:

Diana Lynch is an ESL writing instructor and has been teaching for the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University for the past five years. 

Diana has taught both graduate ESL writing classes and undergraduate classes and continues to research and write about composition and culture and the challenges faced by international students within the university.

She holds a Master’s Degree from Tufts University in Educational Studies.

When Diana is not teaching or researching she can be found tending her garden, writing short stories, and cooking for friends.

She lives in Cambridge, MA.

 

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Let us know in the comments below!

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