Do we talk funny?

Published on March 27, 2011 by

I’ve heard folks around the BeePo neck o’ the woods claim, “We don’t have an accent.” I’m not so sure about this. Granted, we’re in that no-human’s-zone between the Apple and the Hub. You can tell this come baseball season.

I don’t want to get technical in my first outing here, but we do have some traits of our own―more in speech patterns, I believe, than in actual pronunciations.

Although see how a guy from Yonkers says orange, and you’ll hear a difference. “Gimme a ahrinj soda.” Well, he is from Yahnkis.

I believe we tend to futz with the short o. Most folks here will say, “Turn awn the light,” as opposed to the more New Yawkky ahn. My buddy Vinny’s grandma used to say, “Close the light,” when she wanted the room dark. But she lived on Milne Street in The Hollow. Oops, I mean Melon street in the Holla.

I also maintain that the Valley people (you know: “up the line”) have a little twang, particularly in the -aw sound. “I’ll take a hamburger with roar onion,” I heard once in Ansonia. “Oops, no roar onion? I’m sawry.”

Face it, we do have our peculiarities when it comes to place names. Just to the east lies Straffer, and east of that is N’Haven (which sounds like the Spanish non-word nueven). In fact, the Elm City is bordered on both east and west by burgs with the same name: ‘Staven. Just north of us is Shel-uhn (which lost its t eons ago) and the place no one admits is part of Shelton, Hunnihn. The last time I heard a dude try to say “Huntington,” it sounded more like he was clearing his throat. Oops, I mean troat.

When they filmed that dreadful P. T. Barnum made-for-TV non-epic with Burt Lancaster in 1986, his character spoke about building a mansion, Iranistan.
“THAT’S ARNESTAN!” I screamed at the tube. The writers had probably never hears of SUCCess Park, either.

And we love to mangle our Italian, too. I’m always up for some ahbeets, especially with scamotes. Just plain mootsadell will not suffice. Or howsabout some manigoat with madinad? Perhaps gavadeels? I will leave The Great Bridgeport Pizza Debate for another time; it’s just too important.

And, as we wend our way down the turnpike toward NYC, just when does a grinder become a wedge become a hero? I think the wedge thingie starts in Norwalk. I mean No-ahk. Or maybe Stamfer. Heroes live in Yahnkis.

It would be a pleasure to continue CurbCon.

A couple, two, tree times, anyways.

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