Discussion Examples Of Regional Dialects During The Civil War?

KianGaf

Sergeant
Joined
May 29, 2019
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Per the title, can anyone point me to any examples of regional dialects used during the Civil War? For example, is English as it spoken in the South today similar to what was spoken during the Civil War?

I seen an interesting documentary on the American Revolution and this subject came up. The show said some soldiers could barely understand each other. I know regional interaction was more common by the time of the ACW but id say it was still an issue.
 

KianGaf

Sergeant
Joined
May 29, 2019
Location
Dublin, Ireland
I have a think Deep Southern/Texas drawl, which I've inherited from my grandparents and father and been accused of sounding like a hick and was made fun of growing up, even at reenactments I still hear outright slander from time to time. But you wouldn't know it from the way I type or write stuff, my spoken grammar is a lot less sophisticated than my written, and I've wondered if that was the case with people of the CW era.

As for if dialects from back then survived to today, I'd say it has among older generations. People from rural areas born before the year 2000 can have it, but they're all dying out now. Technology and broader exposure is the reason, along with more than a few urban Yankees moving down here into the South.

I once met some elderly cousins that knew one of our family's Confederate ancestors, and I'm glad I asked when I had the chance this question, and they said My Dad and I with our hick accents didn't sound very different from our Confederate ancestor who was from Alabama and moved to Texas during Reconstruction.

I enjoy the southern accent when in the US. I've never been up north but from what I've seen on TV its a lot softer to listen to than some of the northern accents such as the NY and Massachusetts. I enjoy them too in their own way but I prefer the southern accent. I do find accents fascinating as when you get into it the amount of variations are huge. This is only a small country but I can normally tell where someone is from by their accent. In particular for my hometown its always easier to tell if someone is from a more wealthy part of the city or from a working class one. Id say its safe to assume its the same in individual states for example someone from Texas could identify whether a person is from Dallas or Houston from their accent ?
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
Id say its safe to assume its the same in individual states for example someone from Texas could identify whether a person is from Dallas or Houston from their accent ?

Oh yes! Eastern Texas outside the cities has a more Deep South accent like Louisiana and Southern Arkansas, West Texas kind of neutral if rough accent.

Dallas and Houston?

They and the surrounding areas went from neutral typical accents to full blown Yankee ones with California thrown in. Probably cause so many have moved there, along with a ton of Californians. This last December on a film shoot near Austin I felt like I was really in California with the voices and culture changed so much.
 

Biscoitos

Corporal
Joined
May 14, 2020
The funniest thing I ever witnessed was a conversation between a true Bostonian and a true backwoods southerner. I thought I was on another planet. LOL. The southerner could not enunciate combined with that drawl, and the Bostonian with that nasal-short combined with that broad-a like aw and paw made a classic event. Dude, it was beyond hilarious, I wish I recorded it.

I prefer the Mid Atlantic and west coast accents if there is one, people just say we talk proper and enunciate correctly devoid of any speech impediments, and I agree. I tried to expunge all honky-tonk from my wife's accent but somethings are just permanent like: "I'm fixing to go to my mama's house right quick." LOL.
Real down home Southerners do not talk like that!!!
They would say: "I'm fin' to go to Mama 'nems."
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
I do not have a local accent.

I bet ya' do !

Everyone on the planet has an accent.

:bounce:


Gosh, even in my small Deep South state of Mississippi we have many dialects.
However, we have "two" accents the world would recognize:
The stereotypical aristocratic Southern accent and the stereotypical redneck Southern accent.

I guess the best example in the UK would be like a conversation between a Royal family member,
and someone from the east end of London.

:laugh:
 
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Cycom

Private
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Location
Los Angeles, California
I bet ya' do !

Everyone on the planet has an accent. \

:bounce:


Gosh, even in my small Deep South state of Mississippi we have many dialects.
However, we have "two" accents the world would recognize:
The stereotypical aristocratic Southern accent and the stereotypical redneck Southern accent.

I guess the best example in the UK would be like conversation between a Royal family member,
and a person from the East End of London.

:laugh:
Love that southern aristocratic accent, especially when the ladies speak it 😉
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
This last December on a film shoot near Austin I felt like I was really in California with the voices and culture changed so much.
So true.

Austin is ground zero for the ex-California folks moving into Texas.
San Antonio and Houston are probably tied for second place.

Dallas has been overrun as well !

:frown:

Thankfully, Fort Worth seems to be one of the last "big city bastions" in the great state of Texas !

From what I've heard, the California transplants are scared to death when they see
a herd of Texas Longhorn cattle moving casually on the street . . . making their way to the the Fort Worth Stockyards.

Header_longhorns.jpg

https://www.fortworthstockyards.org/

:rofl:
 
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Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
Real down home Southerners do not talk like that!!!
They would say: "I'm fin' to go to Mama 'nems."
You are correct !

That is exactly how we sound to most people unfamiliar with our dialect.

For anyone interested, that translates into:
"I am about to visit my Mother and others that may be at her house"

"Mama 'nems" translates into:
( Mother and them)

" I'm fin" translates into :
(I'm fixing)

But I covered the Deep South verb "fixing" earlier.

:smile coffee:
 
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Cycom

Private
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Location
Los Angeles, California
I know that.

Only my attempt at humor.

No offense intended at all.
Of course. I didn’t take it as anything else other than humor 👍🏼

I’m pretty self deprecating when it comes to my region...only because I live here. I was reflecting on the thread about southern sentimentality thinking how I have no such feelings toward my birthplace. So it’s easy for me to mock my own home. Hope that makes sense.
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
So true.

Austin is ground zero for the ex-California folks moving into Texas.
San Antonio and Houston are probably tied for second place.

Dallas has been overrun as well !

:frown:

Thankfully, Fort Worth seems to be one of the last "big city bastions" in the great state of Texas !

From what I've heard, the California transplants are scared to death when they see
a herd of Texas Longhorn cattle moving casually on the street . . . making their way to the the Fort Worth Stockyards.

View attachment 396006
https://www.fortworthstockyards.org/

:rofl:

I got a very uppity and sophisticated great-aunt in Fort Worth with a deep prejudice against people with Southern accents that is evidence of Fort Worth's fall.

Texas has fallen so far, I'm looking to escape to Arkansas in the next couple years. 7 Generations in Texas over, blood of one of the original Texas Rangers, displaced by Yankees and Californians.

But we're all Americans and there ain't no distinctions by region and culture they say.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
Not everyone is California is bad, I'm thankful to know and call several my friends
Agreed !

Most people don't realize California is one of our major agricultural states . . . and Im not talking about avocados & vineyards.

I have two long time friends from the San Francisco Bay area.
They are two of the nicest people I've ever met. ( they're brothers).


Culturally, we have never understood each other.
We come from two separate planets.

:bounce:

But those guys are great !


 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
For example, is English as it spoken in the South today similar to what was spoken during the Civil War?
Very similar.

Some of the elderly (80 to 90 years olds) sound almost identical to the videos Rusk County posted.

While the "Southern drawl" will probably never completely disappear, it seems to be not as strong in the younger generations.
But that's an over simplified assessment on my part.

A lot of factors influence a modern Southern accent.
 

Cavalier

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Old time Baltimore people will tell you that different neighborhoods had different accents. There was a little of that left when I first came here 50+ years ago. South Baltimore, Highlandtown, Hampden, Pig Town, all sounded a little different. Even in the 1980s there was the classic Baltimore Christmas Carol, "Take A Walk Down Dundalk".

I seldom hear them anymore, but after living here so long they are all music to my ears ........Hon.

John
 

rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Location
Kent ,England.
You are correct !

That is exactly how we sound to most people unfamiliar with our dialect.

For anyone interested, that translates into:
"I am about to visit my Mother and others that may be at her house"

"Mama 'nems" translates into:
( Mother and them)

" I'm fin" translates into :
(I'm fixing)

But I covered the Deep South verb "fixing" earlier.

:smile coffee:
The addition of "and them" is very interesting to me, as that is exactly what my maternal Grandmother and my mother said! Born and bred in Buckinghamshire , England.
 

lurid

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Watch out now !

:bounce:

"Fixing" is the most common verb down here.
(Actually pronounced ficks'n)

More importantly anything about our Mama is sacred !

But as you're married to a Southern girl, you knew that .


:smile coffee:

Thanks for the southern linguistics lesson, I know all about it but I'm too orthodox to even bring myself to even type that unorthodox jargon. I know that mama is sacred, her 15 phone calls everyday are a leading indicator that she is revered above what is normal :smile:.

Real down home Southerners do not talk like that!!!
They would say: "I'm fin' to go to Mama 'nems."

And they use three exclamation marks like they are a middle school kid writing a 100 word essay trying to meet the word count and simultaneously trying to convince people how strongly they really feel about a topic. Like I said, I tried to expunge all that hillbilly/honky-tonk from her accent, it must of have worked somewhat. Thank God.
 
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