Discussion Examples Of Regional Dialects During The Civil War?

Will Carry

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 1, 2015
Location
The Tar Heel State.
At one time in the Tar Heel state, you could tell those Johnson County girls by their accents. The folks down in Lumberton would say "bike" when they meant "back". "Ikes" when they meant "ax". When I went down to Mobile Alabama my aunts talked in such an exaggerated accent that I thought they were making fun of me. They would say "Well you go down Airport Blvd and turn right" but it would sound like "Way el, you jest drive down Aya Powate Boo lav odd and tun rat." It was beautiful! My wife left Narrows Virginia to go to Fordham Law in NYC. She said "The first thing I did was loose the Southern accent." "I wanted people to take me seriously and not think I was some hick from the South" When many non-southerners hear my accent and see that I am white, they think I am a GD racist. A co-worker from Connecticut and I were talking about that lady who climbed the flag pole and took down the CBF in South Carolina I said. "I have never seen anyone who flew the CBF that wasn't a racist." He said "YEAH! those (racial slur) are going too far. I'm thinking about buying me one of them flags and flying it." My jaw hit the floor and I said "You didn't hear a word I said!"


These wonderful local dialects are being wash out of existence. Like the old South.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
Here's a reaction video that is 100% accurate regarding modern Southern dialects.
Although specific to the Ladies, it is "spot on" from the Carolinas to Texas and from Tenneessee to the Gulf Coast.

WARNING

THIS IS A PG-13 VIDEO ( includes "off color" but typically used words and phrases)
But I've heard much worse on commercial network programs.

I hope ya'll enjoy.
Yes, I purposely said "Ya'll " :bounce:





 

Cycom

Private
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Location
Los Angeles, California
Here's a reaction video that is 100% accurate regarding modern Southern dialects.
Although specific to the Ladies, it is "spot on" from the Carolinas to Texas and from Tenneessee to the Gulf Coast.

WARNING

THIS IS A PG-13 VIDEO ( includes "off color" but typically used words and phrases)
But I've heard much worse on commercial network programs.

I hope ya'll enjoy.
Yes, I purposely said "Ya'll " :bounce:

I’ve said it before: you Southerners have the best accents, and the prettiest ladies (except for my wife lol).

Seriously though, it’s so pleasant sounding.
 

dgfred

Private
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Haha... men can do that with cussing. On my (N.C.) small college baseball team we had guys from Delaware, Rhode Island, NY, Fla with most others from N.C.

Took a bunch of beer and baseball practice to get used to our NC accents. It was funny when a pitcher from Manteo told our Rhode Island batter he was going to throw his 'high rissor'... the RI guy said what is that? I was catching and I laughed and told him 'fastball'.
 

John Winn

Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
Interesting thread.

Something I heard as a child in south Georgia (might have been common to other areas, too) is a pronunciation of the word here that sounds something like hyeah with some emphasis on the hy part. So uncle Bob might have directed you to "put that ovah hyeah." For some reason I always liked the sound; haven't heard anybody say that in many decades now.
 

Zack

Corporal
Joined
Aug 20, 2017
Location
Los Angeles, California
Not modern samples of period accents, but....

I think a classic example of this would be Abraham Lincoln himself. Everyone assumes that he had a deep voice because he was so tall. But he actually had a Midwestern accent. I think Daniel Day Lewis did an excellent job recreating Lincoln's midwestern accent in Spielberg's movie.


To that end, I think Daniel Day Lewis also did a good job with the "New York" accent in Gangs of New York. Spoiler warning.

 

Zack

Corporal
Joined
Aug 20, 2017
Location
Los Angeles, California
A very interesting read on accents. Basically, certain aspects of the modern American accent may more closely reflect a 17th or 18th Century British accent than modern British does. It's complex and interesting.

To quote the opening:

It makes for a great story: when settlers moved from England to the Americas from the 17th Century, their speech patterns stuck in place. That was particularly true in more isolated parts of the US, such as on islands and in mountains. As a result, the theory goes, some Americans speak English with an accent more akin to Shakespeare’s than to modern-day Brits.

That’s not entirely right. The real picture is more complicated.

One feature of most American English is what linguists call ‘rhoticity’, or the pronunciation of ‘r’ in words like ‘card’ and ‘water’. It turns out that Brits in the 1600s, like modern-day Americans, largely pronounced all their Rs. Marisa Brook researches language variation at Canada’s University of Victoria. “Many of those immigrants came from parts of the British Isles where non-rhoticity hadn’t yet spread,” she says of the early colonists. “The change towards standard non-rhoticity in southern England was just beginning at the time the colonies became the United States.”

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20180207-how-americans-preserved-british-english
 

Cycom

Private
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Location
Los Angeles, California
A very interesting read on accents. Basically, certain aspects of the modern American accent may more closely reflect a 17th or 18th Century British accent than modern British does. It's complex and interesting.

To quote the opening:

It makes for a great story: when settlers moved from England to the Americas from the 17th Century, their speech patterns stuck in place. That was particularly true in more isolated parts of the US, such as on islands and in mountains. As a result, the theory goes, some Americans speak English with an accent more akin to Shakespeare’s than to modern-day Brits.

That’s not entirely right. The real picture is more complicated.

One feature of most American English is what linguists call ‘rhoticity’, or the pronunciation of ‘r’ in words like ‘card’ and ‘water’. It turns out that Brits in the 1600s, like modern-day Americans, largely pronounced all their Rs. Marisa Brook researches language variation at Canada’s University of Victoria. “Many of those immigrants came from parts of the British Isles where non-rhoticity hadn’t yet spread,” she says of the early colonists. “The change towards standard non-rhoticity in southern England was just beginning at the time the colonies became the United States.”

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20180207-how-americans-preserved-british-english
Very interesting, thank you.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
I assume it’s similar to a working class Brit changing their accent to a posh one?
Identical situation !

:bounce:

Actually it was amusing to watch a few of my employees try to change accents when high ranking government officials would visit our office.

When doing so, this attracted even more attention to them.

But they honestly meant well.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
I assume it’s similar to a working class Brit changing their accent to a posh one?

It's ironic you should mention that example.

A couple of days ago, I was watching another accent video about the different UK accents.

A few guys from the South of England said almost the same about folks in Manchester attempting to speak like the Queen,
if the Royals were visiting in that area.

My guess is that such practice is a probably a common reaction in many nations.

Down here, many Southerners might move to the opposite direction.
( and break into redneck dialect that few can understand)

"git awt a' heer nahw, ba'fer ya git hirt"

Translation :
(Get out of here now, before you get hurt)

They would never do anything to "hurt" someone (99.9 % of the time), but that phrase has had an effective impact on a few obnoxious Yankees that had drank way too much.

:laugh:
 
Last edited:

Cycom

Private
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Location
Los Angeles, California
It's ironic you should mention that example.

A couple of days ago, I was watching another accent video about the different UK accents.

A few guys from the South of England said almost the same thing about folks in Manchester attempting to speak like the Queen,
if the Royals were visiting in that area.

My guess is that such practice is a probably a common reaction in many nations.

Down here, many Southerners might move to the opposite direction.
( and break into redneck dialect that few can understand)

Just to say . . ."git awt uv heer nahw, ba'fer ya git hirt"

Translation :
(Get out of here now, before you get hurt)

:laugh:
me trying to have a conversation with someone who speaks in this manner:

1617755350416.gif
 

Biscoitos

Corporal
Joined
May 14, 2020
A very interesting read on accents. Basically, certain aspects of the modern American accent may more closely reflect a 17th or 18th Century British accent than modern British does. It's complex and interesting.

To quote the opening:

It makes for a great story: when settlers moved from England to the Americas from the 17th Century, their speech patterns stuck in place. That was particularly true in more isolated parts of the US, such as on islands and in mountains. As a result, the theory goes, some Americans speak English with an accent more akin to Shakespeare’s than to modern-day Brits.

That’s not entirely right. The real picture is more complicated.

One feature of most American English is what linguists call ‘rhoticity’, or the pronunciation of ‘r’ in words like ‘card’ and ‘water’. It turns out that Brits in the 1600s, like modern-day Americans, largely pronounced all their Rs. Marisa Brook researches language variation at Canada’s University of Victoria. “Many of those immigrants came from parts of the British Isles where non-rhoticity hadn’t yet spread,” she says of the early colonists. “The change towards standard non-rhoticity in southern England was just beginning at the time the colonies became the United States.”

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20180207-how-americans-preserved-british-english
Thank you for a great post.
There's nothing like hearing from someone who speaks from knowledge.

Please allow me to add the following to this discussion.

Albion's Seed by David H. Fischer is the account of the four distinct migrations from England to North America.
These four migrations came from different cultural areas, with multiple differences between them. They arrived at different parts of America at different times, bringing their own traditions.
It must also be remembered that the climate, native plants and animals, nature of the soil (which with climate determines what crops can be grown) and other factors shaped the lives, economy and traditions of English immigrants.
I am just pointing out that the diversity in food preferences, religion, economics, and more, as well as language, in the US and Canada is a fascinating and complex subject. It is not one dimensional.
 

Cdoug96

Corporal
Joined
Dec 22, 2016
Location
Michigan, United States
I have a friend from Raleigh North Carolina who could pass as southern counties English. I worked with an Anglo Indian guy who had the most beautiful Welsh intonation , never went there in his life and no connections.
There are inhabitants of Northern Japan who can understand and be understood by older Basque people, similarly for some in Wales. Go figure. The spoken language is truly wonderful .
I once mistook a kid from Georgia as being from somewhere in England because he sounded very similar to a friend of mine from the London area. Even better, I asked him where in England he was from. He was trying very hard not to laugh at the Yankee.
 

Peace Society

Corporal
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Location
Ark Mo line
In college, I was taken under wing by an older student who worked on me continually to get me to say wash instead of warsh, which I presumably got from my parents, who grew up in Little Rock. Not sure it helped, but at least I am aware when I'm using regional words and intonations.
 

Si Klegg

Corporal
Joined
Jul 13, 2018
Location
Bedford UK
I once mistook a kid from Georgia as being from somewhere in England because he sounded very similar to a friend of mine from the London area. Even better, I asked him where in England he was from. He was trying very hard not to laugh at the Yankee.
My friend and I were mistaken for Australians in Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia back on a tour of the western battlefields in the early 90's, not long after Paul Hogan became a big thing in the USA with his Crocodile Dundee movies and Talk Show appearances. We both had strong London accents at the time, though not Cockneys in the strict sense of the word.
 
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