November 12, 2008

Philly Speak


"Can I have some wuter?"

"What did you say?" I snapped.

My daughter repeated her request and, as she did, I covered my hand in horror. There was no mistake; my five year-old was acquiring a Philly accent.

The seriousness of the matter justified a frantic phone call to my husband at work. He was not moved by request to hire a speech therapist, even when I told him that his daughter was turning into a Guido.

My husband enjoyed talking about the subject so much that he suggested that we brainstorm possible solutions to this serious problem over the phone. I proposed that all of our children wear earplugs in high risk places like the train station, the deli, and at school. Tim proposed that I find something more substantial to worry about.

23 comments

Aunt MeMe/Mindy said...

Oh my gosh! that is so funny! While we are not at risk of a Philly accent, I have noticed that my children will occasionally speak with a slight Southern accent that I fought really hard to lose when I was in High School (not good to move to Northern Wisconsin with a Southern Accent...) I think that you will be fighting a losing battle on this one. Accents are so easy to pick up! Maybe start speaking with an accent you like and see if they pick that one up! It is worth a shot! Enjoy that......

Christina said...

After living my whole life in Wisconsin my kids and I followed my husbands job to the south. Oh, how I get teased when my kids and their very slight southern accents home to Wisconsin for a visit. I tease them back, though! Their northern accents have never stood out to me more!

Rachel said...

I remember the teasing I got when I moved from Wisconsin to Florida.
My daughter visits her dad in Florida all summer now, and when she gets home I have to beat the southern accent out of her.

HW said...

When our British friends returned to London after their two year stint here, they said yes, they would miss us but they couldn't wait to purge their son of the American accent he had acquired.

And here I thought THEY talked funny.

Untypically Jia said...

*dies* Oh that's too funny! And you used a picture of Cee! *Giggles* I love it!

Likes Chocolate said...

Good Luck! We live in the south and our middle one has picked up the lingo. Even worse, was this summer when we were in Switzerland our children started speaking German with a Swiss accent. This is the equivelant to speaking southern for my husband who is from Germany.

Liz said...

The saying goes, you can take a girl out of Philly, but you can't the the Philly out of the girl!
;)
My friends tease me being born and raise in the south... I actually don't have a 'southern' accent at all. They say it's b/c my parents are both yankees and I'm in disguise!
My mother has lived here since she was 18 and she still "warshes" clothes and drinks "cauffee"! LOL

Laura said...

I try to avoid using the word "water" in this here, land of the brave. It's just one of the many words that is never understood when I say it AND there's no alternative. I say, make up an alternate word and have all your kids saying it. It'll spread like wildfire. Just make sure there's no 't' or 'r' in it and I'll thank you ;)

The Mommy said...

Oh, dear. I would say just be glad you chose that side of the state and not the Pittsburgh side. If you think wurter is bad, just thank your lucky stars your children will likely never say "yinz" or "dahntahn" or "an 'at". Seriously.

Lara said...

Awww...my grandmother was from Philadelphia, and I adored her accent. I loved the way she said my name, and then my husband's name. My favorite word to hear her say was "orchestra."

But I am sorry if this is something you did not want for your children. Good luck. :)

Mrs. B said...

Oh dear....amazing how easily kids pick up accents. My hubby & I are from up north, but our two youngest were born & are being raised in the south. At the ripe ol' age of 4, my dd says "I want to go down stay-yairs" and the likes. Our 3yr son (as well) has now made a habit of making a bunch of ONE syllable words into 2 syllable "southern drawls". Drives my hubby batty!!

Malea said...

One of my favorites was my girlfriend from Jersey. We were out to lunch when she asked for some wuter. "excuse me?" the waiter said, "wuter, it's wet ya drink it, yuhgot wuter here right?"

gabersgamma said...

Too bad you didn't name one of your kids AAAdriennnnnne !!!!!!!!

The Millhouse Family said...

The solution is picking an accent that is more interesting than the one they hear everyday. To avoid my daughter having the southern accent - I spoke with a British one. My daughter was so intrigued she picked that one up instead. lol It was pretty funny.

utmomof5 said...

Hee Hee that is funny :) I cringe when my kids bust out in Utah talk. I always make them say it again correctly!!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

LOVE the picture. Ay, chihuahua. :)

We moved from North Carolina JUST in time according to my husband. I think the accents are cute.

Blog Buddy said...

My husband grew up in Maine and had such a thick east coast accent- I thought he was from another country!
Now that we've been in Utah for decades...he's learned how to say his "R'S". (AHHHHH"S)

Nikki said...

Oh - too funny! Of course, nothing beats the "ya'll" in the middle of family prayers...happens all the time in "this here" family - we're Georgians thru and thru!

how's little Cameron "doin'"? ;)

Donna said...

I like your blog a lot and had to start following it when I saw that you live in Philadelphia. Not too long ago I spent four wonderful years of my life there as an undergrad at Penn, and I miss the city! I have friends with the Philly accent, and I think it's kind of cute. It doesn't seem nearly as heavy as the Boston accent, which most of my family has big-time!

tifferbob said...

I still can't shake the Southern slang I picked-up while living in Mississippi for three years and I'm thirty-two. She may have no hope.

chococatania said...

i've just moved to AZ from PA, and I can't seem to stop saying:
Wooder
Elastics
Pocketbook

thank goodness we're totally landlocked because I'm sure people would be puzzled if I'd say, "down the shore..."

c.ken said...

Ask my mom why we moved north of the Mason Dixon line when I turned 4. She still talks about the day I ran to tell her about the "bay-er" on tv with a Southern accent I picked up from my pre-school teacher.

Sheryl said...

You'll probably never see this comment, as it is on an old story. Years ago when we had moved to Texas for 2 years our 5 year old daughter came out one night and she said, "Maaamaaaa, Kin you bruuush ma haaar'?" I turned to my husband and said, "Oh, we've got to get out of this state!"