My Okie Accent

People’s accents have always fascinated me; the nasally intonations of the Northerners, the charmingly sweet, slow drawls of the Southerners.  I find it so intriguing that states, not just regions, have accents unique to them.  Massachusetts is famous for omitting the “r” sound at the end of words like ‘pahk ya cah ovah there’.  Lousianans have a charming yet gruff sound, and those Jersey Boys (and Girls) have loud, obnoxious manner of speaking that I don’t know if I could take much of it.

Even in Oklahoma the accents vary by the part of the state you live and whether or not you live in a city, a small town, or in the country.

When we moved to Cushing, people were always asking me if I was from Texas.  “No,” I answered, almost offended.  “Why would you even ask me that?”  Apparently my southern Oklahoma accent was different to their’s.  After living away from the Ponotoc and Garvin counties for almost 15 years, the accents are very pronounced to me.  Recently, I visited my mom and dad and went to a little league basket ball game to watch my nephew.  Most of the teams were compromised of children from Latta, and Byng.  Almost every four or five year old boy on both teams were called “Bubba”, and I heard conversations similar to this:

“His daddy callt me an’ wunted me to bring  extruh pants fo’ him.  I guez he done forgot ’em in his ba-ug”

“Didjcha take ’em ovahthur?  Gurl, I got so much warshin’ to do.  We don’t haf a thang to wahr.  I wudn’t haf ty-em to take ’em ovahthur.”

“Welp, I did.  Hey didjcha see ahr picture on Facebook with him holdin’ that deer?”

That pretty much sums it up.  I have even noticed my mom and dad using “ahr” for our and they are educated people who have always spoken well. Have they always said it that way?  And, goodness no!, do I sound like that?

And have you ever noticed how different people from the city or Tulsa sound? Unlike the rest of my family, my cousins grew up in Edmond. They had a little higher pitched voices and pronounced words somehow differently than the rest of us cousins.  I wonder if we sounded like to them?

I was buying my Madonna concert t-shirt when two young men said, “Your accent is so cute!”  I was surprised.  I don’t have an accent.  But they were from Canada and thought everyone had a “cute” accent in Oklahoma.


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