I was recently out on a date with a girl who wasn’t from Boston. As we were walking I was wooing her with one of my hilarious stories, of which I have many, and she just started laughing out of nowhere. Usually not that weird, but I hadn’t even got to the funny part.
“You talk so Boston!” she said through bursts of laughter, and it made me pause for a second. Having a Boston accent can be such a hassle sometimes…
I grew up in Southie (South Boston for you new people) so I never knew my accent was that bad. Everyone around me said things like “Guy, what are we doing later?” or “I dont wanna walk to Broadway, thats a fuckin’ troop”. It wasn’t til I got to high school in Newton, that I realized I sounded a lot different from every one else. Most of the students there were from Waltham, Randolph, and parts of Boston that didn’t have the accent as bad. I came walking in on the first day talking like I was a goddamn Kennedy. If I recall correctly, I only made it to the second class of my first day before the whole room laughed at how I pronounced something. My accent made me different and that was now very apparent. But enough about my scarred adolescence, we can cover that in another article.
Think about what people associate with Boston natives. We can be seen as assholes, overly proud, and kind of dumb. I know that’s not true, but it’s sort of the mold people from outside expect us to fit. Have you ever tried to hold an intelligent conversation with someone when all they can hear is you dropping R’s? It’s hard as shit. Once they hear it they assume you know everyone in your neighborhood and drive like a psychopath. You have to make a good point, and hope they can hear what you say and not how you say it.
In a city like Boston that has a high turnover rate of people, due to colleges and influx of jobs, we have a very large number of people living in the city who weren’t born even in the state. So that’s a lot of people asking you to park your car in Harvard yard (‘and give the man a couple quarters worth of oranges’ as my grandmother would add). Boston accents set us apart from all the other people we encounter in our fair city. For example, this is an actual conversation my brother and I had with a server at a bar not too long ago:
Me: Excuse me can I get another round please?
Server: Yeah of course. Hey are you guys from Boston?
*Me and my brother look at each other and turn up the accent a bit*
Brother: Yeah we are, we live right up the street. We’re brothers
Server: Oh My God, like in Good Will Hunting?!
Me: Yup just like that…
I don’t know if she realized that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck weren’t related in that movie, or maybe she was referring to Casey and Ben Affleck. Guess we’ll never know…
I don’t want to seem like I’m complaining here too much. I can’t even tell you how many times this accent has come in handy. Meet a pretty girl and she mentions she’s from Oregon or wherever? Turn up the accent, cause some girls like it. Get approached at night at Castle Island by a Statie about what you’re doing? Keep calling him ‘Trooper’ in your best accent while remaining very polite and he won’t give you shit, usually. It’s little things like these that add a little fun to the situation. When in doubt, drop the hell outta those R’s.
In conclusion, having the accent can be a pain in the ass, but then again it’s a part of our identity. Anyone who had a Hoodsie during field day, knows what a nice pair of dungarees are, or knows that the best place to watch TV is usually the parlor, you get what I’m saying. We may catch shit from time to time but would you really change it if you could? Didn’t think so…
P.S. If you want to learn how to do an accent, for the love of God don’t learn it from WikiHow