Tag Archives: Canadian Accents

Canadian and American /T/

I recently read Alice Munro‘s famous short story collection Dear Life, my interest piqued after the Canadian writer’s recent Nobel Prize win. I enjoy watching interviews with authors I’m reading, so I looked up several with Munro on YouTube. I … Continue reading


Posted in American English | Tagged | 16 Comments

When Americans Imitate Canadians

Last weekend’s Saturday Night Live featured, naturally, a Rob Ford sketch. As SNL has (I believe) no Canadian cast members currently, American actors Bobby Moynihan and Taran Killam played Ford and a CBC interviewer, respectively. (What might Dan Aykroyd have done with Ford … Continue reading


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 46 Comments

“Orphan Black’s” House of Dialect Mirrors

I’ve recently been watching Orphan Black, BBC America’s sci-fi mystery about human clones. For reference, here is the guns-sex-and-intrigue-laden preview: The show admittedly has its silly moments, but its lead actor makes up for these. Not only does one woman (Tatiana Maslany) … Continue reading


Posted in American English | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

Yes, Canada has Regional Dialects

On a train to Canada several months back, I overheard a young man scolding his American companion with the following: ‘Listen. Canada has different accents. Alberta has an accent. Toronto has an accent. We don’t all talk alike.’ I’ve received … Continue reading


Posted in American English | Tagged , , | 35 Comments

Canadian Vowels vs. California Vowels

Canadians and Californians share more than a few passing similarities, speech-wise. After all, it didn’t take much suspension of disbelief to buy Canadian Keanu Reeves as a Valley native in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. (L.A. natives would probably disagree … Continue reading


Posted in American English | Tagged , , , | 36 Comments


Can you get a feel for the local dialect of a city just by visiting there? The answer varies by city. There are towns like London or Liverpool where the accent is so pervasive that it would be hard to … Continue reading


Posted in American English | Tagged | 22 Comments

I’m Hoarably Sorey

Canadians (or those familiar with the Canadian accent), may recognize the weak pun in today’s title: ‘I’m horribly sorry‘ can sound to someone from the UK or elsewhere a bit like ‘I’m hoarably sorey.’ (I’m using ‘hoar’ to be family friendly; … Continue reading


Posted in American English | Tagged , , , | 39 Comments

Accents or Dialects I Haven’t Heard

A question I get asked a lot (as anyone with a passion for accents and dialects is probably asked) is whether there are any varieties of English I haven’t heard. There’s no easy answer, of course, since accents aren’t clearly defined … Continue reading


Posted in Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments

How Non-Rhotic Accents Become Rhotic

While we’re on the topic of rhotic and non-rhotic accents, I’ll address a frequently asked question:  why do non-rhotic accents switch so quickly to rhotic?  And vice versa? Since World War Two, both the US and Britain have experienced massive … Continue reading


Posted in English Phonetics | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

The Accent(s) of the Pacific Northwest

I’m moving to the Pacific Northwest in about six weeks.  I will soon be able to participate in a hotly debated topic: is there such a thing as a Pacific Northwest accent?  And if there is, what does it sound like? … Continue reading


Posted in American English | Tagged , | 44 Comments