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The English accent...how popular (if at all) is it in the US?

View Poll Results: How popular is the English accent?
Extremely popular
36.17%
Very popular
29.79%
Fairly popular
19.15%
Popular among a fair few, but most don't care
12.77%
Very few like it
0
0%
I've never met anybody who likes it
0
0%
I've never been to the US
2.13%
Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

The English accent...how popular (if at all) is it in the US?

Old Jul 18th 2013, 11:34 am
  #1  
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Default The English accent...how popular (if at all) is it in the US?

In Australia and New Zealand the English population is around 5%, so having an English accent is hardly novelty. However, the stats tell me that in the USA it is well under 1%, perhaps as low as 0.2% if I did my homework right. So how much popular is it? In the next 18 months I am thinking of doing a three month tour of the USA with a friend. Is it good for meeting people (i.e., strike up conversations with strangers) and good with girls?! Or is the English accent (and I am aware of its variations) not of much interest to most Americans? I am guessing there are going to be regional differences (i.e., it will be less of a novelty in NYC)
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 11:49 am
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Default Re: The English accent...how popular (if at all) is it in the US?

My accent gets comments frequently, invariably positive, 90% from women, and this was true even when I lived in NewYork, that said, it gets more attention since I moved down south. If I had known how popular it was I would have been vacationing here regularly long before I met Mrs P.

A good friend of mine toured through Tennessee and found girls gave him a lot of attention, and he is no looker.

And an accent alone isn't sufficient, you'd better have something funny or interesting to say, otherwise you're going to have some short conversations.

The figures on percentage of Brits is likely misleading because some lose their accent very quickly. Mine hasn't changed much since I came here 12 years ago, nor indeed since I was eight years old!
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 12:09 pm
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Default Re: The English accent...how popular (if at all) is it in the US?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
you're going to have some short conversations.
Research from the 1970s indicates any young attractive American woman will opt for sex with an Englishman just on the basis of accent, after a very short conversation. As the decades have gone by, this is no longer true, not sure what has changed.
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 12:41 pm
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Default Re: The English accent...how popular (if at all) is it in the US?

An accent will get the ball rolling, I guess its my job to think of something to say that's interesting before the ball stops. I'd like to think I am reasonably attractive and interesting (then again most people do) so I am more than happy to put this to the test.
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 12:42 pm
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Default Re: The English accent...how popular (if at all) is it in the US?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
The figures on percentage of Brits is likely misleading because some lose their accent very quickly. Mine hasn't changed much since I came here 12 years ago, nor indeed since I was eight years old!
True, although this may be cancelled out by tourists.
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 12:45 pm
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Default Re: The English accent...how popular (if at all) is it in the US?

Originally Posted by Liberal Scott View Post
True, although this may be cancelled out by tourists. ....
..... Who are almost entirely confined to the greater Orlando area of Florida, plus a few "city breakers" in New York.
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 1:07 pm
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Default Re: The English accent...how popular (if at all) is it in the US?

Walking through Walmart in the Deep South, in a small town where there are very few Immigrants, my accent immediately draws attention.

Every time.

Literally when I speak 3 or 4 pairs of eyes are drawn in my direction - usually shortly followed by at least one rendition of the question 'Are you from Ennnnnnggggerland?'
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 1:17 pm
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Default Re: The English accent...how popular (if at all) is it in the US?

My English in-laws recently visited some people they had gotten along with on a cruise from a few years ago-this couple has come to England to visit them once. These people live in Michigan. One of their college-educated relatives came over for dinner one night and was talking passionately about golf--he's an enthusiasist (sp?) and had a golf scholarship, etc. So you would think he would have some knowledge of the Ryder Cup. So during the dinner conversation, my mother-in-law asked him "Have you been following the Ryder Cup?". She'd get a blank stare from him. She tried again, slower this time. She waited a bit and my father-in-law asked the question with her. Blank stares. One of the dinner guests finally said, "I'm sorry; we can't understand anything you're both saying.". My m-i-l, "RYDER CUP!". Nothing. Then, "we can't understand you, but the way you speak sounds lovely". I was in tears from laughter when she told me this. This woman is not a Geordie or someone with a brogue, which I could understand someone having difficulty with.

My husband had a problem like that when he first got here. People would be nodding their heads, saying yeah and oh and it would turn out that they hadn't understood a word. The longest conversation that this happened with was when my mom and her friend were driving him from Charleston to Charlotte (about a 3 hour drive) and the friend confessed after they dropped him off that she hadn't understood him, but wasn't his speech melodic?!! So, tread carefully, the girls may not understand what you're saying.
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 1:21 pm
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Default Re: The English accent...how popular (if at all) is it in the US?

Originally Posted by Married2abrit View Post
My English in-laws recently visited some people they had gotten along with on a cruise from a few years ago-this couple has come to England to visit them once. These people live in Michigan. One of their college-educated relatives came over for dinner one night and was talking passionately about golf--he's an enthusiasist (sp?) and had a golf scholarship, etc. So you would think he would have some knowledge of the Ryder Cup. So during the dinner conversation, my mother-in-law asked him "Have you been following the Ryder Cup?". She'd get a blank stare from him. She tried again, slower this time. She waited a bit and my father-in-law asked the question with her. Blank stares. One of the dinner guests finally said, "I'm sorry; we can't understand anything you're both saying.". My m-i-l, "RYDER CUP!". Nothing. Then, "we can't understand you, but the way you speak sounds lovely". I was in tears from laughter when she told me this. This woman is not a Geordie or someone with a brogue, which I could understand someone having difficulty with.

My husband had a problem like that when he first got here. People would be nodding their heads, saying yeah and oh and it would turn out that they hadn't understood a word. The longest conversation that this happened with was when my mom and her friend were driving him from Charleston to Charlotte (about a 3 hour drive) and the friend confessed after they dropped him off that she hadn't understood him, but wasn't his speech melodic?!! So, tread carefully, the girls may not understand what you're saying.
Yeah, you need to learn to recognise "accent glaze"!

Tip: speak a little slower, and avoid too many slang words, or ones that aren't trans-Atlantic English.
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 2:34 pm
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Default Re: The English accent...how popular (if at all) is it in the US?

Originally Posted by Liberal Scott View Post
In Australia and New Zealand the English population is around 5%, so having an English accent is hardly novelty. However, the stats tell me that in the USA it is well under 1%, perhaps as low as 0.2% if I did my homework right. So how much popular is it? In the next 18 months I am thinking of doing a three month tour of the USA with a friend. Is it good for meeting people (i.e., strike up conversations with strangers) and good with girls?! Or is the English accent (and I am aware of its variations) not of much interest to most Americans? I am guessing there are going to be regional differences (i.e., it will be less of a novelty in NYC)
When I started this job I was told that an English accent made the speaker sound intelligent! There are a few Brits at the office and we have 2 offices in London so not as if they don't hear the accent all the time. Note that one of the Brits has a strong Yorkshire accent and, I've been told, is almost impossible to understand. He now speaks very slowly!
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: The English accent...how popular (if at all) is it in the US?

In the USA, unless one is an Englishman, an Australian, or a New Zealander, few if any people would know if the accent was English, Australian, or New Zealand.

Regards, JEff
Originally Posted by Liberal Scott View Post
In Australia and New Zealand the English population is around 5%, so having an English accent is hardly novelty.
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 3:22 pm
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Default Re: The English accent...how popular (if at all) is it in the US?

Originally Posted by jeffreyhy View Post
In the USA, unless one is an Englishman, an Australian, or a New Zealander, few if any people would know if the accent was English, Australian, or New Zealand. ....
True, many Brits in the US report being asked frequently if they're Australian. For some reason that is a mystery to me, although my accent draws a comment at least once every couple of weeks, and as often as multiple times the same day, I get asked if I'm Australian maybe 2-3 times a year, so probably less than 5% of the time.
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 3:27 pm
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Default Re: The English accent...how popular (if at all) is it in the US?

They'll just think you're Australian or South African anyway and then not care.
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: The English accent...how popular (if at all) is it in the US?

Back in the 1970's, I hung out with a British guy and the girls would just swoop down on him once they heard his accent. One time we were in a bar and a girl approached him and said "I'm with this guy but as soon as I dump him, I'd like to meet you outside and take you home with me". About a half hour later, he was gone.

He always had gorgeous really nice girls with great personalities but the girl he married was about 6' tall, attractive but not overly attractive, but had a pushy personality. I never understood what he saw in her until I went to his wedding and saw his mother and father. His mother was about 6' tall and brash and his father was about 5' 2" and easy going.
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Old Jul 18th 2013, 3:34 pm
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Default Re: The English accent...how popular (if at all) is it in the US?

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
They'll just think you're Australian or South African anyway and then not care.
No! They ask if I'm British. I don't recall EVER getting into a conversation about my accent without my nationality being mentioned. I'll concede that some, perhaps 20-30%, ask where I'm from, so in those cases there may be uncertainty as to where I'm from.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jul 18th 2013 at 3:52 pm.
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