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January 22, 2008

Do you speak Aussi?

Watching the Australian Open for the past week I've grown fond of the native pronunciation.

My phonetic dictionary to date:

Deuce — say "Juice"

Melbourne — say "Melbun"

Canberra — say "Canbruh"

No worries.

January 22, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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Oh, yeah, I forgot that truly strange Charleston/Savannah thing where they pronouce "cloud" as "Clyde" and "right" as "rate." And to further distinguish the Hillbilly/Hick sound from the Mint Julep drawl:

Hick: Aunt = "Ain't"
Julep: Aunt = "Aye-uhnt"

Hick: Hair = "Hahr"
Julep: Hair = "High-ah"

Hick: Ass = "Ace"
Julep: Ass = "Eye-uss"

Hick: Get = "Git"
Julep: Get = "Gay-uht"

That ought to do it.

Posted by: Flautist | Jan 23, 2008 8:54:49 PM

Fair enough, Daniel.
But how DID you find out about that elevator incident? Hogan swore he wouldn't say a word.

As redemption of sorts, here's something I actually DO know something about: How to speak that weird southern accent that you don't hear much anymore (thank God) -- Plantation Southern, or "old south magnolias & moss on the live oaks" or something like that. You won't ever need it, but you could trot it out as a bizarre "talent" -- like yodeling or moving both eyeballs outward at the same time -- at a really dull cocktail party, maybe. (I personally do not speak with this accent; I have the standard suburban hillbilly thing, but I'm handy with accents, so every now and then I use it on the phone or something, just to keep sharp. You never know.) So:

I -- This is difficult. It's not "ah" and it's not "eh" -- it's kind of like the beginning of a sneeze; the "ah" before the "choo." NEVER "eye."

You -- "Yeeew"

Us -- "Uuuuuuuhhs"

Coffee -- "Kaw-feh"

Now -- "Nye-uh"

Our Earth -- "Ow-uh Oith"

Bird -- "Burr-eed" (This is tricky; it's not "boid" like you might hear in NYC, but kind of close.)

Father -- "Faaaw-thuh"

Damn -- "Dye-umm"
Down -- "Dye-unn"

Shit -- "Shee-uht" (Accent on the "shee," not the "uht"; that would be plain old hick.)

That -- "Thy-yat"

Library -- "Lye-breh"

Man -- "Mayan"

Woman -- "Woe-munn"

All -- "Owl"

And that ought to do it. You can extrapolate from there, Rhett.

Posted by: Flautist | Jan 23, 2008 5:21:23 PM

Flautist appears to have spent some time trapped in a lift with a New Zealander, a South African, and Paul Hogan.

To be fair, you really can still find people with the classic teeth-clenched-against-the-flies Aussie accent (in which the word "Australian" is, famously, pronounced "Strine") if you head out into the bush. But even then the "Ellegaydah" stuff is still out there in South-Park-doing-Steve-Irwin territory. Not least because Australia doesn't have any alligators!

(We have crocodiles. But the prawns are bigger.)

Posted by: Daniel Rutter | Jan 23, 2008 12:07:51 PM

All a load of dingoe's kidneys, mate.

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Jan 22, 2008 7:19:23 PM

No -- "Now"

Yes -- "Yis"

Poke -- "Pike"

Better -- "Bittah"

Alligator -- "Ellagaydah"

Pants -- "Pence"

Posted by: Flautist | Jan 22, 2008 3:05:15 PM

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