BHB’s Heather Quinlan on the Brooklyn Accent

Heather gives her spiel on the local lingo, with videos, at Union Hall in Park slope last Tuesday night. Video after the jump.

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  • AEB

    Excellent, Heathah! Particularly like the audience’s pleasure-in-recognition of local accents.

    One thing–I never hear of the role of dentalization in the New York accent. You know, the confusion of t’s and d’s, as in, pronouncing “doll” as “tzoll,” which a grandmother of mine always used to do. Maybe I’ve got the term wrong….

  • bornhere

    Wow, AEB! I heard the term used DECADES (!!) ago by a classmate — we were probably 10 years old — in describing a type of Brooklynese in which the final “t” of a word is pronounced as “tz” or “ts.” Very ballpark with what you recall. (And very hard to mimic!)

  • AEB, born, “Don’t talk about it” it becomes “Tzon’t tawk aboud itz,” right?

    I have a feeling we’re in the land of Yiddish-derived New Yawkese, if my forbears speech was any indication…

  • AL

    Good job, Heather and thanks, Claude. I now don’t feel so bad about not being able to make the trek from BH to Union Hall.

  • nabeguy

    Ya wanna taste o’ Brooklyn? I got fitty-for years a it right heah.

    Given how ethnically diverse our fair borough is, it really is impossible to accurately nail down what constitutes a “true” home-grown accent. Only the polyglots know Brooklyn.

  • Claude Scales

    In law school, I took a course called Law of International Transactions and Relations. There were lots of foreign students in the class, and seated to my left was a woman from Far Rockaway, though I’d guess her parents moved there from Brooklyn. Her speech was characterized by what I’ve read referred to as “explosive consonants”. For the first few weeks of class, whenever a foreign student spoke, she would say something to me like, “Moy, Doesn’T he have an inTeresTin G’yaccenT? Where D’you supPose he’s from?”

  • TS McGee

    Well done Heather Q!!

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    That was very funny stuff. All you need is to lengthen it a bit and you got an Off-Broadway hit. Enjoyed it immensely.

    I’m serious, you got to take that presentation on the road across the tri-state area. It was funny. It felt good to laugh out loud. Thanks.

  • Heather Quinlan

    Good evening Ladies and Germs, I’m glad you all liked. I should take this show on the road …

  • Demonter

    If These Knishes Could Talk has all the makings of a hit show. Heather, get a big time Manhattan agent to represent you… forget about it!