Is The Boston Accent Dying Out?
Ah yes, the good ole Boston accent, where the letter 'r' doesn't exist and is replaced by the ole faithful 'ah' sound. Massachusetts natives have embraced the famed accent, and I can't tell you how many restaurants and businesses I've passed during my three months in the Bay State that utilize the accent in the spelling of their names.
But is the Boston accent dying out? Is lobstah turning into lobster for more people born and raised in Massachusetts?
According to some Boston-area folks on TikTok, it very well could be. In a conversation started by a video by @ivyleaguehoe, many from the greater Boston area argued over the state of the accent. The original poster, who grew up in Medford, said that in a recent conversation with her younger, GenZ sister, her sister said that she didn't know anyone in her generation with the accent.
"When I went to school, like half the kids had Boston accents," @ivyleaguehoe said in her video. "I didn't have one and I felt kind of weird, like lots of people I knew had them growing up."
So why is it that this woman's younger sister doesn't know anyone her age with the accent? A few people in the comments said it's because she's in a suburb of Boston and not actually in the city, but for the most part, those that commented truly believe Boston's notorious accent is on the downswing, citing the growing number of people in and even around the city who are transplants from other regions of the country.
"It's because it's all transplanted yuppies living around and in Boston who don't have it so their kids don't pick it up," @kellicaitlin2 wrote.
Others pointed out that, as social media continues to expand and people grow up hearing folks from different regions, their own "accents" will become more neutralized.
"All distinct regional accents are dying out," @kira.stenzel wrote. "It's [because] of how connected we now are [with] media. We don't just hear the [people] who live near us."
Another potential reason for the decline of the Boston accent? Some cite changes in blue collar communities to white collar communities across Massachusetts.
"I grew up with a strong accent, but I lost it in high school/college. I think it has a lot to do with class/education," batch25896 wrote. "I would find myself code switching a lot in college and eventually it went away. But when I'm around family for a while (like quarantine) it came back."
So is it true? Is the Boston accent really dying out, especially in communities outside the city and even here on the SouthCoast?