Massachusetts Slang is So Misunderstood and It’s Not About Harvard Yard
Quite a few years ago, I was in a Boston cab with a country music artist, and the reaction to each other's accents was quite comical.
The Boston cabbie was telling this Southern star about going to a bar called "Clocks", but the country guy thought he was talking about a time piece. Turns out the cabbie was talking about "Clarks", for late night cocktails.
Meanwhile, the Southern drawl coming out of the mouth of the country artist was almost impossible to decipher for the born-and-bred Bostonian, especially all of those "y'alls".
The point is, accents are a funny thing. Yes, we all speak English, but as with most countries, every region has a different dialect and slang. It's no different in America, but a recent report from Preply.com says that Massachusetts slang is one of the more difficult to understand.
For instance, if I said "I'm going to the packie for beer", that would mean you are going to the package store (where you buy alcohol). Who else says "packie"?
The study found that almost 50% of the respondents could not understand phrases and words from the Bay State, which of course includes the Boston area. The dropping of the "R's" doesn't help, but it's more about the phrases.
Phrases like "Dunks", "The T", and "The Pike" are solely local terms, but most people adapt to them quickly.
Don't you hate when people say assume a Boston accent by saying, "I pahked my cah at Hahvahd Yahd"? That phrase drives me bonkers. Nobody says that in Beantown.
While "tonic" may be the same as "soda", people from Massachusetts like to keep the rest of the world guessing, so it's fine if some folks can't understand us.
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