If you’re expecting to hear a Southern accent when you arrive in New Orleans, you’ll likely be surprised to hear something that sounds a little more Brooklyn than Southern Belle. Not all New Orleanians have a thick accent, and some natives might not have much of one at all, but the real New Orleans accent has been so mangled and misrepresented in various media (we’re looking at you, Kevin Costner in JFK!) that people are often unprepared for the weird, wonderful, Brooklyn-via-the-Mississippi-Delta way that many of us actually speak. We call our little dialect Yat, as in Where y’at? a common greeting in these parts. Here in New Orleans, nine is noin, oysters are ersters, and h’s are often replaced with y’s. Ask for directions? There’s a good chance someone will tell you to toirn right on thoird street. And what contributes to this unexpected departure from the accents of our neighbors? New Orleans has long been a major port, and as a result is a very cosmopolitan city. This melting pot has likely contributed to the accent that has developed here. Wherever it came from, it’s ours now!
The New Orleans Accent
Apr 9, 2014 | New Orleans