Vote Here and Now for Best of Cleveland 2017®!
Bob Serpentini? American and Proud of it? I don't think I will ever buy a car from him after hearing that story.
The dialect comes from the practice of pressing the back of the tongue against the sides of the upper palate. I feel it when I speak! and yes, I do admit to this eeyeahccent. We Clevelander's also say boyk, instead of bike and moyk for Mike. It's the short A that we attach the Y to. We also add it to our long I's, usually with a subtle O sound in words such as Mike, Bike, Tike... sounding more like Moyk, Boyk, Toyk, depending on which side of town you're from... believe it or not the 'Cleveland Accent' has an East and West differenciation!!
Residents, please do the hardest thing you'll ever have to do...draw up a map of households with cancer and color coordinate that map with the cancer the household has developed. Cancer cluster maps/death maps open the eyes of the public and the politicians.
Truth is, nothing gets done until someone dies. Nothing gets done until a lot of people die.
I am a Brave in the Tribe of Mic-O-Say, and I have passed all the requirements for such a position. Quite frankly there is no time where I went without food for more than 4 1/2 hours. All the Tribal rituals for candidates are as safe as can be expected for a BSA honor camping society.
My family lived south of the factory on Georgia Rd.i lost my grandmother,aunt, dad and mom from cancer. I also have a sister that had cancer. My brother also recently died unexpectedly at 51.There is a lot of cancer and illness in this area. My father worked in the factory up till he got cancer died at the age of 66.so sad. I have questioned the water for years. I moved out of state and always refused to drink the water because I suspected it was contaminated.
I've lived two blocks from Georgia rd since 1994. In 1998 I found I had a rare bone marrow disease. Is there anything I can do?
It is mostly a pay-to-play scam.....swiped from the "bringer" model.
Great article. When I was out west in California, they all thought I was from Canada...lol! I admit, I do hear some of the phonetic mishaps that comprise the "Cleveland Accent," but not from everyone here. Just listen to Lebron James. Never once have I heard him c-yeahn-dee.
I worked in the hotel biz for 17 years and listened closely to people's dialect, cadence, tempo and patterns trying to figure out where they are from and many times practice and learn their language. We all have our accents. Hell, if someone were to actually speak the King's English, we'd say they have an accent.
Twenty years ago I was in Phoenix and told my friend I couldn't find my chapstick. Her cousin overheard and mocked 'chaaapstick'. I thought 'whatever'. Two years ago I was in Homer, Alaska with boyfriend. Guy asked me how I knew about 'this bar'. I told him our whale watching captain told us about it. 'Caaaptain!' he exclaimed. ' I haven't heard that accent in years!'. Year later I was in Palm Springs, about to ride the tram with my guy up 8000 feet to top of the mountain. I told him 'I should've brought my pants--it's gonna be cold up there!' Guy in line asked where we were from, he couldn't 'place the accent'. Funny thing is, my guy and I are both born/raised in Lakewood, but neither time was his accent commented upon. Finally, we saw 'The Bronze' this year. My guy said 'You sound just like Hope: Paaants! Caaaptain!' I said 'No I don't!' But maybe I do...just a little. Excellent article. Thanks. Angela. (Pronounced AN -jeh-luh).
the accent is changing. a guy in a gas station on Denison referred to it has "half-hillbilly, half-ebonics"
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the great "A" versus "E" aspect of the Cleveland dialect. I grew up here, and I also remember being taught at a young age that we had no accent. But as I travelled more and more, I came up realize that it most certainly exists.
Yet I don't notice that "cat" and "cot" mixup as much as the article suggests. Rather I think the most discernible thing about our accent is that we often turn short e's into long a's. And this is most noticeable in how many of us say the man's name Aaron versus how we say the woman's name Erin, which is to say that we pronounce them virtually identically. Much of the rest of the country pronounces each name the way it's spelled, with Erin sounding almost like "Ehrin" and Aaron sounding "Aaron" or "Airon." Yet Clevelanders typically pronounce both names as the male "Aaron" and think nothing of it.
I mentioned this to a local girl named Erin just a couple weeks ago. And when I pointed out that her name is in fact spelled Erin, and thus is pronounced "Ehrin" by much of the country, she got a bit confused and then defensive. She said "Ewww, that's not my name. That's gross! My name (which she pronounced Airon) is cute!" It took all of my strength not to burst into laughter.
We do the same with other similar sounding words too. So we often pronounce any type of berry such as a strawberry as "strawbarry." It's that "eh" sound turning almost into an "ā" sound that truly sticks out to me as the "Cleveland accent" more and more as the years go by.
I thought those were funny as hell lmao
I was never aware of the Cleveland accent until I moved to Columbus (I'm from Mayfield Heights) to attend Ohio State, and many people asked me where I was from....and I asked why. Then I was made aware of my Cleveland accent, which apparently I still have. A year ago a cousin of mine was in town from LA and noticed my accent right away....and I consciously try to speak without it! Guess I'm not too successful....
I lived from 2nd grade till 9th grade in Mayfield Hts, eventually moving back to Chicago, where I was born. For the last 30+ years I've lived either on the East Coast or West Coast. To a great extent, because so many people in places like LA and DC (where I've lived since '97) are from other places, at some point their kids (regardless of ethnicity or even race) grow up speaking "broadcast English". But as I do a lot of public speaking and presentations in my job, listening to stuff I did decades ago (even as a college DJ) and what I do now, there is definitely the existence of a "northern accent". Sometimes it's derided as an "adenoidal twang" (as someone actually said to me when critiquing me on the high school speech team in suburban Chicago). I had to exorcise it (subconsciously or otherwise) when I worked overseas so I can be readily understood, especially since Middle East, Asian and African folks are much more accustomed to the Queen's English .
I'm old enough to have grown up when Cleveland was the broadcast standard, and I'm sure my youthful television watching habits contributed to my speech patterns. I'm pretty sure that no matter what my accent is, it's not the one described here.
I was born and raised in Cleveland Heights, and some years later, lived in Lakewood, but I never ran into anyone who spoke in the way this article indicates. It wasn't until I moved to Cincinnati three years ago and made friends with a woman at church that I got my first taste of the infamous "yeah"; her accent was extremely pronounced and at first, I thought she had to be joking. I have no idea if she was originally from Cleveland, but I plan to ask her the next time we see one another.
How do you people really feel?
I was born and raised in NE Ohio but moved to Nevada almost 20 years and I'm always asked where I'm from because of my accent! My children tease me because I say py-ants (pants) and ask me to say it over and over! I just went back to NE Ohio for a 5 week visit and definitely noticed the accents and now that I'm back home, everyone is telling me that my accent is stronger than ever! Great article and to those that in denial, get over it and embrace your Cleveland accent, it's something to be proud of!!!
That foxy weather chick on Fox-8 (Melissa M.) says "Kee-YAN-ton" and "Ee-yak-ron" every night she's on TV. I was sure she was from Sha-CAW-go.
Nope...it's Youngstown. Go figure, huh? And she told us to go look at the "full mew-n" tonight.
I think it's sorta kee-yute.
Chuckles the Clown
No, we do not have accent, nice try. I had a sociology prof at John Carroll U whose husband was a linguistic sociologist. According to him and his studies, clevelanders had no accent. He actually said Cleveland was the center of language in America and actually pinpointed it to a neighborhood near Cedar Hill (close to Coventry). The standard (high) dialect of any country is usually reflected in a country's national news. Of course American news occasionally has a marble mouth like Brokaw or a Texan like Rather, but generally you think that national news people do not have an accent (think Matt Lower or David Muir). And generally those national broadcasters talk like we do in Cleveland (not like New Yorker, Bostonian, or even a person from Pittsburgh, etc). Not a total surprise to me that students at a university would say someone from Cleveland has an "accent" because they sound different than they do. But honestly I went to JCU that had a lot of out of state students, Georgetown that was totally diverse, and have lived in the DC area for 18 years which is a super transplant city - and never once has any one ever told me I have an accent. Even when I lived in Australia for two years,of course people there said I sounded like an American, but no one ever told me I had a particular accent from America.
February 22-28, 2017
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.
737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100
Cleveland, OH, 44115
Main: (216) 241-7550
Advertising: (216) 802-7241
All parts of this site Copyright © 2017 Cleveland Scene.
© 2017 Cleveland Scene:
737 Bolivar Rd.,
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.
Website powered by Foundation