For some to hear the pronunciation of a word like "whatevER" as "whatevAH" simply means you're probably in a familiah bah drinkin' Cawz Lights with wicked cool shits. To othahs, the sound of a place called "Clarke's" pronounced as "Claaahks" may cause confusion or perhaps even cringing as if hearing nails on a chaulkboard. For me, the worse the Mass. accent, the more entahtainin', I mean - entertaining.
While the substitution of "ah" for "er" is well documented and understood in the Massachusetts-version of spoken English, there are other common tendencies in a Masshole's speaking patterns that don't get as much air play but are necessary to complete the full package. For instance, think of the word "bathroom." Clearly, there is no "er" in there to be butchered into an "ah." Howevah, some Massholes (especially old school ones) pronounce this word as if they were a member of the English royalty. Don't believe me? Okay, imagine you're at a cookout (barbecues don't exist in the Bay State) thrown by one of your friend's parents who grew up in the Boston area.
Guest: Excuse me, I need to use the facilities.
Friend's Mom/Dad: Oh, okay. Um, walk down the hall, turn right, and the bahhhthroom is the second door to the left.
"Bahhhthroom? Where the hell did that come from?" you might think. A minute ago, that parent just pronounced "corn on the cob" as a "cawnahcob" yet here they are busting out some kind of cockney accent to describe the lavatory. Trust me, I've heard Massholes pronounce that word this way and I have no idea how or why. They may even shorten it to "the bahhhth." Oh yeah, when you're getting ready to leave the party and discard of your empty Solo cup, that same parent will direct you to the "rubbish bin" instead of a garbage can.
The last observation of Masshole-speak is inspired by my daughter's name. While we know by now that an "er" is replaced by an "ah," what about a word that ends in "a" or "ah"? The answer: just do the opposite and substitute "er." Example - assuming we still live at East 3rd in Southie 15 years from now, Sully from down the block will not call our house looking for Greta. Instead, that little punk ass will ask for "Gretter." If I anwered the phone call, I'd either promptly hang up or tell Sully he "bettah not have any idears about getting frisky with my daughtah."
Why am I going on such a tangent about this? The answer - Hollywood. Next time a movie is set in Massachusetts and the producer or director wants one of its characters to sound like a native, DO NOT take lessons from any of the following:
- Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting. Was he going for Australian or Bostonian?
- Kevin Costner in Thirteen Days. I think Mayor Quimby is a better representation of the accent than Costner's Kenny O'Donnell.
- Diane Lane in The Perfect Storm. She gets fewer minus points due to her uber-cougar status, but man her accent sucked in this movie.
(Don't even get me started on the Irish accents of Tommy Lee Jones in Backdraft or Richard Gere in The Jackal - or better yet, the Russian accents of Sean Connery in Hunt for Red October or Harrison Ford in his submarine movie.)
Now prove to me that more than 3 people read this blog. Click on the comment link below and tell me your favorite Masshole words/expressions, or your candidate for the "Bad Actor's Accent Hall of Fame." You don't have to identify yourself - anonymous is just as good. If you don't want to, whatevah...