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"So...where that accent from?"

Now I make people guess.

By The Dani WriterPublished 4 years ago Updated 2 years ago 4 min read
3
"So...where that accent from?"
Photo by ConvertKit on Unsplash

“No, I'm really not."

But they don't believe me; these self-proclaimed experts on accents.

"But you've got an American accent" they insist, "You must be American!"

"Americans know that this isn't an American accent" I counter, but this is just one of the countless retorts I throw in just to mix it up.

Selection options I've used:

When I first arrived here, an Irish and Scottish accent sounded the same to me, but you can hear the difference because your ear is sensitive to it.

This is actually a non-accent; it’s neutral and my professional voice.

You’ve probably never heard people from my country speak before; trust me, it’s not an American accent.

Nope, I'm not American; that's NOT my president (vehemently voiced during the Trump era!)

I've been living here now for over twelve years, and I would be downplaying it to say that I have been asked this a thousand times. I get queries pretty much every time I open my mouth.

Everyday. Everywhere.

Different gets noticed.

I need to make it interesting, otherwise, it's like a movie line continuously playing on repeat every day, ALL day for well...over twelve years.

Complete strangers who have the gumption to ask me become unwitting contestants in my impromptu quiz game show because invariably they will always ask, "Well, where ARE you from then?"

I make people guess.

I'm not kidding.

Sometimes they're good-natured about it.

More often than not, they hesitate.

"I'll give you three guesses--it's just for fun. On your second incorrect guess, I'll give you a hint."

Their consternation is palpable. So what follows is the 'I-dunno-geography-what-if-I-get-it-wrong-or-can't-think-of-anything' looks.

*Me in my head* Suck it up if you wanna know so bad!

I'm used to it. I ignore it and press on.

Gotta make this fun for me...remember, lived here over twelve years...been asked thousands of times.

Nothing like something out of the ordinary to make British people feel pressure. Especially when they’re expecting you to just give out details about your personal life to a random unknown adult without question.

The next guess is invariably Canada.

“Nope.”

"Are you from South Africa?"

"Nuh-uh" (but ignoring the fact that they've jumped from whole continents to countries.)

Then I start laying out the clues. It takes only one clue to genuinely intrigue people. They relax a little. There’s cheerful banter.

“See, told ya--FUN!!!”

I weave magic and mystery like the famed storytellers of old. You take people on a journey, not a 20 ft walk to the corner shop.

“It is an island that was discovered by the Spanish, hence its name, but colonized by the British. It’s a British Overseas Territory.

Real thinking going on…” I’m British I should know this!”

Friends join in.

Heck, anyone within earshot can’t help themselves and shouts out a guess or two. Most of the time, they’re wrong. Rarely do they even notice when they barrel past the three-guess stipulation.

I start laying it on pretty thick after this so that when some obscure pub quiz show host poses the question, they can rush in and save the day with knowledge that’ll have teammates scratching their heads and wondering,

“How on earth did you know that???”

“Because of the large number of shipwrecks and a native bird with an unfamiliar and eerie call, mariners of the time; around the 16th century, referred to this place as the ‘Isles of Devils.’

DEHN-dehn-DEHHNNNN!!!

“Barbados?”

“No.”

“Senegal?”

*Shakes head* (You did hear me say island right?)

“It’s the most expensive place to live in the world.” (This is my dead giveaway clue as a few people often get it with this one OR drive themselves crazy because they know it but can’t get the word to congeal into coherent syllables.) The less knowledgeable keep going.

“The Cayman Islands?”

“Not it.”

“Antigua?”

“It’s NOT in the Caribbean.”

“________”

“Noooo googling!!!”

Participants' texting fingers start twitching. There have to be ground rules.

“Before you start to feel some way, major broadcast news stations like BBC and CNN have made geographical errors concerning this place.

Gee, I really have finessed this thing down to a science!

Usually, by this time, the ‘contestants’ and I have digressed and segued into everything from travel experiences to life hacks whilst steering clear entirely of anything to do with Brexit.

It’s definitely entertaining.

On one of these occasions, a relative was with us. We started conversing and the inevitable happened. In our periphery, a bystander could be seen fighting the urge and losing.

“Hey, where are your accents from?” he blurted out finally.

The other relative although born on my island home, relocated to another jurisdiction as a child. The stakes were higher. This was double jeopardy with all the elements of a successful television show: suspense, comedy, blank stares; not to mention the oft-repeated ‘Aww man, I was gonna say that!’ after I reveal the answer.

All of my kinfolk in this country face the same fate; all doomed to be accused of being Americans for the duration of our stays here. I guess for me, knowing the reality, it just doesn’t bother me at all. But should you feel particularly adventurous and clever, head on over to our audio podcast Where that accent from? by The Green Tea Collective on Facebook. Listen on Anchor, Spotify, or any of the other platforms, and let me know if you figure it out.

Like I said, now I make people guess.

humor
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About the Creator

The Dani Writer

Explores words to create worlds with poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. Writes content that permeates then revises and edits the heck out of it. Interests: Freelance, consultations, networking, rulebook-ripping. UK-based

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Comments (2)

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  • L.C. Schäfer6 months ago

    I an hopeless at accents so I'm not even going to guess! But you were right, this was very entertaining!

  • Babs Iverson2 years ago

    That way fun! You know that I love games!!!💕

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