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Boston Accent

The Boston accent is the regional accent or sub-dialect of New England English spoken in the city of Boston and much of eastern Massachusetts. Sociolinguists had grouped regions to include Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut for completeness; however, the phonological center forming what is considered the Eastern New England dialect region consists primarily of the southern eastern coast region of Maine, assimilating down through southern eastern New Hampshire where it picks up some of its most prominent linguistic characteristics, through eastern coast of northern Massachusetts but then drops off significantly before Cape Cod and the island region.

The best-known features of the Boston accent are non-rhoticity and broad A. It is most prominent in often traditionally Irish or Italian Boston neighborhoods and surrounding cities and towns.


New England slang that adds emphasis. Synonymous with really, very and hella.

To describe how great something is: "This car is wicked cool!"
To show aggravation: "This fucking guy is a wicked asshole!"
To show frustration: "That guy is wicked slow!"
To show amazement: "Wow, that game is wicked awesome!"
To describe a person: "She's a wicked bitch!"
To describe the weather: "Man, it's wicked hot out here!"
To emphasize feelings: "That story made me wicked sad!"
To exaggerate your point: "That took a wicked long time!"


Massachusetts slang
1. Meaning cool
2. Can be used as a noun when someone does something stupid.
"That car is wicked frickin pissa"
"Dave your a pissa"

Use in media

As a conspicuous, easily identifiable accent, the Boston accent is routinely featured in Boston-setting films such as The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Good Will Hunting, Ted, Mystic River, The Departed, Blow, The Town, Blown Away, The Fighter, and Gone Baby Gone. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, a character mentions the accent in parody, giving his "best regahds". Television series such as M*A*S*H had David Ogden Stiers' character, Charles Emerson Winchester III using it as evidence of the character's Boston origin, and other series based within a Boston setting, like Boston Public and Cheers have also featured it. Simpsons character Mayor Quimby talks with a Boston accent as reference to the former US Senator Ted Kennedy. 30 Rock character Nancy Donovan speaks with a pronounced Boston accent. In the video game Team Fortress 2, the character Scout, who is himself a Boston native, talks with a distinct Boston accent. Many elements of the Boston accent can be heard on the animated TV series Family Guy, which is set in the fictional city of Quahog, Rhode Island. The Saturday Night Live sketch The Boston Teens with Jimmy Fallon (who is imitating) and Rachel Dratch (who really does use it) also uses it frequently.

Although little known in his native country, Bostonian Loyd Grossman is a household name in the UK, through cooking programs such as Masterchef and ITV's Through the Keyhole. His accent is frequent target for British impressionists.

Much to the irritation of eastern New Englanders, imitators of the accent generally fail to ring true. This is especially noticeable when a specific locale is identified, such as South Boston or Gloucester, each of which has its own distinctive variation.

Why Boston Accent

There are somethings that sound very similar to some of the British accents, but mainly because my awersome fiancÚ has a true blue Boston Accent, not heavy, thank goodness, but enough that it makes me swoon. He grew up in Jamacia Plains, so you can imagine what it sounds like. He is wicked awesome!

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