Recently, a friend of mine from grammar school reconnected with me after an absence of no less than ten years.

What was one of the first things my friend J asked me after around twenty minutes of speaking over the phone?

“Yo, what the fuck happened to your Brooklyn accent, Bitch!?”

Ok, so maybe he didn’t say it exactly like that – if he called me a bitch he’d get laid out – but STILL.  I’m starting to feel like I’ve lived in the suburbs too long and this motherfucker has proven my point.  He has known me since my age was still in the single-digits and we played at the Little Park in Glenwood Houses.

Wait - I NEVER RODE THIS! Maybe I'm NOT really from Brooklyn! :(

Wait – I NEVER RODE THIS! Maybe I’m NOT really from Brooklyn! 😦

What. The. FUCK!?  I did my time at Jan’s and Kings Plaza!  We all hung out on Seaview and Rockaway Parkway!  We bought bagels every weekend on Flatlands!  Did brunch at The Arch diner every other Sunday! I even went to multiple Bar Mitzvahs for Crissakes!!

I thought I was “keepin’ it REAL” all this time over here in Putnam County. Y’know I read ALL my posts with a THICK New-York accent and I still say “fuck” (A LOT!), so what gives!?

Can't touch this.  No, really! I've got gluten sensitivity...!

Can’t touch this. No, really! I’ve got gluten sensitivity…!

Have I suffered a Canarsie-ectomy from my immersion in the suburban sprawl? Do I sound like a fucking SNOB because I now have to DRIVE myself everywhere instead of walking, riding the #6 bus or taking the W-train (is it the B-train again!?)??  Is daily exposure to my own car upholstery causing my Brooklyn accent to atrophy???  Was I tricked into giving up wheat gluten to more easily enable my assimilation into the Hudson Valley speak-proper agenda!???

I STILL know what a bagel is, bitches!  …Even if I can no longer eat them. 😦

Long ago were the nights when “I’m TIE-ed o’ yo ass, AIGHT!” cracked us all upMy old friend, N, commemorated the infamous answering-machine message from my ex-husband by making me play it repeatedly for the group at my old apartment on 84th Street every Omelet Night. The endless hours of pseudo-gangster hilarity, punctuated by butter-fried cheese omelets and a bunch of semi-high Brooklyn twenty-somethings, were fun-times.  In Bensonhurst, no less.

Funny how I don’t even remember what I sounded like back then…

So J now lives in Virginia with his gaggle of tweens who all think he speaks with a stoopid-heavy NY accent.  I think he sounds like a dude who most might peg as a New Yorker. There is a difference, right?

So maybe this is just what happened to me.  The result of my father’s proper-English tutelage has softened my “accent” somewhat in my mature-adult years.  Sounds reasonable, right?

Oy-fucking-VEY!  My Brooklyn accent still comes back after a few glasses of wine!  Or, so I’m told.  It’s in there, baby!

Watch this video.  This is to remind folks like my friend J what we probably don’t even sound like anymore.  The last forty-eight times I watched it there were angels singing – angels named Ant’ny, Carmella and Sal – and it made me miss my old hood.  I maybe even miss that stereotypical Bensonhurst inflection…

Ralph! 😥

*A little something extra to show you where I grew up. This guy & his brother were upstairs neighbors!


About LVital7019

Just your normal, everyday 9-5er. An uninspiring position in an inspirational non-profit moves me to constant goof-offery; aimless, on-the-job procrastination; a crankiness that borders on psychosis; and attempting to craft something meaningful with words. Just another so-called-job inspiring someone to feats of insanity with a hint of creativity... (Insert demonic laugh HERE.) View all posts by LVital7019

18 responses to “NO SPEAK ’til BROOKLYN!

  • barbaramullenix

    Every now and then I’ll be on the phone with a customer and they’ll say – “what part of New York are you from”. Freakin really?! I’ve lived in south Florida for over 40 years and I’ve STILL got an accent? (Although most people refer to south Florida as the deep southern part of New York.) I think it’s only other New Yorkers who can recognize the deeply hidden accent. Although there are still one or two words that I can’t quite say “southern”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LVital7019

      Ohhh…. NOW you’ve got me curious! Which words? I’m a damn good mimic – fooled this Polish guy over the phone into thinking I was a native-speaker. We worked together every day for 4 years and he had no clue!

      Which part of NY are you from? 🙂


  • barbaramullenix

    Westchester County (Mt. Vernon to be exact – suburb of the city). Never thought I had an accent – still don’t! I can’t say drawer. Comes out drawr. Or something like that. There are one or 2 others that I’ve chosen to stop using as I can’t seem to say them correctly without turning my jaw upside down! I always write “youse guys” just to make my friends snort.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LVital7019

      I’m familiar with Mt. Vernon. 🙂

      I myself am more the “put it in da draw” type; as well as much abuse of the -in’ instead of -ing thing. I also still say things like, “You gotta dolla?” 😛


      • barbaramullenix

        A good friend of mine used to say “inG”. SinGinG – LonG Giland – It used to make me crazy. Every single word that ended with “ing”! Aaarrggghhh! Well, today, if I had 10,000 “G’s” I’d be happy! 🙂

        Boy, has Mt. Vernon changed!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  • REDdog

    Are you fggin’ kidding me? Get the fug outta heerree! Hey L, I came out from under my rock!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Tony Single

    I love the New York accent. Well, the one that’s represented in that first video anyway. I’m a sucker for it! I wanna live there awhile and see if I pick up my own version of it! 😛


  • GratuitousRex

    Actually, I still live here (ok ok grew up in Howard beach, but close enough). Been to kings plaza countless times too. I now live in bay ridge. Still I don’t sounds new york all the time, but after a few drinks… fuhgedaboudit

    Liked by 1 person

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Tony Single

artist. wastrel. a quantum of potential.

The Greenwich Village Literary Review

A magazine by writers who love to write for readers who love to read.

The Winter Bites My Bones

The Collected Poems of Dennis McHale: 1981-2016

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