Nasa / Space

Quiz: What kind of American do you sound like?


What American accent do you have? Midland

Personality Test Results

("Midland" is not necessarily the same thing as "Midwest.") The default, lowest-common-denominator American accent that newscasters try to imitate. Since it's a neutral accent, just because you have a Midland accent doesn't mean you're from the Midland.

Above are my results from this quiz, which purports to diagnose the regional origins of your personal speaking accent (mine's off by about a mile). Apparently, I have no accent, which my friends from New York, California, and Chicago would almost certainly dispute. Take the quiz to find out which part of the American dialectical landscape you call home. Extra points if you aren't actually from the United States but can convince the quiz software you're a Yank.

About

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

44 comments
LarryD4
LarryD4

I think that just about covers it! ;)

Tink!
Tink!

Northern. My parents were both born and raised in Minnesota so I'm sure that's where I got most of my inflections. They moved to Northern IL shortly after they acquired me. And in IL we stayed (with a short 4 year stint in New Jersey where the residents proclaimed I definitely had an accent!). Duly noted - Chicagoans and Southern Illinoians have a different dialect than the people I'm used to hearing around me.

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

You`re not Northern, Southern, or Western, you`re just plain -American-. Your national identity is more important than your local identity, because you don`t really have a local identity. You might be from the region in that map, which is defined by this kind of accent, but you could easily not be. Or maybe you just moved around a lot growing up.

jdclyde
jdclyde

Northern You have a Northern accent. That could either be the Chicago/Detroit/Cleveland/Buffalo accent (easily recognizable) or the Western New England accent that news networks go for.

GSG
GSG

I guess I sound like a fish because Barracuda won't let me hit the site. Seems that it thinks the site is fishy. (bad pun intended)

maecuff
maecuff

A crabby American. Yep. Crabby, bordering on bitchy, but not whiny.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

[i] Neutral You`re not Northern, Southern, or Western, you`re just plain -American-. Your national identity is more important than your local identity, because you don`t really have a local identity. You might be from the region in that map, which is defined by this kind of accent, but you could easily not be. Or maybe you just moved around a lot growing up.[/i] Just plain American. And the map pegged my state of residence.

ipeters61
ipeters61

Apparently, I have a midland accent, which is not true. I actually have a coal cracker/Northeast Pennsylvania Accent (go to Wikipedia and you will find the dictionary of coal cracker speak).

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

It pegged me as having a "Chicago/Detroit/Cleveland/Buffalo" accent. Except for a few years in the Army, I've lived in Cleveland all my life, so that's no surprise to me.

Sparky_61
Sparky_61

I'm totally impressed, eh! It figured out I was Canadian! Geez.

momtozoo
momtozoo

I'd have to say I'm unimpressed - I'm from the Chicago area and it says I have a "Southern" accent -- of course, it's entirely subjective -- let me know when someone makes a "quiz" I take with my computer's microphone and I'll try again!

Steffi28
Steffi28

If I was apparently I would be from the North. You have a Northern accent. That could either be the Chicago/Detroit/Cleveland/Buffalo accent (easily recognizable) or the Western New England accent that news networks go for.

BFilmFan
BFilmFan

Mine showed up as Western, but I was born in Georgia and spent most of my formative years here. I have to assume that having spent a great deal of time in the West has blurred my accent. I didn't see a question on the subject of alliteration, as every sentence tells a story in the South.... "Man, there I was, minding my own business, when this gal just come up to me at the bar and you know damned well my wife (or girlfriend) saw her and said, in that real loud voice she has that we use to scare squirrels out of the attic, "Get away from him you damn hussy that's my man!" which is about when the police showed up boss which is why I am too tired to come to work today.... I rest my case.... And just for the record, I have never ever said that, but if I ever decide I really just want a day off, I think I will try using it.

Leee
Leee

You have a Northern accent. That could either be the Chicago/Detroit/Cleveland/Buffalo accent (easily recognizable) or the Western New England accent that news networks go for. This makes sense, as I lived the first 25 years of my life in the city of Chicago -- where I swore the suburbanites talked weird. (Don't ask me about Louisville!)

Bill Ward
Bill Ward

Off by a decent bit. After all, it said I was Midlands, too, and I come from and am native to Hampton Roads Virginia; the top of the traditional South. And I can't even say that my parents are from elsewhere; though my wife is a carpet bagger, all but one small branch of my family tree (my great-grandfather, who died when my grandfather was three, so that's no influence) were also native to the area since... well, a decent amount of time pre-US Civil War. Nope, not accurate. Not at all. And in one case, one of the choices was either-or but NEITHER choice was right.

Prefbid II
Prefbid II

Since I'm from the center of the country and would expect to come out either Midlands or Midwest, it came out close. I do know of one word on the list that I no longer pronounce the way I did when I grew up. I suspect that if I had answered the question the way I used to speak, I would have been targeted for the upper midwest -- which is technically my growing up area. The question set probably needs to be a little longer in order to be more accurate, but if it was longer, I don't know that I would have the patience to finish it (is that a characteristic of a midlands person?)

cupcake
cupcake

I like the sound of that... just plain American! I think a better test might be how you refer to a carbonated beverage... growing up we always called it a 'pop'. But I have heard 'soda pop', 'soda', 'cola', in the Texas south it seemed no matter what brand it was, it was called a "Coke". Another thing that came out of the northern midwest was the 'oh yeah' (almost a Canadian oo) and 'you guys'... I grew up in the upper midwest (northern Iowa) but did move around a lot after that (Georgia, Texas, Colorado, Arizona and California - both North and South), so I am sure I picked up words, accents and dialects all along the way.

jdclyde
jdclyde

you just never grew up? :p

road-dog
road-dog

I grew up in upstate NY and picked up a little french Canadian. I did a lot of time in the UK in the military and sometimes a wee bit of Scott comes out. Then I moved to Florida and picked up a little of everything there. Now I live in Alabama and caught myself saying "fixin' to" last year. I'm a mess.... I defy any definition of my accent, no matter where I am people comment that I'm not from around there.

jdclyde
jdclyde

oh wait, that IS just whiny. Must be Florida with the rest of the... aging... population.... ;\

JamesRL
JamesRL

Cause that would be just plain silly. There are very distinctive accents in the Maritimes. There are various french accents. Many people from Vancouver sound more to me like people from Seattle or Portland than a Toronto person. James

jp
jp

I'm canadian and it said I have a "Northern" twang. I'd say thats spot on!!

DadsPad
DadsPad

:^0 :^0 :^0 Accents usually change when you move or accociate with people with another accent. My wife, Chris, says my southern accent come back when I visit relatives. Since she is from Chicago, only a small amount changes when she visits there. But she does say Ya'll now! :^0 :D But, in everyone's head they talk without an accent. Only someone listening will detect it. :)

neilb
neilb

That quiz and a similar one that I found both put me in the North East - New England. Makes sense, really. :D

Cheesel
Cheesel

Told me NE New England, and Boston. Yes, I am from the place that is afraid of the letter R. It is less so like that now than it was in my pa ent's gene ation now, though.

JamesRL
JamesRL

I'm from Toronto, but my score comes out Midlands.... I can walk down the street in Toronto and hear a Buffalo type accent or a Ohio or a Detroit accent pretty easily because they stand out on our streets. If you want to hear a Toronto accent, listen to Peter Jennings, or John Roberts or Keith Morrison or Kevin Newmann or Arthur Kent, or any of the Canadian anchors on US news. We used to imitate Buffalo anchors with the opening line on the Buffalo 11 PM news.....Fire in North Tonawanda tonite... James

DadsPad
DadsPad

The test put me at solid midwest. I am from the south. But, my wife is from Chicago, so that has influenced the way I talk. The test is badly flawed. Why would there be a question like: "If you say words like TIME, RIDE, MILE, I, etc., we all know that there`s a way people down South say those words. Don`t lie about it, how often do you ever say those kind of words like that?" People that are from the South will always tell you that All and Oil are pronounced differently, but people from other areas cannot tell the difference. :D I gave the test a 'bury it' response. edited for clarity

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

I am often being told to 'act my age' or to 'be mature' about something or another.

maecuff
maecuff

that joke just gets funnier and funnier.. :) Actually, I WAS born in California..

info
info

... I'm Belgian (Flemish = Dutch-speaking) and I'm Midland too!

Techamateur
Techamateur

Well, the quiz nailed my accent correctly. I am from Northern Michigan, and it said I have a Northern accent (imagine that). I did live in Northern California for 11 years but moved home 12 years ago. Everyone in California said I had an "Eastern" accent because of the way I pronounced certain words, i.e., roof, roots, house, TV, etc. I pronounce TV exactly as you read it, it's a Tee Vee, whereas Californians pronounce it as T Vee, and trees have roots, houses have roofs (rhymes with hoof). As others have already mentioned, no one thinks they have an accent, it's only the listener who can pick it out. What has always amazed me is the number of different accents that a region can have. People who live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan have a very different accent than those of us in Lower Michigan; and look at the number of different accents in England alone. I wonder what the cause is?

QeDpIn
QeDpIn

I have a Scots accent and I came out from the North East too. Maybe it's the British accent in general that defaults it to this cos I don't think I sound anything like a scouser!

Steffi28
Steffi28

Not too strong to be honest, nothing like from Brookside :) Although when I was out last month I met a group of people from London and they did say I was very scouse! Edited to confirm, I might not have a strong scouse accent but I'm not a wool!!

aiabx
aiabx

I'm also from Toronto (Trawna) and I got pegged as a Canadian, so maybe there is something to this test after all.

DadsPad
DadsPad

No one really thinks they have an accent, others say you do. As I said, people in North Carolina will pronounce All and Oil identically but will accuse you of hearing problems if you mention it. :^0 Since I grew up in the south, it was all in context with the sentence.

ls1313
ls1313

I think your city might also have influenced your pronunciations, also. I was born in Fort Lauderdale, and there is such a mix of accents there that no one can tell where natives (or people who have lived there for a long time) are from. I do agree that the test is flawed, though. It told me that my accent was "South," but everyone in the South (where I live now) always says "You don't sound like you come from here!" I don't know if people can accurately self-report about their accents. I think it is a little like trying to determine if you can sing by just singing to yourself.

jdclyde
jdclyde

strange trail..... And I was NICE of how I put it. I am being respectful of my elders! :D

MercaLoday
MercaLoday

I grew up in Ohio; lived in Florida; moved to California; then to New Jersey (Joosey), and finally back to Florida! It said I had a Southern accent - My husband says he loves my "Ohio twang" and I say "Y'all"! I too, always wondered what caused the different accents in thfferent areas.

cg221
cg221

I think it's just that the closer you get to Boston, the closer you get to a British accent. At least, among educated people. A Kiwi or Australian will sound British to most Americans, and a strong Scots, Scouse or Geordie accent will be incomprehensible.

RaTTyRaTT
RaTTyRaTT

Heya, Wife & I both took the test separately, and got Northeastern as well. I would certainly say it must be a 'British' default for us. We come from the ACT (Canberra) = Australian National Capital, and it is rather funny for us that we got this. - Makes me wonder what a South Australian will get, as they talk a bit toff over there. (Only thing more funny there is their accent... hehehe) Way to go VIC... (Eastern Seaboard rocks!)

dsimp
dsimp

I'm from Melbourne & thats the result I got also. :)

pdesrivieres
pdesrivieres

I'm from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada now living in VA, USA and I was labeled as Midland.

Editor's Picks