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National and Global, United States

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hey, I'm From Jersey Too!


Having lived in New Jersey for some period of time, I came to what I believe, is a basic understanding of the "jersey accent".

Watching Frank Sinatra movies is a start. He had it 'down pat'. Well, he was from New Jersey after all. "The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything."

Most movies, particularly with gangsters that are set in New Jersey, just overdo the accent. Even MTV's Jersey Shore shall we say, goes overboard on the usage of the Jersey accent.

First and foremost, you must drop the "r" in most of your words to begin encompassing one of the major phonetic differences of New York and New Jersey dialect; for example, "tire' is 'tia' and saying "ba" instead of "bar" is common in New Jersey. Practice dropping your "r"s as a good primer for speaking with a valid Jersey accent, but don't overdo it. 'Car' translates to 'ca'. Something like Boston, but not as abrupt. More pleasant, so to speak.

Now, relax your consonant sounds in other words. Particularly pay attention to the relaxation of "d", "t", "l", "s", and "o". These sounds will result in a lazier and more languished feel to the overall word and capture a bit of the New Jersey style of speaking. 'Stadium', for instance, would be 'stai-dum'.

Learn a bit of the New Jersey colloquial language as different words are used to describe different things. For example, a shopping cart is a carriage and a hero sandwich is a grinder. The term 'Shoobie' is used by residents of resort communities in the southern New Jersey Shore, from Long Beach Island to Cape May. The term shoobie was originally used to describe Philadelphia residents who took the train to the shore. The train offered pre-packed lunches that came in shoe boxes, hence the name 'shoobie'. "There's a shoobie", was often heard at the Shore. In other words, a person who came 'down for the day'.

Write down words that use r's and hard consonant sounds in the manner that you would say them, such as instead of writing "borrow" you would write "barrah".

Shortening words and phrases is very common in the Jersey area; "do you want to go with me" becomes "do you want to go with", and "go ahead" becomes "g'head".

"How awe ya" is totally New York while "How ya doan" is New Jersey."An dats da name of dat tun"
Do be do be do

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