Do Long Islanders have an accent? Or is it that the rest of the world speaks with an accent and we all speak normally? A wide consensus of people who we asked on Facebook and common sense tells us that yes, Long Islanders do have an accent.
Those who we asked had a number of different responses. Some loved their Long Island accent. Others admitted that they hated it. Still more said it really depends. We generally don’t notice our own accents unless we meet people from another region of the country. (Or when someone has a thicker accent than our own!)
You might be surprised to know that the Long Island was voted least sexiest accent by Big 7 Travel, a website that provides up-to-date, curated travel recommendations, when they asked their audience where were the sexiest – and least sexy – accents in the US.
We came in dead last.
“People from ‘Lawnguyland’ might be a bit upset with being voted as having America’s least sexiest accent. But look, can they really disagree?” the website wrote in their ranking.
Ummm. Duh! Of course we disagree. (BTW, number one went to Texas.) What do they know! The accent is as integral to Long Island as its beaches, lighthouses, and shopping malls. See below for some responses to our query about the Long Island accent. We noticed that most answers could be categorized into a few distinct groups. What do you think?
The Naysayers - A few denied we have accents and it's everyone else who speaks oddly.
- “We're simply the only ones who speak correctly,” said one Facebook commenter when we asked if Long Island has an accent.
- “Real native Long Islanders say ‘Long Island.’ Imports say ‘Lawng Guylind’ know the difference. LOL,” someone wrote.
- “We don’t, everyone else does! Lol!”
- “We don’t think so, but other people think we do ! Lol.”
- “I don’t even notice our LI accents anymore.”
The Jokesters - Some commenters were more tongue in cheek.
- “Nope. Not at all. 😉 Heh, heh 😏.”
- “Nope. The rest of the Country does though. 😃”
- “Waddau ya mean?”
- “I’ve lived on lawnguyland my whole life! No accent here! 😁”
- “Only when we get cut off on the road. 😑”
Loud and proud - Many people acknowledged the Long island accent but love it and are even proud.
- “Yes. It fits perfectly with my New York attitude.”
- “That would be a big 10-4.”
- “Yes. and I'm fine with it.”
- “Yes I do and proud of it.”
- “Absolutely! But it's ours and we love it.”
Not anymore - Some had one but worked hard to get rid of it.
- “Not anymore. Trained for years of radio, I buried the regionalism, except for ‘mirror’ ... ‘mirruh’ What remains are the phrasing, rhythms, inflections and cadences of NY metro speech. For instance, my of nearly 40 years is a lifelong CT girl, but is often mistaken as Brooklyn Italian because of her parents' upbringing and vocal influence - plus, she often talks using the appropriate hand gestures!”
- “When I start sounding like a New Yorker, I head back to Maine to sign up for a refresher course in my accent. It sounds wicked good!’
The LI accent is like luggage - Even when people relocated they still seem to keep that Long Island accent no matter how long they’re away from home.
- “Yeah! Long Island native here, but Rochester, NY dweller since college. A long time ago. People still detect my LI accent when I say ‘cawfee.’ I can detect a LI or NY accent a mile away and I’m always right. Like buttah!”
- “Do bears poop in the woods ? Of course, we do. Since I moved away, I'll tune into the ‘Long Island Medium’ to renew my ears to the sound.”
- “Absolutely. I moved away 33 years ago, and I STILL have it.”
- “I’m in NC thirty years. I have it, sound like the Long Island Medium. I hate it.”
- “Hope it will never go away!. I live in FL and as soon as I speak people know where I'm from.”
- “I’m told I do and I haven’t been home in many years.”
- “I never realized I did until I moved to Buffalo, and everybody tells me that.”
- “Still have my accent after 44 years out of LI. Cross between Brooklyn and L.I. I'm proud of it!😃”
Sticks out like a sore thumb - When we travel, people pick us out right away.
- “I was in Seattle doing a little business. The guys there kept calling their co- workers over, and kept asking me to say something. They got a kick out of my ‘accent,’ all in good fun 😀.”
- “Yes we do, people always detect my accent and I am proud to say I am from Greenport L.I.”
- “Yes we do. Went to NC last month and started talking with a woman who said, ‘I can hear an accent. Are you from Long Island?’ 😄”
- “When I visit other states, people definitely know I'm from New York. Never really thought about the Long Island accent until a couple of years ago when someone asked me to say, ‘what beverage do people normally drink in the morning?’ It was the first time I actually heard myself say cawfee instead of coffee.”
- “I moved to PA. & found out I do. Lol”
- “Yes we do. I live in FL and people joke. They like the way I saw drawer. lol.”
- “I moved to Syracuse 10 years ago. People always comment on my accent. The other day I was watching Long Island Medium. My son was upstairs and he asked me who I was talking to. Guess I still got it.”
- “My Queens friends say I have a Long Island accent. What? I thought all are all Long Island? 🤣 I didn't realize it until I started listening to myself. But I don't think it's as thick as some others here on Long Island!”
- “I’ve been off LI since ‘89 and still folks hear the NY or LI in me.”
- “I've lived in Texas 43 years and someone recognized my accent just a few days ago. On Long island I've been told I have a southern accent or I sound like a cowboy. Go figure”
- “After being away from the Island 45 years, I think it's gone. But my son in law says when I get mad he hears it lol.”
- “Yup been in Virginia for 23 yrs and immediately People ask if I am from NY.”
- “OMG yes. Mine has followed me all over the country.”