Sarah J. Carlson

Contemporary Young Adult Author

On being the token Yank: You sound more American…



Hi everyone, so it’s been awhile since my last “On being the token Yank” post. Guess I haven’t been feeling all that token-y of late, but recently I had an amusing one.

So two of my best friends from Wisconsin are here visiting and I’ve been working hard to show them a good time in Singapore. I invited my British friends to get satay (meat on a stick basically) with us. So I was talking to my British friends and my Wisconsin friends and one of my British friends said, “Sarah you sound more American!”

Hahahaaaaaaaa not exactly sure why. Perhaps my accent was more pronounced? Maybe I was talking louder? But then again, I’m always loud. I blame it on coming from a huge family where it was Hunger Games for attention 😛 t’s not like I made the mistake of calling trousers pants or anything like that…. 😛 I also didn’t call a water fountain a bubbler.  Anyway, who knows, but it was pretty funny lol. Perhaps it was just more surprising for her to hear me because I was promoted to “practically British” several months ago.

Anyway, accents are fascinating….  Here’s a breakdown of US general accents for anyone who’s interested.


(retrieved from


(Also fascinating–Bubbler…Part of Wisconsin and Connecticut??? Sorry, you have to click on it to really see it)

By the way, totally Upper Midwest. A hint of the movie/show Fargo but nowhere near that pronounced lol.

Aaaanyway, I didn’t get a chance to ask how I sounded more American. My guess, I was saying my vowels more Midwestern-y than usual.

Please share any funny accent stories!

….and as a fun afterthought:




14 thoughts on “On being the token Yank: You sound more American…

  1. Charles Colp

    I have a habit, cultivated from being a military brat, of picking up accents depending on who I a talking to. I have felt the need to explain that it is an unconscious habit many times. I am always worried someone will take it as me making fun of their accent. My normal accent is definitely western but i find southern creeping in the longer I am in the south.


    1. sjoycarlson Post author

      Haha, I think this might be what happens to me. I also had a habit of slipping a bit of Black English Vernacular when I worked in the schools back home.

      Are you embracing the Southern accent?


      1. Charles Colp

        Not nearly as much as my kids do. On the plus side i am one of the few people I know here that has no trouble with voice commands on my phone. I do call carbonated drinks soda instead of pop. When I lived in Monterey California I saw the dividing line for the two names extended there as well. Near Mt. Shasta in northern California it was pop. Around San Francisco it was soda. My wife is from Michigan so we have fun teasing each other about certain words. I have caught myself saying y’all though.


  2. Sierra

    I don’t have much of an accent other than the typical “y’all” and eliding (they’re ingrained in just about every Texan, I think), but my husband was raised in south Georgia, and he certainly sounds like it. Although, if you ask his family, they’ll say he’s lost his accent (but only because it’s less pronounced than theirs – he’s had to learn to actively dial it down for work).

    Love the pictures!


  3. ehbates

    I’ve had a ridiculous amount of people tell me I sound Canadian. I grew up in Northern California. Not sure where that comes from–maybe I had too many Canadian friends?


      1. christineplouvier

        Hm. That would be the part of Wisconsin I’m most familiar with, but then, we didn’t spend a whole lot of time up there. Relatives who lived in WI came south to visit, because the bulk of the family was in Chicagoland. Well, that was interesting. And thanks for posting those maps.


  4. Rachael C Marek

    A couple of my friends and I were having a discussion on how you pronounce things according to where you’re from, like Mary vs merry or bury vs berry and a slew of others. Some things are definitely regional…and kind of annoying. 🙂


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