sexy-and-i-know-it

Being an American in Britain makes you accidentally sexy

Posted on August 27, 2009 by yankeebean

yankeebeanDon’t deny it – whatever you’re accent weakness is, you know it’s there (you minx, you)

For many many many (freakin’ MANY) Americans, their weakness is the English accent.  And rightly so, might I add – English people can say almost ANYTHING and it sounds good.  ‘Bastard’ and ‘asshole’ are prime examples (pardon my not-french).  Not the friendliest or most pleasant of words, but said in a posh English accent it’s instant class… ok, maybe not class – but you get what I mean…

Bizarrely, this attraction can be the same in reverse – I’ve met countless English people that seem to think the American accent is the equivalent of a chocolate covered strawberry.

Now I’m about as ‘taken’ as they come – I’m hitched to an awesome Brit who’s the best ever.  As  a result, I think I tend to radiate ‘unavailable’ like it’s stamped, glowing across my forehead.  Everyone that knows me knows that I’m uber-taken, and that I’m crazy about Mr. Nice Guy.  I wonder if that’s why people feel comfortable enough to tell me when they think my accent is cute… although I always feel weird when it happens.  (To be fair, I think everyone involved does – it usually temporarily kills the conversation and causes some shuffling)

Here’s a list of some of the words that have caused said-shuffling:

  • Capo (American = KAY-poh / English = CAH-poh)
  • Tofurkey
  • Compost (American = KAAHM-post / English = COHM-pohst)
  • Capillary (American = CAA-pill-air-ee / English = cuh-PILL-ery
  • Route (American = RAOWt / English = ROOt
  • Tune (American = TOOn / English = CHEWn
  • Semi (American = SEH-my / English = SEH-mee)
  • Strawberry (American = STRAHW-beh-ree / English = STROO-bree)

I’m always surprised when someone thinks the American accent is particularly attractive.  I don’ think it’s bad or anything – it just seems so ordinary to me (for obvious reasons).

So, if you’re American and you want to be sexier, try moving to England.  All you have to do is chat and your accent will take care of the rest :)

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What Others Are Saying

  1. isara October 14, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    I sort of think it’s because we Americans speak english like English people sing.. it’s very melodic compared to other versions of english..

  2. Kat October 18, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I actually always wondered if the accent thing went both ways. Most English people I ask usually say things along the lines of “Well, I wouldn’t say it’s sexier, but it’s different”, so I always left it at that until I was talking to this Australian guy. We were IMing, he used a phrase similar to that, then we switched to audio and he just loved my accent and kept going on about how cute it is!…Maybe it’s more of that English subtlety.

  3. Rachel Jones September 15, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Last year, I took PE for a necessary credit and, as the only upperclassman in a gaggle of freshman, I was more of a spectator when it came to socializing. A British girl had started school here– her first year, I think– and the girls were falling all over themselves to compliment her accent; the novelty was exciting, haha.(: The girl surprised me by responding, “Well, I have to say I really hate American accents. They sound awful.” I felt a bit insulted, but was surprised when the other girls pretty unanimously agreed with her!
    The poor things would do well to read a positive account or two from this site.

    • yankeebean September 16, 2012 at 12:27 am

      8-O Bloody hell – tell us how you really feel English new girl :)

  4. Robert October 24, 2010 at 3:07 am

    Heh, met a guy who from Bristol here in the US. I was thinking I would stop by to visit during the spring break there which apparently lasts a month over there. Got a scholarship for this fall for a year so had to delay that. He keeps on telling me how the ladies would love my accent. Funny how he says it made it seem like it was hard for him to admit. Apparently I articulate my T’s in words like city and water. A scottish grad student came up (female) to me and said it sounded completly horrible. I would say I am an attractive person but this does nothing good for my confidence. Funny how her accent sounded like she gargles marbles. Hard thing is I ask from opinions on the internet and I only get Brits saying if I plan to live there I better “Learn the language”. Have any of you had any of that language elitism?

    • peacefulyorkshire November 1, 2010 at 10:14 am

      Hi Robert,
      I have had many British natives explain how much they either dislike the American accent or love it. The person that is rude enough to admit to an AMERICAN that they don’t like the accent then usually ends with ‘oh but you don’t sound American, I wasn’t talking about you.’ This is a perfect warning for you to know that this person is usually a wanker.

  5. yankeebean June 27, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    BRISTOL!

    Let me reassure you, Robert that Bristol is the COOLEST city I’ve ever lived in… and I’ve lived in a few.

    Creative, techie, exciting, amazing art and music, gorgeous views, leafy and green, but lots of cool city stuff.

    You, sir, have made an EXCELLENT choice.

    Oh, and there was a study done a couple of years ago (I think?) that showed that you were far more likely to get a job in the UK if you weren’t from the UK. Bizarre? Yeah, maybe – but who cares, right? :D

  6. Robert June 27, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Man I still cannot believe the huge ambivalent view on the accent. It’s really unnerving when you here a comment from one person saying american english is cool. Then another American says my accent is going to prevent me from getting a job because the english view it as a bastard. My personal accent makes me sound like a young Kelsey Grammar. Quite frankly though from someone who is giving alot of thought to moving there indeffinately it’s hard to be reassured. Forgive me if this seems to be very whiny. I know it would be hard to say more than you already have. I just want to think my decision was a good one. That choosing to go to school in Bristol is not going to be a mistake.

  7. peacefulyorkshire June 23, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Hi Robert
    Just to let you know a little story that might cheer you up on any fears about your accent. I was on the commuter train yesterday to Leeds and an American man walked onto the train, probably around mid twenties. He was confident and self -assured. When someone was in in his reserved seat he asked in a very polite manner if he could sit in his seat he booked.

    Oh Robert, you should have SEEN all these British women swooning and squirming with delight. And the heads turning when he spoke. The pack of giggly women to my left were besotted and couldn’t keep their eyes off him. Ok, no one made conversation with him (hey its Britain that is ok) but the atmosphere in the room was suddenly heated–And it wasnt only that hot day we had yesterday! He was your average looking man, but what did it? His ACCENT and his confident American demeanour he projected me thinks. So there you go!

    Good luck on your move to Bristol and let us know how it is to make male friends. I am sure it will be fine, really!

  8. Robert June 23, 2010 at 2:11 am

    That’s quite strange. I have been to Manchester with my grandmother once. She was born and raised there and came to the US fue to my grandfathers charm. I have had quite a few compliments on my accent in just a space of about 2 weeks. On the other hand when I see comments on the internet it’s you only have two polar oppisite responses.
    Also I am about to move as well to attend the University of Bristol. Is there any problem you know of for american guys to make friends there? I imagine it’s a bit different. I also love the blog quite alot.

  9. Robert June 22, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Strange, I have seen extremly bipolar comments from people in the uk about american accents(on the internet atleast). Some think it’s very sexy others very grotesque. It might be these particular people might not like the US and their comments reflect that. It’s very strange. Has anyone in the uk said anything negative about your accent?

    • yankeebean June 22, 2010 at 8:24 am

      Hi Robert, thanks for stopping by! Most of the comments I get are positive ones about my accent (although I confess I’m always surprised). Only once has someone complained about American accents to me, but it was weird because they did it like they were pretending I wasn’t American. Like I was going to agree with them or something?? Very bizarre… :)

  10. Pingback: One European man (now in hiding) says that American women are “unbelievably EASY” | She's Not From Yorkshire

  11. Carla Young September 7, 2009 at 12:17 am

    I’ve gotten comments about my “sexy American accent” and it’s great. I got it way more in Paris though, a bunch in the UK and none in spain.

    • yankeebean September 8, 2009 at 7:28 pm

      Hi Carla! Now that you mention it – I got it more in Italy than in the UK. But Italian men are nothing if not INCREDIBLY forward about showing their interest. I’m blushing just thinking about it…

  12. Steve Shawcross August 29, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    I reckon both Peacefulyorkshire’s and Redlilocks US tones are a treat for the ears, mellifluous I’d wager :)

    The Irish accents of Eire are always held in hig regard, Northern Irish accent less so it seems. Whilst I remarked Geordie accent is in vogue, note I didn’t say it was sexy (or not!)… whether it is sexy or not, I’ll leave up to you ;)

    Geordies used to be used in the WWII as radio operators, since Germans/Italians/Japanese couldn’t understand Geordie accents– so no code required! It has often been maligned: “Ordinary English spoken backwards”, as one commentator had it.

    The Geordie accent first started to become popular as result of the hugely succesful Viz comic, which was (and still is) based in Tyne & Wear. Some info thereon…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whME9SxuVfs

    People like Gazza, Ant & Dec and Marcus Bentley have popularised it further, same with the telly shows Auf Wiedersehen Pet and Byker Grove

  13. Redlilocks August 29, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Oh my god, peaceful, yet another thing we have in common! I, too, have done voiceover work for UK companies and my voice is on a few different answer phone messages dotted around the Southeast ;) I have gotten more compliments on my speaking voice since I’ve been here than I ever did in the States but I suppose there’s a certain novelty value in it and unabashedly, I never tire of the compliments!! ;) Now, as far as the Geordie accent being sexy? Oh dear. An Irish accent on the other hand? Yum! lol

  14. Steve Shawcross August 28, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Flaunt away Peacefulyorkshire– great idea! Hasn’t done that Redd Pepper bloke any harm (AKA Richardson Green).

    The Australian accents ultimately comes from the accents of SE England, hence the confusion. However a dead give away is AQI (Australian Questioning Intonation), raising your voice at the end of a sentence… so it sounds like a question? Many Australians do it all the time? But it’s spread to New Zealand; even to the UK and South Africa? And gets blooming annoying after a while?

    @Yankeebean: It’s not such a bad thing to confuse the Scottish and Irish accents, since the Northern Irish (“Ulster”) accent is a combination of the two.

    The way to tell the difference between an Irish accent, Scots accent and Northern Irish accent is the “ao” dipthong; as in “cow”, “plough” or “house”. In Republic of Ireland it’s said “oe”, in Scotland “oo” and Northern Ireland “I”.

    So an Irish person lives in a “hoes”, an Ulsterman in a “hice” and a Scot in a “hoose”.

    This will help I’m sure…!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8k7ajlq0eI

  15. peacefulyorkshire August 28, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Oh yes, work that American accent, work it!! Having an American voice has a lot of advantages! You can use it when you are lost and can’t remember your directions. Heck, don’t feel bad, just act like a tourist (even though you are very much a local) and no one will bat an eye!

    Also, I have actually started to use my voice for profit and have been recording it for Yorkshire businesses for their answer phone messages. Gotta flaunt that American accent if you got it, right?!

  16. Rachel August 28, 2009 at 12:04 am

    I love this post! I think the same applies anywhere. While travelling in Australia, my friend’s 13-year old daughter screamed: “I just looooove your accent!” and proceeded to DRAWL out every word imagineable. For some additional interesting news about one particular London accent, I give you this article that I heard on NPR yesterday regarding London ATMs: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112196683

  17. Steve Shawcross August 27, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    I’d say American accents can sound sexy! I think it depends who the owner is– George Clooney’s American accent is sexy, a soothing growl– it wouldn’t work with a South African accent I don’t think.

    I glad many Americans find the “the” English accent sexy, but I feel it’s worth emphasising there’s is no one English accent: The variety is bewildering (all down to our ancient tribal history), and some English accents are considered sexier than others!

    Whilst a West Yorkshire accent is considered sexy, most people consider the Brummie a complete turn-off! Also fashion has a lot to do with it… in 1990s the Manc accent was in vogue (“Madchester”, the success of Man U, Terry Christian). Now in 2000s the Geordie accent is in vogue, with Ant & Dec or Marcus “Voice of Big Brother” Bentley.

    So if you don’t think an American accent sounds sexy, then take a crash-course in Geordie– whey aye pet!

    • yankeebean August 27, 2009 at 9:57 pm

      I kid you not, when I first moved here, every accent sounded the same – that even included Australian people. When I first met my guy I thought he sounded just like the Beatles (!). But now I know he has a standard BBC News accent – not even a whisper of Scouse.

      I still confuse Scottish and Irish people, though… yup, I’m definitely still American!

  18. Christine August 27, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    I also agree with this, I talk on the phones for my job and am always being told how lovely and nice my accent is. I find it BORING but like you said.. for obvious reasons! :)

  19. Ashley August 27, 2009 at 11:56 am

    I wish I got that reaction! Although I am very happily married, I wouldn’t mind people thinking I had a “sexy” accent ;) Everyone I meet either tells me I don’t sound very American (whatever that means!) or doesn’t comment on my accent.

  20. Kristy August 27, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Yes, I have gotten strange comments regarding my ‘sexy’ American accent, but I secretly like it. !!

    • Samantha June 25, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      Being a British person myself I find American accents adorable. But that’s just me.

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