40th – Long Islander
The Lawnguylanders have, in the past, been ranked as the least sexiest-sounding Americans. Unfortunately, so many severely unsexy celebrities call Long Island home, like Jerry Seinfeld and his legendary, PG-friendly dirty talk. Or Chriss Angel, the only man who can look unflattering in a leather duster.
39th – Minnesotan
The cheery, sing-song charm of the Minnesotanites is one that a few people would rather skip. There’s a bit of Wisconsin, and a smidge of a Dakota, although they can’t make their minds up on which one. The broad and honking yah sounds don’t exactly scream romance unless a nearby pheasant is looking for a mate.
38th – Alaskan
The Alaskan accent has evolved in recent memory after the government sent a bunch of Minnesotan families to help pad out the area. As a result, there are far too many similarities, and it becomes easy to tar them with the same brush. Tar is, by the way, a very funny sound in the Alaskan accent.
37th – California Valley
The valley accent is a mixed bag for many Americans. It’s so easy for them to be funny and aloof, but that can make it hard to take them seriously. Hollywood and social media have no doubt had a part in creating the image of the Valley Girl, so it isn’t the fine Valley folk themselves to blame. They can’t help being hilarious!
36th – Southern Ohio
Back when Kentucky and Appalachia’s mines ran dry, the workers moved north to join the booming railroad industry. Many settled in Southern Ohio, and within a few generations, the accents had merged into an almost southern slurry. Their I’s can sound like E’s, but it isn’t so thick you’d think they were south through and through.
35th – Florida
While you might hear some swoon-worthy sounds while strutting about the beaches of Miami, the rest of the state sounds very different. The ‘Florida Man’ in the news for eating his way through a Culver’s door that was already open, could have a whole panhandle situation going on. Some of them sound mid-western too, it’s all over the place.
34th – Pittsburgh
Rarely is a state so well known purely because of its dialect, but the Yinzers are a widely discussed people. Many consider it ugly, and it has come pretty low down in state rankings in the past, but there is an undeniable charm to the affectations. Who doesn’t want to go to dahntahn? It sounds wonderful down there.
33rd – Cincinnati
This South Western city has its own branch of Ohioan that’s sadly being lost to time. It has a distinct spice among the rest of the mid-west, with a slight nasal tone that instantly sets it apart from neighbouring areas. There are traces of Appalachia in there too, lending it an uncharacteristically polite tone for Ohio.
32nd – Pennsylvania Dutch
Pennsylvania has a huge variety of accents on offer, crossing the gambit from generic Mid-Atlantic to full-on guten tag territory. German migrants made their way over during the 17th-19th century, bringing their thick and heavy accents with them. The result is one of Pennsylvania’s, and America’s, least favourite accents.
31st – Appalachian
Also known as Smoky Mountain English or Southern Mountain English, the Appalachian dialect has informed a lot of North America’s signature sounds. They seemingly drop syllables and add A’s wherever they please, which gives everything a nice folksy charm. The way they trade ‘ow’s for ‘ah’s is wonderful.
30th – Colorado
Many people debate if Colorado even has an accent, but those snowy mountain peaks have done something to how they speak. There has been an influx and influence of the Californian dialect in the past century, which has modernized the sound a little. They still drop their T’s plenty though.
29th – Providence
There aren’t many accents in the world you can just list as a noun and people know what you’re talking about. That alone makes this Rhode Island dialect notable, if not entirely enjoyable. The Jersey Shore has caused irreparable psychic damage to the occupants, and the Boston meets Brooklyn may never recover.
28th – Tallahassee
Those not brave enough to venture into the true south often settle for Tallahassee, Florida. It has a lot of the South’s geography, with its mix of beaches and bayous. The accent is also heavily influenced by the southern territories, giving this city a distinct panhandle twang that tourists seem to love.
27th – Ozark
Between Arkansas and Missouri sits the city of Ozark, deep in the mountains. The ferns (outsiders) have a hard time grappling with exactly what the Ozarkians are saying, but the rest of the state seems to get along with them fine. They have a habit of dropping Ls and expanding their to makes their twang recognizable.
26th – San Francisco
Nowadays, San Francisco is known as a multicultural melting pot for people of different backgrounds, but it did originally have a sound all of its own. The traditional San Fran dialect was lightning fast and full of portmanteaus, fusing words to make the fly by quicker. The modern sound has kept a few of these features.
25th – Hudson Valley
It’s incredible how localised accents can be, and how nobody seems to realize it’s happening as local demographics change. The Hudson Valley dialect is an offshoot of New York’s that is close to Albany but with much stronger New England vibes. Think shorter vowels, like Kelsey Grammar or Ben Stiller’s stunted delivery.
24th – General American
This is a kind of dialect that exists in basically every language on the planet. It’s the broad appeal radio and TV-friendly delivery that is developed through training and then held onto despite the speaker’s wishes. Morning News, Late Night hosts, if you go through media training this is who you become.
23rd – New Mexican
You’d think the New in New Mexican meant it was developed by Zoomers for how high energy some of the noises are. There are lots of elongated ‘e’s that sometimes border on a Canadian ‘ey’, and a lot of slang borrowed from its early Spanish inspiration. It doesn’t have the thick, heavy drawl of its Texan neighbours though.
22nd – Milwaukee
Some linguists disagree that Milwaukee has its accent or dialect, but they aren’t skipping half the letters in their name for nothing! The Wisconsin city has seen heavy Germanic influences in the past, leading to a lot of “aig” sounds when words end with a g. They’ve also invented ‘aina’ which is just the noise of a question mark.
Linguists use ‘Western’ to describe the general sound you’re most likely to hear around Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming. Some of the basic characteristics involve O’s and A’s sometimes sounding the same, sometimes referred to as a “cot-caught merger”. These states, of course, have many smaller accents all their own.
20th – Charleston
Another of the South’s dialects that are sadly on the way out, the Charleston is like liquid gravy straight into your ears. It tends to be a slower, more deliberate form of Southern accent, with elongated vowels and a ‘y’ and ‘uh’ sound that makes its way into pretty much everything they say. An amazing accent to declare things in.
19th – Kentucky
Now we’re getting into the big dogs. Kentucky sticks to a version of Southern American English, which gets a bad rap from some of the Northern States. They hear the drawl and the stressing of syllables, and then their brain immediately goes to Nacsar and hill billies, but that ignores the beauty of the thick, glossy sounds.
18th – New Orleans
Nyaaarlins has one of the country’s most distinctive dialects, though it is often overshadowed by some of the stronger Cajun-sounding ones. The Yat sound, as in “where ya at” carries a lot of momentum and flow by adding z’s and dropping r’s, which helps slang roll off the tongue and harkens back to its New York roots.
17th – Oklahoma
This is another accent linguists aren’t exactly sure how to classify. It has a lot in common with general Western sounds but with splashes of Ozark and a bit of a Southern sprinkle. This often comes through in the form of slang like the adorable “might”, or an Oklahoman ‘fixing’ for a sprite zero.
16th – Cleveland
Cleveland’s dialect is classified by what it isn’t more than what it is. Much of Ohio has a Midwestern tinge, but Clevelanders borrow a lot of city speak from the likes of Rochester and Buffalo. They speak with hard, nasally a’s or short o’s that sound more like an ‘a’. A box becomes a box, which makes it five times cooler.
17th – Connecticut
Being so close in proximity to New York, Connecticut has started to develop a general, easy-to-understand Western accent. It still has some of its original idiosyncrasies though! You can hear r’s pronounced with more clarity, but they still drop the t sound pretty hard. Or pre’y hard, as they would say.
16th – Kansas
Kansas is a popular target for the “not a real accent” crowd to go off on, but they do have something going on up there. Some parts, like Liberal, have adopted Spanish/Latino tones, as a radical population shift in the 80s meat working industry sent a lot of South Americans up to the midlands.
15th – Tennessean
Some call it the Tennessee twang, others call it the Tennessee brogue, but most people will know it when they hear it. The Southern accents are among the country’s favourites, both for their glorious turns of phrase and the general molasses-like quality of their words. That’s when the words aren’t shortened so much they just disappear.
14th – Virginia Piedmont
People go wild for Piedmont’s accent. It evolved out of Virginia’s expansive history as one of the US’s first states, and has seen influences from the British, the Germans, and the slave population in captivity. ‘Four dogs’ becomes “fo-uh dah-awgs” as each syllable gets their extra expansions.
13th – Baltimore
Baltimore’s almost Philly-esque twang is very popular, beating out many other similar-sounding states. It could be their fronting back vowels, a linguistic term that explains why certain words come out that way. Goose might be pronounced news, as the ‘oo’ sound gets closed off and feels more abrupt.
12th – Alabama
The Alabamans have the drawl on lock. They’re responsible for spreading y’all all across the country since it just sounds so right when they say it! Deontay Wilder, former heavyweight boxing champion and man who could punch a hole in space, uses that sweet homely Tuscaloosa accent to strike fear in opponents’ hearts.
11th – Cajun
The Cajuns basically get the best of everything. The best food, the best music, the best art, and one of the best accents across America. That’s all a result of its mixing pot culture, combining elements of French, African and Spanish to create the dialect that gave us boo as a cute pet name or a partner.
10th – Miami
Curse those sexy Miamians, coming in so much higher than the rest of their fellow statesmen. It could just be the Miami effect, where people from Miami want you to know they’re from Miami, so they ham up all the quirks like pronouncing the l hard in salmon. There’s also a sexy cadence to the Cuban-inspired delivery.
9th – Chicano
While this was once a derogatory term, used to decry a growing cultural fusion of American and Mexican, it has since been reclaimed and worn with pride. It encompasses a couple of different dialects since it refers to any Latin Americans across the country who hold onto both cultural identities and sound like a mix of the two.
8th – Californian
This is probably what the global impression of an “American accent” is closest to, as it has a lot in common with general Western Americans, and they’re all on TV. It has the super long and emphasized vowels, both in regular conversation and when saying stuff like ‘duuuuuuuuude’. It’s amazing how sexy an aloof Californian can sound.
7th – St Louis
The St Louis way of speaking apparently gets a ton of people weak at the knees, coming out as Missouri’s most popular accent. One of their main linguistic traits is swapping out ‘or’ sounds for ‘ar’ ones, like the number farty-far, or being just tarn up inside. It doesn’t sound that great in writing, you have to experience it yourself.
6th – Philadelphia
The list of famous Philadelphians shows just how popular their dialect can be. You have movie stars like Will Smith and Sylvester Stallone, who sound nothing like each other but both deliver the word ‘fight’ with extra sauce depending on the ite/oit pronunciation. There’s also a tendency to swap an ‘er’ for an ‘uh’.
5th – Hawaiian
While the Island has the same problems as everywhere else, it’s hard for Americans to hear a Hawaiian accent and not picture themselves somewhere sunny and relaxing. As a Polynesian language, it tends to have a slower and more rhythmic delivery, making it one of the nation’s favourite accents.
4th – Mississippi
As far as true southern accents go, Mississippi has one of the most iconic, if somewhat villainous-sounding examples. There are a lot of signature traits to pick up on, like the way they whistle their way into words beginning with ‘wh’ or how they can stretch ‘e’s into sounds never before heard from humans.
3rd – Chicago
The proud people of Chicago have one of the most notorious accents in the country. The glitz and glamour of Broadway and mobster impressions have made some dislike the sound, but there’s a lot to love about the rounded-out ‘o’ sounds. There’s also a great flow to how they naturally shorten and slang-ify words on the fly.
2nd – Bostonian
The cast of Good Will Hunting did an excellent job of conveying how manically enticing the Bostonian can be. Near enough every word has some stank thrown on it for the deepest variations, and even the more reserved-sounding ones like Chris Evans feel like they’re a second away from saying “Eeeeeeeeeeh forget about it”.
1st – Texan
Texas try its best to stand apart from the rest of the country, and though sometimes that’s for awful reasons, people still love the accent! They can’t get enough of the Lone Star cowboy charm, with their howdy partners and distinctly southern but not southern drawl. None of this applies to Ted Cruz who sounds like he’s constantly moist and uncomfortable.