If you’re from California, and are insisting you “don’t have accent”, then we’re sorry. You do. Everyone has an accent. With three California accents making it into a recent vote of the sexiest accents in America, we delved a little deeper into our survey results.
Despite being the most populous state in the United States, California is often mistaken as having the same ‘TV’ accent. In fact, it’s hugely diverse.
How many accents are there in Cali, and how sexy are they? From NorCal to SoCal, and everything in between, here’s the official ranking.
Sexiest accents in California
The often-ridiculed San Fernando “Valley Girl” accent rose to fame in the 1980s, but is still spoken by many in South California today. Like, awesome? Main characteristics include a heavy vowel shift.
This unique jargon is spoken only in Boonville, and fewer than 100 people still speak it. It’s a mix of Scottish Gaelic, Irish and even some Pomoan and Spanish, and is one of only two homegrown languages remaining in the US.
Sadly, it’s pikin’ to the dusties,” aka dying out.
8. San Francisco
The San Francisco accent is hard to pin down – is it the ‘Mission’ brogue, as heard in former California Gov. Jerry Brown’s voice? Or is it an overall melting pot that is SF as a whole?
While there’s many different influences on the San Fran accent, however locals generally say run words together. Think: “Dontcha” instead of “Don’t you?” or , “Youra” instead of “You are”.
Do you say ‘the 101’ instead of the freeway? Congrats, you’ve a SoCal accent! Not to be confused with the exaggerated Valley accent, Southern California has seen the rise of uptalk in the accent. This is where people sound like they’re constantly asking a question, even though they’re not.
Bakerfield in Southern Cali has a large migrant population of people from Oklahoma and Arkansas in the 1930s, so the accent reflects that today. You’ll recognise it for the pen-pin merger: pronouncing ‘pen’ the same as ‘pin’.
5. African American Vernacular
African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) shares a large portion of its grammar and phonology with the rural dialects of the Southern United States. AAVE differs in Cali in recent years, with a unique mix of higher vowels.
The Southern influence on the Central Valley accent is especially noticeable with the use of ‘was’ instead of ‘were’ eg. “you was going.” You’ll hear slightly drawl-like accents here, that are clearly considered pretty damn sexy.
Looks like this accent is hella hot. Northern California speakers tend to sound similar to Pacific Northwest, with broader “a” vowel sounds, like saying “awesome” as “ah-some.” There’s some vowel shifting emerging, but a little more nasally than the rest of Cali.
The dialect of many Mexican Americans from Texas to California, Chicano is so much more than “just a Spanish accent.” Most common in East L.A, Chicano English uses Spanish words mixed into English sentences and the same sexy lilt.
The typical Californian accents sounds similar to General American, meaning to American ears it isn’t an accent at all. But we’re here to tell you that it is. Vowels are super long, so yep, dude really does become ‘duuuuuude’. But it sounds sexay.
No wonder it’s voted as the sexiest of all the California accents.