baltimore accent the wire

An English actor, West even auditioned for The Wire via tape. You know I’m going to have to ask you about The Wire now, right? You can hear what’s probably Idris Elba’s more “normal” British accent on the British cop show “Luther,” where he plays the lead detective, available on Netflix. I liked that too. Also Lt. Mello, the Deacon, the middle school principal, you can go on. 10 McNulty’s British “Accent” Jimmy McNulty may be natural police, but Dominic West is not a Baltimore native. The key feature of the Baltimore accent is identified by a sound change called “fronting back vowels.” It’s an accent feature that probably started in the South, according to Becker, where vowels that are usually pronounced with the tongue in the back of the mouth (like the “oo” in goose”) are instead pronounced with the tongue in the front (“gewse”). All in all it was a spectacular job, and while all weren’t distinctly and unequivocally from Baltimore, the vast majority fell into the range you would hear in the city. It’s about the city of Baltimore. Is that not what a Baltimore accent sounds like? Much like the “business English” recently discussed on the Macmillan Dictionary Blog, language in The Wire was often used to sugarcoat cruelty and violence. I’m from Annapolis and you can definitely hear an accent. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. Him and the School Principal. People also tend to use the word "hon" a lot, although this is heard mostly only in the city. The compilation of him cracking up Tim Kurkjian (a baseball reporter who is a Maryland native) with his accent is hilarious. From what I’ve heard, Baltimore-area and Philadelphia-area accents are very similar with the exception that Baltimore’s accent has a slight southern thing happening, and Philadelphia’s accent doesn’t. Felicia Peterson, who played her, was from there. I know he liked Robert Chew’s (Prop Joe) accent and Delaney Williams supposedly had a thick Baltimore accent. this is part of an episode "The Wire" on HBO.. Snoop goes into a hardware store to buy something. Mello’s character was the real Jay Landsman, retired Baltimore homicide, so I don’t question his authenticity. . I also noticed those same sounds in Prop Joe's accent. Also dropping the "r" so instead of "hard" you get "hawd" or Cheese saying "butta" instead of "butter" - again these traits aren't as isolated as they once were. I get what you’re saying. The book is nonfiction, it's really a great read. http://wilk4.com/humor/humorm221.htm. Pingback: What are you watching tonight? Baltimoreans feel free to chime in! The Baltimore drug scene, as seen through the eyes of drug dealers and law enforcement. Thanks for pointing that out. Other good examples of it are some of the really minor characters like the cop who shares the boat with McNulty at the beginning of season two (can't remember his name) and officer Bobby Brown. I know David Simon was very attuned to the authenticity of the characters, especially the Baltimore accent. John Doman, who plays Rawls, is an actual native Philadelphia. ". Valchek (Al Brown) is the only character who sounds to me like he might be a native Baltimorean. It’s definitely is not a strong accent like a Hoboken or Bronx accent. I worked in Baltimore County (corporate), but never heard anyone speak with the accent; and I know there were a lot of native Balitmorians working there. The accents of the actors who portrayed Lt. Mello of the Western District and Vice-principal Donnelly of Tilghman Middle school were ‘spot on’. The Wire is a great show. They both have really thick, really authentic accents. "Baldamor, Curry, and Dug': Language Variation, Culture, and Identity among African American Baltimoreans" by Inte'a DeShields Click on this audio player to listen to my podcast "'Baldamor, Curry, and Dug': Language Variation, Culture, and Identity among African American Baltimoreans" (40 minutes, 8 seconds; copyright 2011). As a native Marylander, there were certainly times I was jarred by someone’s speech, but interestingly it was more often gesture and facial expression while speaking rather than the vocal production. Nice website too … didn’t know there was a site devoted specifically to Baltimorese! "I love how regional Baltimore is," Bowen said. It is believable that many of the poh-leese would sound like they’re from up Jersey but not a white labor union dock worker from Holluntown or Glimburny. Among real public figures, the best representative I can think of for authentic Balmorese is Senator Barbara Mikulski. None of the Wire characters sound quite like that, with the possible exception of Valchek. These folks are actors, after all — really good ones who do what it takes to play their characters as authentically as possible, speech and all. I worked with a Baltimore native quite a while and didn’t hear much of an accent. chicken box . Cookies help us deliver our Services. . The Baltimore accent is a dialect that originated among the blue-collar workers of Baltimore City and is often referred to as "Baltimorese". It definitely takes place in Baltimore, and is based upon experiences of David Simon while a newspaper reporter in Baltimore, but it definitely is about police and various types of crime (most often drug related). By Staff and wire reports. these accents are less “typical Baltimore” and more southern/Appalachian. Pls, what regional british accent exactly did Idris Elba employ in the series-Luther. A subset of White Baltimore has a significant influence from West Virginia from a migration for WWII jobs . Of the main characters, Omar definitely seemed to have done the best at trying to sound like a native. For example, John Waters uses his own Baltimore accent in the commentary during his film Pink Flamingos. It's tricky to isolate it to Baltimore, because the dialectical influences would be from Philly, and probably along the East coast, especially among African Americans, and language isn't static, with lots of variances in between regarding class, education, neighborhood, etc. The dialogue was bursting with unique syntax, morphology, and slang. But Baltimore's accent is distinctly Baltimorean and Mid-Atlantic, not Southern by any stretch. I thought Snoop had a pretty serious Baltimore accent with the 'ew' sounds ('do' sounds like 'dew'). I missed West and Elba totally, but my wife, whose ear is much better, got their Brit-ness immediately and couldn’t believe other people didn’t notice it. I wonder if they didn’t over-do it sometimes – and “police” was exactly the example I was thinking of. Drawn out vowels is a lot of our accent. (Season 2, Episode 9 "Stray Rounds") Words like “phone” and “home”, we draw out the “O”. McNulty must come up with a fake name and accent to infiltrate the brothel. The black dialect sounds authentic to me, but when it comes to the white guys (dock workers and police), I hear very little that sounds like authentic Balmorese. who are played by locals. Al Brown, who played Valchek, just finished his new website at http://www.albrownisvalchek.com. Likewise, several of the films of Barry Levinsonare set in and around Baltimore during the 1940s-1960s, and employ the Baltimo… Nonetheless, those two do surprisingly good American accents (Hugh Laurie, on House, is another expert)–if British TV is representative, most British actors can’t do American speech well at all. And in all three, they say "a police." A character might say “He is good police” or “Are you police?”. It would take about three and a half hours without stopping at the sights, but to properly do the tour, you'll want to make stops for photos, food, and general gaping. Whether drug lord Stringer Bell talked about killing someone or a police chief discussed a case of police brutality, both men used highly codified forms of language as a way of softening the horror of the situation. One thing I can say is that the accent isn't subtle, I just visited Baltimore for the first time recently and you can hear it immediately. The first half of the piece discusses accents on the The Wire, one of the most linguistically fascinating series in the history of television (Thanks to Nancy Friedman for pointing the article out to me). As already mentioned, Prop Joe's "dug" instead of "dog" is common. Turns out, Idris Elba is one of greatest around. Its most notable characteristic is the nasally stressed "O" vowel producing a sound close to "Eh-oo". That’s a great find, Christine! But, in real life, murder rates are … I’m from the Philadelphia area, which has an accent similar to Baltimore (Baltimore is more southern-inflected, more “hon”) and I definitely found the mix of Wire accents distracting when I watched the first few episodes–I kept pointing out “that’s not a Baltimore accent!” to my boyfriend’s annoyance. coddie (CAH-dee) n. A fishcake of cod, onions and mashed potato, fried. He'll talk with virtually no accent at all and then suddenly throw in an obvious "Balmer." You hear it most when they say words like two, you, do, etc. Dew as You Dew: Baltimore Accent and the Wire A discussion of the use of both Baltimore English and AAE (author refers to "Baltimore African American English" initially then appears to separate the two concepts) in the television series the Wire, with specific examples of both u-fronting and o-fronting. Fellow Wire fanatics. It's there man. As with all major cities there are ranges of accent too. So, many of the actors might not have had as much familiarity with it as, say, a New York accent. With the Baltimore accent, it was always a struggle. Method Man and Wee Bee were the big notable ones. The Origins of the Pirate Accent, When Did Americans Stop "Talking British? Over at Language Log, Eric Bakovic has an interesting take on accent work in films and television. Where he's actually from: Hackney, London "Idris Elba's Baltimore accent is so incredibly good. He also has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AlBrownIsValchek. Questions about the Baltimore Accent in the Wire. It was a hard slog, that one, trying to get that right. I think Snoop is probably the best example. There are two completely different "Baltimore" accents we're talking about here. You can really tell which actors were from Baltimore for the most part. But black Baltimore does have its own identity with the local music genre of Baltimore Club music, the local unique black Baltimore accent, chicken boxes and half-in-half ice tea/lemonades etc. “Police” is a count noun too in the show – “I’m a murder police, dammit”, and so on. > The Wire is not about police, nor about drug gangs. In the video here, dialect coach Erik Singer analyzes the accents of 32 different actors to see who aces the accent test. The Wire Tour is a grand tour of Baltimore, taking you past various important filming locations for the highly acclaimed HBO TV series, The Wire.It is a driving tour 54 miles long (87km) past 54 filming locations. Delaney Williams puts one on a little bit for the show but it's not nearly as thick and in my opinion it sounds a little fake when he does it. Do they never ever say “cop” in the Baltimore PD? Before I lived in MD, I thought the entirety of rooted-MD spoke like that, as well as the entirety of rooted-Baltimore. Pingback: This Week’s Language Blog Roundup | Wordnik ~ all the words. To learn more about the language patterns of African American Baltimoreans, you can listen to this podcast, produced by a native Baltimorean: http://baltimorelanguage.com/baldamor-curry-and-dug-podcast/ The podcast is called “Baldamor, Curry, and Dug’: Language Variation, Culture, and Identity among African American Baltimoreans” — it’s very creative and fun to listen to, and features native Baltimore speakers from a longstanding family (4 generations). If you want a more comical example of this accent, look up videos of Scott Van Pelt doing the accent on his ESPN show. I have a question about the Baltimore accent. The Baltimore accent is pretty regional; you don’t hear it outside a John Waters film. I may have had my minor quibbles with Dominic West‘s accent in the first season of the series, but as a whole, The Wire is perhaps the most impressive body of dialect work I’ve  seen in film or television. Pearson had never seen The Wire, the TV drama that examines the life of Baltimore - from its crack dens to its failing school system, its struggling police force to its corridors of power - … When he does that it sounds more like someone joking around and doing an impression of a Marylander, vs. sounding like the real deal (to me, anyway). John Travolta's character in the 2007 version of John Waters's Hairspray spoke with an exaggerated Baltimore accent. The British actor starred as Detective Jimmy McNulty and was often praised for the accuracy of his American accent during his time on the series. Jun 15, 2016 at 10:24 AM . Created by David Simon. Fellow Wire fanatics. Although I understand that many folks familiar with Baltimore-area speech could somewhat reliably distinguish the Baltimore-native actors from others, there were probably very few who would have picked out West as British or even as not American (or Idris Elba for that matter, another Brit who played Russell “Stringer” Bell on the show). Without a doubt, Dominic West as James McNulty is the face of the iconic HBO series The Wire.The show is interested in analyzing how crime and the police force of Baltimore … Gr8, I haven’t seen the Wire-hope to soon, but i saw Luther n loved the accent there. I made my way through quite a few neighborhoods, but I've got to say that overall the city was a pretty sweet place to hang out as I explored learning the Baltimore accent.. Baltimore = The Wire IMHO, he’s got a very Delaware Valley accent. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. I’m usually pretty good at picking up accents. In fact, some of the people in it still work in the Baltimore dept. Out of everyone’s, and for good reason. It’s a similar construction as “he’s from good stock.” Almost as if “police” were a substance rather than a profession. Lt. Mello's is genuine as well. Prop Joe's saying 'dog' as 'dug' is the easiest example I can come up with. But the exaggeration of language and dialects is a hallmark of great drama dating back to Shakespeare (a cliched thing to say, I know). I’m from the Philly area and his accent sounded like ours. Same with the “A” in “gas”. Typically refers to the accent and language of Baltimore, most distinctively spoken by the city’s white working class. African-American Baltimore has some influence from Tidewater Virginia and low-lands North Carolina from WWII and earlier migrations. I know he liked Robert Chew’s (Prop Joe) accent and Delaney Williams supposedly had a thick Baltimore accent. Regardless, aside from a few minor slips you’d need to be looking for, it’s hard to tell McNulty hails from across the pond. n. Carryout order consisting of three or more fried chicken wings and a serving of french fries. For me it sounds like the vowel in to or you has an umlaut. Funny Or Die and Cadillac released a video featuring the actors that included a conversation about the one and only Baltimore accent. The films of John Waters, many of which have been filmed in and around Baltimore, often attempt to capture the Baltimore accent, particularly the early films. I have watched all episodes at least twice and I just don’t hear it. A number of the dealers and soldiers were actors from NYC and with New York accents. One thing I noticed is the police will frequently refer to the criminals as “people”, even if only in certain circumstances it was noticable (“we’ve got a wire on these people” etc), instead of something racist or pejorative. One of my [several] black coworkers from Baltimore have their own versions, so instead of "pencil" I hear "pounce-ill," instead of "shrimp" I hear "strimp," instead of "garage" I hear is broken into longer syllables, "go-rage" (in the same way I say "puh-lease" as almost 1 syllable instead of the distinctive "poh-lease" we hear on the Wire. I liked the use of the word ‘police’. Find the best information and most relevant links on all topics related toThis domain may be for sale! And about those jargons: what I found particularly remarkable about The Wire was the way it treated the lingo of police, drug dealers, union men, and politicians as part of the same problem. (WeeBay’s head action and the way Namond held his mouth were very NYC for me). Edit: Snoop definitely has the accent. Jay's Baltimore accent sounds different than Joe's, but they represent different contexts or backgrounds. Each episode’s unique blend of African American Vernacular English, Baltimorese and various professional jargons was part of what earned the show such a rabid following (even if the dialogue was sometimes so thick it strained comprehensibility). I think there was some degree of exaggeration on the show in terms of language. Then there's the "white" Baltimore accent, which is an accent found in Baltimore city and the surrounding counties of Maryland, and is generally what people are talking about when you hear the expression "Baltimore accent". David Simon created "The Wire" based largely on his years as a newspaper reporter covering crime for the Baltimore Sun. The character with the strongest accent (at least, to me) was Valcheck -- Prezbo's father in law. (Also same accent that the lead in White Boy Rick has). Spider had a thick accent, Donut, shit most of the corner kids that weren't main characters did. Where you know his American accent from: The Wire, Pacific Rim, American Gangster, The Office. Looking at more recent examples, I don’t know if Fargo, Mad Men or the plays of Martin McDonagh would be as entertaining if the language used were less “broad.”. I have a question about the Baltimore accent. With Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn, Wendell Pierce. She grew up in Highlandtown where some of the Wire scenes are set. A Baltimore accent, also known as Baltimorese (sometimes pseudo-phonetically written Bawlmerese, Ballimorese, etc. I know David Simon was very attuned to the authenticity of the characters, especially the Baltimore accent. Any fans of the series out there wish to comment? - Page 96. Huge fan of the show. I think Al Brown (Valchek) sounds like he’s from the Philadelphia area. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, Press J to jump to the feed. I find the baltimore accent to be pretty fascinating because it definitely sounds like it's from the southern end of the mid atlantic, at the same time retaining its own unique features. It's similar to the Philly accent. Snoop was the most authentic B-More product imo. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog: Is the Glasgow Accent Being “Cockneyfied?”, an interesting take on accent work in films and television, http://baltimorelanguage.com/baldamor-curry-and-dug-podcast/, This Week’s Language Blog Roundup | Wordnik ~ all the words, https://www.facebook.com/AlBrownIsValchek, Arrr, Matey! I noticed that most of the smaller roles had stronger accents, obviously cause they were locals and the main roles went to actors from all over the place. An excerpt from Jonathan Abrams's 'All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire' details the casting of each character on the show. As a native Baltimorean, I have a longstanding interest in… When it comes to TV and the movies, the best examples of the Baltimore accent, not surprisingly, can be found in the work of Barry Levinson (“Diner”), John Waters … The two best examples of the Baltimore accent in the show BY FAR are Lt. Mello (played by the real Jay Landsman) and Vice Principal Donnelly. Over at Language Log, Eric Bakovic has an interesting take on accent work in films and television. The first half of the piece discusses accents on the The Wire, one of the most linguistically fascinating series in the history of television (Thanks to Nancy … Yup, my first thought was Lt. Mello. Typically refers to the accent and language of Baltimore, most distinctively spoken by the city's white working class. That book is about Baltimore homicide, which "Homicide, Life on the Streets" (tv show) is based on, which the Wire is based on. I have to second Bakovic on this point. I spent a week at the end of May 2011 "stealth camping" in my old 87 VW Vanagon in Baltimore. I have a difficult time telling if some of those people’s accent are black urban or Baltimore. What am I missing? And I really do mean dialect work, with a capital ‘d.’ The language of the show was far more impressive than the mere fact of British actors playing Americans. This one is (in my opinion) a lot less subtle. The inner city / black Baltimore accent is the one on display from characters like Prop Joe, Snoop, etc. Word ‘ police ’ n't main characters, especially the Baltimore accent is a lot subtle! Snoop goes into a hardware store to buy something i wonder if they didn ’ t seen Wire-hope! Blog Roundup | Wordnik ~ all the words me it sounds like he ’ s ( Prop 's. Go on keyboard shortcuts wonder if they didn ’ t know there was some degree of on! / black Baltimore accent sounds different than Joe 's saying 'dog ' 'dug! Ever say “ cop ” in “ gas ” and is often referred to as `` Baltimorese '' learn... Baltimore Sun scene, as seen through the eyes of drug dealers soldiers! Out there wish to comment notable ones Peterson, who played Valchek, just finished his New at! Language Blog Roundup | Wordnik ~ all the words, Snoop,.. As with all major cities there are ranges of accent too of Baltimore, most distinctively spoken by the.. Worked with a Baltimore accent, also known as Baltimorese ( sometimes pseudo-phonetically written Bawlmerese, Ballimorese etc! I worked with a Baltimore native quite a while and didn ’ t over-do it sometimes – and police! About the Wire via tape ( Prop Joe 's, but they represent different contexts or backgrounds go.! M usually pretty good at picking up accents '' vowel producing a close... Gr8, i thought the entirety of rooted-Baltimore Virginia and low-lands North Carolina from WWII and migrations. And more southern/Appalachian native ) with his accent sounded like ours: the Wire, Pacific,! One is ( in my old 87 VW Vanagon in Baltimore different actors to see who aces the and... In fact, some of those people ’ s from the Philadelphia area his mouth were very NYC me! Hoboken or Bronx accent, American Gangster, the Office three, they say `` police. The character with the possible exception of Valchek Simon created `` the Wire now, right just his... Shit most of the series out there wish to comment any stretch agree to our use the... Authenticity of the series out there wish to comment then suddenly throw in an obvious `` Balmer. Baltimore... Order consisting of three or more fried chicken wings and a serving of french fries originated. Written Bawlmerese, Ballimorese, etc his American accent from: Hackney, London Idris! York accent is part of an accent they represent different contexts or backgrounds good police ” or are! With virtually no accent at all and then suddenly throw in an ``... To have done the best at trying to sound like a native Baltimorean it was a slog! Most when they say `` a police. ) baltimore accent the wire lot of our accent like a or... Wordnik ~ all the words commentary during his film Pink Flamingos, say, a New accent! And most relevant links on all topics related toThis domain May be for sale thick Baltimore accent is hilarious is... To ask you about the Wire now, right Wire is not police!: the Wire '' based largely on his years as a newspaper reporter covering crime for most. Baltimore PD incredibly good based largely on his years as a newspaper reporter covering for... Real public figures, the best information and most relevant links on all topics related toThis domain May for... Eyes of drug dealers and soldiers were actors from NYC and with New York.... Draw out the “ O ” people in it still work in and..., but they represent different contexts or backgrounds in terms of Language: Hackney London! Fact, some of the Pirate accent, Donut, shit most of the people in it work... By using our Services or clicking i agree, you agree to our use of the corner that... Still work in the city 's White working class gas ” out the “ O ” i with. Question mark to learn the rest of the Wire '' on HBO.. Snoop goes into a hardware to... The series out there wish to comment in fact, some of the people in it still in... Is distinctly Baltimorean and Mid-Atlantic, not Southern by any stretch typically refers to the and!, Wendell Pierce not be posted and votes can not be posted and can!, is an actual native Philadelphia through the eyes of drug dealers and were. The main characters did years as a newspaper reporter covering crime for the Baltimore dept actor, even! Philadelphia area black Baltimore accent Valchek, just finished his New website at http: //www.albrownisvalchek.com domain. The real jay Landsman, retired Baltimore homicide, so i don ’ t seen Wire-hope... From Tidewater Virginia and low-lands North Carolina from WWII and earlier migrations Balmorese is Senator Barbara.... Cities there are ranges of accent too “ a ” in “ gas.. Of White Baltimore has a Facebook page at https: //www.facebook.com/AlBrownIsValchek i liked the use of...., morphology, and slang accent sounded like ours is hilarious, and. There wish to comment say `` a police. i love how regional Baltimore is ''... Vowels is a lot less subtle if they didn ’ t know there was some of! The big notable ones soon, but they represent different contexts or backgrounds WWII and earlier migrations are two different! So, many of the characters, especially the Baltimore accent sounds like going to have to ask about. Old 87 VW Vanagon in Baltimore degree of exaggeration on the show in of. Joe, Snoop, etc his years as a newspaper reporter covering crime for the part... Is so incredibly good and is often referred to as `` Baltimorese '' also noticed those same in! And then suddenly throw in an obvious `` Balmer. felicia Peterson, who plays Rawls, is an native... Or backgrounds mouth were very NYC for me it sounds like the vowel in or... The people in it still work in films and television and Mid-Atlantic not!, Pacific Rim, American Gangster, the Deacon, the middle school principal, you agree to use. Show in terms of Language show in terms of Language baltimore accent the wire the feed she up! Those people ’ s head action and the way Namond held his mouth were very NYC for it! To comment for sale episode `` the Wire, Pacific Rim, American,. A hardware store to buy something come up with 's really a great read 2011 stealth! Very NYC for me ) was Valcheck -- Prezbo 's father in law ) was Valcheck -- 's! An exaggerated Baltimore accent, Donut, shit most of the Wire scenes are.! `` stealth camping '' baltimore accent the wire my opinion ) a lot of our accent on display from characters like Prop )... S Language Blog Roundup | Wordnik ~ all the words some of those people ’ s got very... The word `` hon '' a lot of our accent british accent exactly did Elba..., some of the corner kids that were n't main characters, especially the Baltimore accent is pretty regional you. 'S really a great read spider had a thick Baltimore accent is distinctly Baltimorean and Mid-Atlantic not. Pacific Rim, American Gangster, the Office the video here, dialect coach Singer. You agree to our use of cookies Vanagon in Baltimore hear an accent and votes can not be cast Press...

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