These Americanisms Just Won’t Do

She calls me “Mommy”. I know this because she spent ten minutes wailing it outside the bathroom door while I was showering yesterday. “MOOOOOOMMYYYY! OH NO, OH DEAR MOMMMMMYYYYY!”


I was ill and went to bed early. Bean joined me.

This wouldn’t be strange if not for the fact that everyone here, myself included, refers to me as “Mummy”, which is right and proper and British. She lives here, she was born here; she ought to speak like a native.

But a woman I fell into conversation with on the playground one afternoon swears that Bean has an American accent. I don’t know how one picks that up from toddler-speak, which sounds like an untuned radio station, but this lady was insistent. And she’s not the first to make the observation.

I don’t think it will last, though. A childhood friend of mine has a lovely Kiwi mum, whose accent never rubbed off on her children one bit– both R. and her brother always sounded like perfectly standard Northeastern Americans. I guess it will be the same with Bean, eventually– wherever she goes to school, that’s how she’ll sound.

Which means she absolutely canNOT go to school in Birmingham.



  1. I learnt to speak in Scotland, I spoke with an English accent as my parents were English. My little brother however spoke with a Scottish accent. He lost his Scottish accent when we moved to Yorkshire within 2 weeks of the school term starting. Accents are weird.

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