PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - One person's water is another person's 'wooder' and the list goes on and on. A Philly accent that's a badge of honor, but that badge may not be something Philadelphians wear much longer. The Philly accent could be disappearing and the blame falls on millennials as a study suggests.
FOX 29's Shawnette Wilson has the story.
Some things just scream Philly like people running the Art Museum steps and the Rocky statue. Others literally say Philly like the word jawn but it's not just what we say that makes us so Philly.
It's how we say it.
“I’m Shawnette Wilson with FOX 29. Hi. How are you? Do you have time to play a quick game with me? We’re going to call it clue and the goal of the game is to figure out whether Philadelphia's accent is disappearing."
"What is really good to drink when you’re thirsty? You said wooder instead of water!” I said to a woman. That’s the obvious Philadelphia-pegged pronunciation indicating that Philly's accent hasn't gone anywhere yet. The topic came up after we ran across an article in Philly M about a linguist pointing the finger at Millennials for reportedly changing or quote shifting our dialect.
"I'm Brenda but they call me Ms. Pepsi. I’m from South Philly,” said a woman.
I asked if she was familiar with people saying howse instead of house. She said laughed and said yes.
People we talked to don't believe the study.
"Because it's where we're from, it's what you hear and it's what you grew up with," said Janeen Watson of Northeast Philly. Brenda said, “I think we're going to have the same accent forever because we have children and our children are going to keep it up."
Neal Rafferty says the Philly accent is so strong it lives on across the bridge in South Jersey where he's from. He says wooder too.
"They say it wrong. They say water,” he said. Not only do some think the accent isn't changing BJ Bowen who moved to Philly in 1985 says it's better than any other.
"I mean the first time I went home to Chicago my brother said you talk so proper," said Bowen. I asked Dennis Shaw if he thought the accent would ever go away. He replied, “Never.”