Aunt should not sound like ant.

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Growing up in Massachusetts, I developed an accent.

Not too bad, but you could tell where I was from when I talked. I may have missed an  “r” or two, drank from the “bubbler” (or bubblah) and put “jimmies” on my ice cream.

I would often “bang a uey” if I needed to make a u-turn. (Who am I kidding? I still do that.)

Once I went to college in upstate New York, the accent kind of disappeared. I was a public communications major and didn’t need the constant corrections to my language. I realized that the whole Boston accent wasn’t as cute outside of New England.

Today, it’s not obvious where I am from when you talk to me. (Unless I’m tired or angry. Then, all bets – and “r”s – are off.)

But there’s one word that always gets me, because it’s a word that New Englanders actually pronounce correctly. All of the letters.

So every time I read the following verse from Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (affiliate link) to my son, I end up confused and wondering why that one last line doesn’t rhyme. Every. Single. Time.

Skit, scat, scoodle-doot,
Flip, flop, flee.
Everybody running to the coconut tree.
Mamas and papas and uncles and aunts
Hug their little dears
Then dust their pants.

Aunt should not sound like ant, people. Seriously. There’s a “u” after the “a.” Do people outside of New England not see this?

It’s wicked annoying.

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  1. says

    Visiting from SITS — What an awesome post lol! I think I do say “ant” sometimes without even realizing it and I’m from NYC!

    I definitely use “Anty” a lot but I think that is from my Caribbean upbringing.
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  2. says

    Haha, I have definitely run into that problem with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and it always drives me crazy! I grew up in NJ (where everyone pronounces it “ant”) with a mom from the Boston area and it was driven into me that anything pronounced “ant” crawled on the ground. Though since I am now (officially?) a New Englander myself, I guess it was destiny that I always pronounced it the New England way.
    Bev recently posted..Friday Five: 5 Things I am Grateful for this YearMy Profile

  3. says

    That word must have driven your crazy in Syracuse! We destroy that word with our nasal accents. I was torched when I went away to college every time I mentioned the word Aunt. My husband, to this day, still makes fun of me (with his Brooklyn accent:)!
    Michelle recently posted..Falling Back into "Good Habits"My Profile

    • says

      Haha. I got a lot of flack from people in Syracuse for my accent, and it really wasn’t that bad. (You should hear the rest of my family.) After 4 years, most of it disappeared because I was sick of repeating myself.

  4. says

    I’m grew up on Lawng Island and I say Aunt like the one crawling on the ground.

    I do have one child ( my daughter who say’s it the proper way which sound like ahhnt.

    My sister in law and my nieces and nephews in Hawaii say Antie which i love. I think it might be a custom from the Filipino side of the family.

    I’ve lived in the south for about 30 years, more than half of my life and people still hear the NY in my accent and expressions :)

    Great post Jennifer!
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  5. says

    Had to laugh — You’re right, if you are in New England, that line just doesn’t sound right!
    Here in Ohio almost everyone says it like “ant”… I remember trying to stress other sounds in it and a few other words when I was in high school, and then I gave up and went back to just saying “ant”.

    Thanks for stopping in for my SITS day!
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  6. says

    Too funny! I popped over from SITS just because I’ve always wondered about this. For some reason, I can’t stand to hear it pronounced any way other than “ant”. Must be because my family originally hails from the midwest!
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  7. Alysia says

    My parents were New Yorkers so they always said it “ant”. My husband grew up in Lowell, and say is Aunt. That part of the book bugs him like crazy. He just doesn’t rhyme it :)
    My kids find his lack of rhyming wicked irritatin. :)

  8. says

    Guilty as charged! Michiganders just say, “Ant.” That’s me, though I do tend to soften the sound and round it to be a mix of the two when I’m speaking to the French or English in my life.

  9. Nazim says

    It has always annoyed me, too. I had this friend (key word “had”), who would always make fun of me for saying it the correct way. And I would always back up my argument by saying that “August isn’t Agast” and “augment isn’t agment.” He then had the nerve to roll his eyes at me. Curious!


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