What the HAYnes? So you have a Utah accent, no big dill

HUMOR – Have you ever turned left onto St. George Boulevard without using your turn signal and thought, “So I didn’t use my blinker! No big dill!” when all of the other cars swerved around you, honking?

Have you ever gazed up at the mountains surrounding Pine Valley and thought, “Oh my heck, those mou-ains are gahrgeous.”

Have you ever driven to “Hurricuhn” to go to the county fair?

Have you ever purchased a cute outfit on “sell,” dunked Oreos in a glass of “melk,” or gone fishing in a “crick”? Do you remember when you used-to-could go to dances on top of the water tower clear up by the sugar loaf?

If so, it is possible that you have a Utah accent.

Not that there is anything wrong with the local accent – I have it, though it only tends to surface when I am shouting angrily at outsiders. Hearing someone speak with an accent or use local dialect is only irksome if you feel that the person doing it does not love you and thinks that you should move back to Pomona, or wherever you came from, if you hate it so much here. It is the feeling behind the words that is truly meaningful.

This is the issue I have with swearing. The words themselves are not the problem– anyone who has tried to swear in a foreign language can attest to that. It is the anger, perversion, or hatred behind the words that I could do without. That, and a lot of time flying spittle is involved.

One problem with speaking the local dialect is that when others hear it they usually assume that you are not as intelligent or sophisticated as they think they are. I am guilty of this. I spent a short time living in Nashville, Tenn., where the locals speak slowly and use words like “y’all’re,” which is a contraction of the words you, all, and are, as nearly as I can tell. I judged the snot out of those poor Nashvillians for this. But as it turned out, I am not any smarter than they are, and they make much better barbecue than I do.

It is unfortunate, but true, that some accents sound more intellectual than others. For example, an English accent almost always makes the speaker sound smarter than they might actually be. This is why I sometimes fake a cockney accent in public places.

Everyone speaks with an accent and everyone is in denial about it. It is a little bit like forgetting to use your turn signal. Everyone has done it at one point or another. Everyone refuses to admit it.

No big dill.


Elise Haynes chronicles family life in her blog Haynes Family Yard Sale. Any opinions stated in this column are her own and not necessarily those of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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  • RU UTARDED? March 24, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Is it any surprise why the term “UTARD” is frequently used when referring to inhabitants and voters of Utah?

  • My Evil Twin March 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Oh I so strongly disagree with your statement: “For example, an English accent almost always makes the speaker sound smarter than they might actually be!” I do not feel that it makes the speaker sound smart at all. It just makes them sound obnoxious and annoying, and often times “faking” as well. And the Aussie accent is even more worser!
    Give me a good old boy Utah accent, or even a Texas or Oklahoma drawl, any day over these two. Shoot, it is hard to believe that the English people don’t speak English! 😉

  • Tyler March 24, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    You are silly, Elise. Some of the “accents” you speak of really only apply to the long-time older Utah citizens. Today’s generation really doesn’t have an accent at all. “Dill”? seriously? find me someone out there be it in the city or country that actually says it like “deel”! To be honest, when do you really ever hear anybody, anywhere pronounce every “T” in words??….Never. Infact it sounds and comes off as nerdy or too proper if you will, when someone does say “mountain” or “Layton” emphasizing the “T” in the middle. I mean seriously, look at the word “city”, universally speaking it sounds like we’re saying “cidy”…come on. The only thing that legitimately stands out locally – even among younger generations is the town, Hurricane (Hurricuhn), which I’ve actually heard it pronounced “hurricuhn in the Southeast, so you maybe wanna get out more, ya digg?

    • Francis Pope March 25, 2013 at 9:44 am

      Tyler, your really should not try to lump all of today’s generation into the same bunch of ignorant folks who just do not know how to use the English Language. I believe you must be associating with a lower form of life. Either that, or you are a Dixie High School “Gradiate. . .” Surely, you are not associating with the outstanding people who have graduated from Hurricane High! :p 😉
      Now before you start cussin’ me, let me tell you I am just kidding you. 🙂

  • Tyler March 24, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Oh just a heads up, if anybody ever goes out to Louisville, KY, be sure to pronounce it “Loowahvull” or they’ll jump down your throat, much worse than a Hurricane, UT resident will after pronouncing it “Hurricain” Lol

  • Skeptic 101 March 24, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Have to agree with Tyler…what average person pronounces “T”s in the middle of words? I’ve lived everywhere – The Bronx to Phoenix, St. Louis to St. George and very rarely do you hear people emphasize T’s in words, – especially in “moun-ains”…So, that is most def’ not a Utah thang, look at the word “little”, bet everywhere in the english speaking world it sounds like “liddle” .But the article was good food for thought 😛

  • Willow Willy Willigin March 24, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    I’m from Weskansin, (Wisconsin) Yep, that there is how we say it and we raise melk cos on the derry faarm (milk cows on the dairy farm) and drink a latta caffee far a dallar at the local star (a lot of coffee for a dollar at the local store). By golly gee, accents are fun region to region, thanks for the chuckle!

  • carol Reid March 24, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    There is no one Utah accent, there are many different ones. The old timers can easily identify if a person is from “Clary”, hurricane, Washington or Central St George. Each area was settled by a different Ethnicity. Northern Utah differs greatly from Southern Utah. Utah is a little more unique than most states, because of the way Brigham Young sent different cultures to settle many different outlying areas.

    Frankly I though those people in Massachusetts sounds really stupid. I can hardly understand them. Every area around the US has their own unique way of speaking. And what’s with the T thing. I always pronounce my Ts. Everybody I associate with pronounces their Ts.

    • Tyler March 24, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      So your telling me that you say SanTa Clara, SalT Lake CiTy or “wanT to” instead of “wanna” with the T sound in it? Mmmmkay….you and yours are special people!

      • m March 25, 2013 at 8:13 am

        Why does it make one “special” to pronounce words properly? I pronounce all “Ts,” Why is this such an issue for you?
        Also, I have noticed this Utah dialect in all ages here. I get a kick out of the words “crick”(creek) and “behint” (behind).

  • West Coast Will March 24, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Pshh, iz all bout tha Cali talk yo, nah wut I’m sayin’…Word my ni**a

  • San March 25, 2013 at 5:11 am

    What kills me about the Utah dialect, and it is truly a dialect, is the lack of concern for verbs:

    “I seen…..”, “he seen it….”, “we seen that….”.


    You don’t have to be a snob to wonder about people who seem to realize what’s correct and yet disregard it. It freaks me out.

    • Francis Pope March 25, 2013 at 9:46 am

      You see, or actually you HEAR this type of thing everywhere. It really is a lack of education, intelligence combined with a bit of laziness.

      • Tyler March 25, 2013 at 3:35 pm

        So true! I make a point to make sure I never say that as it is SUCH a Utah thing! Local dimwits, it’s “I SAW or I’VE SEEN”!!!!!!

        • Tyler March 25, 2013 at 3:52 pm

          Another Utah dialect – especially northern Utahns is “we was” instead of proper “we were”…stands out in the SLC population for some reason

  • Dan Lester March 25, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Hey, we could move to Nevada. But in the so named city in MO, they call it nuh-vay-duh, and easterners often call it nuh-vahh-duh. What is right is what locals say. I know. I didn’t live in Boi-zee in the past but in Boi-see. You can always tell the tourists or newbies anywhere.

    • Barbarah March 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      I say Boyzee (Boise) Boysee sounds flamboyant or pheminine!

  • Barbarah March 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm


  • Worm Hole March 25, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    So…..when saying “little” or “title” you people who claim to say T’s all the time actually pronounce it little instead of “liddle” or title instead of “tidle”? You are a minority – (no racist here) 😛

    • Worm Hole March 25, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      Oh, and I said it to where it sounds like “monoridy” not “minority”, ya know, like most say it…..

  • Big @$$ Bob March 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    A good word said differently everywhere is “something” pronounced “suh-um”, “sumthin”, somedin”……………

  • Big @$$ Bob March 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    “oh my heck” screams Utah mormons!!!! I NEVER say that thilly phrase. Oh my hell or god from me at all times!!

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