Thursday, 28 July 2011

Le Romantique?

allo, bonjour moi pettit poit, eye em, ow you say, goiiing tu seduce your parderner...

The french exchange student didn't actually say any of the above as he arrived at Toastmasters last night, especially not the bit about small peas, but there was something about his casual manliness that, had I been in any way unsure of my relationship with Herself, might have left me feeling slightly anxious.

There was a certain set to that partly shaven face, rugged good looks and toussled hair, a smooth confidence in that lilting French accent that I knew would turn the knees of many a British woman to jelly.  Indeed, as the night progressed it was clear that Jaques (not his actual name) was indeed raising the blood pressure of many of the female attendees - and maybe a few of the men as well.  Even the inscrutable Herself did admit that the rakish accent stirred some deep feeling.

Which made me wonder what it is about certain accents and countries that makes people appear sexually attractive?  French, Spanish, Italians and even Greeks have reputations as great lovers, but Germans with their clipped tones, and us Brits, do not.

And what of Americans?  Are they sexy, with their confidence?  Do their accents lead the men and the women of the world to collapse into a quivering wreck, or do they leave us running for the shower?

Other interesting accents include the Australian accent, where every sentence seems to end on an up note, as if asking a question - so a simple "I fancy a cup of tea" is transformed into "I fancy a cup of teA?"

Sadly the most unsexy accents I could think of were all British:

1) The Lahndahn (London) accent - or Britticus Cockney-Bowbellius - the cor blimey guvnors, as infamously portrayed by that most rare of species: the lesser spotted DickvanDykeius (co-species Marycus Poppinsus)

2) The Am-yam Buuuurmingum accent - or Midlandium Flatticus-prononcicus, so called because of the habit, in some areas of Birmingham, by starting a sentance "Am-yam ooolroit?" (are you alright)

3) The Liviirpewl aCCent - the McCartneyus Beatalicus - to be fair Paul McCartney et al had the flatter Liverpool accent and not the one that sounds permanently vexed and on the point of aperplexy

Our accent where I live is no better either - its very flat and we tend to drop "t"'s  -so the word "City" transforms into "ci-iy".  Hard to imagine Casanova doing that, now isn't it?

NB: apologies for the Latin.  Scholars of the language should probably note that merely adding "us" onto the end of an existing word does not actually transform it in any shape of form

Any examples of accents, sexy or otherwise, muchly appreciated


Anonymous said...

Herself found this article particularly funny - as did our babies (the cats - especially Monseur Giles) ;o) X

Argent said...

I've often thought that great moments in history could have been sooo different if the protagonists had had different accents. Einstein with a brummie accent would have been laughed out of the eggheads club and we might never have heard of relativity... Just sayin'

Gorilla Bananas said...

Humans like the exotic. I believe there was a time when American women found a posh British accent sexy. Look at Hugh Grant.

Friko said...

I'm not sure that I go for accents at all. I'm much more impressed with what is actually being said.

Mind you, having been a long-term Londoner and now living in a place where Brummies come on holiday, I have to say, that even the most erudite discourse sounds thick in either accent.

Glaswegian is even worse.

Give me - bloody foreigner that I am - ordinary, accent-less English any day.

The Bug said...

I'll swoon if you sound like Sean Connery :)

I like a nice U.S. Southern accent - but that's because I'm from there & I get homesick for some extra vowels in my words. I noticed the other day that when I'm providing information about myself to a medical person the accent of my youth creeps back in, so Dana takes about 3 seconds longer to say.

Lydia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lydia said...

What a fun post! (I messed up my comments so deleted and have returned.)

I'm with The Bug on Sean Connery's accent.

I see nothing sexy in any American accent at all, especially a southern accent...or Texas accent (ala George W. Bush - gack!).

I absolutely LOVE the British accent you describe as coming from your area, the dropped "t" has always seemed adorable to me.

Ah, the French. Nothing like that accent. A few weekends ago we watched Close Encounters of the Third Kind and, once again, my system was jazzed by Francois Truffaut's accent.

Another accent I think is appealing is from the continent of Africa. I love the richness they give to English. It is altogether quite beautiful.

Michael said...

Unsexy: Mandarin, although their large population speaks otherwise.

Too hot: my dear wife when she whispers to me in French.

English Rider said...

Great representations of different accents. That's really hard to do.
As one who cannot speak about the French without bias (some days good, some days bad), I wonder if part of the charm is from the involvement of all the facial muscles, the shoulders and the hands, in every word spoken. I am positive that their faces are more interesting as they age because of this phenomenon.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Allo Herself, Monseur Giles is indeed a lucky cat

Argent - Oinstoins Thoree of Relutivvvitttae?

GB - Hugh Grant does sound posh, doesnt he?

Friko - yes i agree that the words are important

Bug - sadly I'd have to be from a specific area of Scotland to sound like Connery :)

Lydia - talk of the African accent brings me onto thoughts about carribbean accents, where everyone always sounds so relaxed

Michael - i'm not sure i agree on Mandarin - chinese people always sound so happy to see you

English - yes, maybe it is a body language thing as well