If you’re wondering what a Connecticut accent sounds like, you came to the right place. I recently studied all of the different New England accents to see what makes each one stand out.
In this article, you’ll learn what a Connecticut accent sounds like (with real audio examples) and the different dialects that are present in the state. Let’s dive in.
What does the Connecticut Accent sound like?
I’ve spent the majority of my life in Connecticut but I’m also very well-traveled, so I’ve heard some pretty distinctive accents in my day. However, the Connecticut accent is not one of the more memorable ones. In fact, most people would argue that the Connecticut accent is non-existent or at least barely noticeable.
This is in stark contrast to Boston (Bahston) or New York (Noo Yawk) accents. Both of these accents are very pronounced, yet Connecticut residents seem to be immune to odd pronunciations of words.
With that being said, there are some things you can observe to distinguish the Connecticut accent from other New England states. So let’s take a closer look at a few of the Connecticut dialects and what makes them unique.
Examples of the Different Connecticut Dialects
There are 3 main Connecticut accents, but only 2 of them are used today. Let’s start with the classic and most common Connecticut dialect, the central Connecticut accent.
Central Connecticut Dialect (t-glottaling)
The central Connecticut accent is what most people think of when they talk about a Connecticut accent. It’s a very subtle accent, but it has one clear, distinguishable feature called t-glottaling (or a glottal stop).
T-glottaling is where you don’t fully pronounce the letter T. Instead you just say it in the back of your throat. So for example, words like “kitten” sound like “kih-en” and words like “button” sound like “buh-en.”
If you’re from Connecticut, try pronouncing each word listed below out loud. You’ll probably notice that you don’t fully pronounce the T (or at least you say it so softly that it’s hard to hear).
- New Britain
Here’s a really good video showcasing the Connecticut accent.
Another feature of the central Connecticut accent is a mumble. Some people who use this accent (not all) tend to slur their words together. When you hear someone speak, there are no discernable spaces between their words. Here’s a good example of that.
Western and Southeastern Connecticut Accents (non-rhoticity)
The accents in eastern Connecticut (near the Rhode Island border) and southwestern Connecticut (near the New York border) sound more like New York and Boston accents. These accents tend to drop the “r” in many words.
In technical terms, this is called a non-rhoticity accent, which is a fancy way of saying that you don’t pronounce the letter “r” unless it is followed by a vowel.
This accent is much less common and represents only a small minority of Connecticut’s population. Here’s a good example of someone with this type of accent.
Mid-Atlantic Accent (quasi-English/American)
The mid-Atlantic accent (or Transatlantic accent) is a completely learned accent. There are no native speakers of the mid-Atlantic accent.
In the early 1900s, upper-class schools in CT taught this quasi-British accent to students as a way to create a language that sounded the same throughout all English-speaking counties. It was meant to remove regional dialects.
No one uses the accent today, but it can be found in older movies. Here’s a good video clip of people having a conversion using the mid-Atlantic accent. I fast-forwarded to the back-and-forth dialog, but if you’re interested in this accent, I recommend you watch the entire video.
The CT Accent – Final Thoughts
So, those are all of Connecticut’s accents. The Connecticut accent is basically a neutral accent, but without fully pronouncing the letter T. There are also a few people that don’t pronounce their “R’s” in the eastern and southwestern parts of the state.
With that being said, as a native Connecticut resident, I would argue that people from Connecticut are unaccented, but I may be a bit biased.