Do Young Mainers Still Speak In The Old-School Maine Accent?
The Maine accent is truly legendary.
It really is, if not totally misrepresented. We've all had an experience where we're watching a movie or a TV show, and some character starts speaking in a Maine accent. Most of the time, Mainers will absolutely cringe at hearing some flat-lander actor from away, trying to do justice to our native tongue.
To this day, I've never heard a movie where it sounded like the person was getting it right. The closest I've heard so far is Robert Pattinson in The Lighthouse. Crazy, weird movie, but I actually thought he didn't do a bad job. As opposed to Willem Dafoe, who sounded like an 1840's British gold prospector.
So, what about younger Mainers? Do they still use it?
I saw a post on Reddit, asking this question. The answers varied quite a bit. Although, I think there were a few arcs in the thread that made sense. First off... Of course, young people still often speak like, well, Mainers. For instance, folks who live in more rural areas tend to use it more. And also, it depends on how their parents speak to them.
Also, and I believe this 100%, a lot has to do with age. Growing up, I never, ever spoke with even a hint of a Maine accent. As I get older, I feel it slipping in more and more all the time. Some folks wondered if there might be an "income" component to it. Meaning, poor people use it more. This, I absolutely disagree with.
What about all the new folks moving to Maine?
Since 2020, Maine's population has grown by upwards of 10,000 people. So how will this impact the accent? Hard to say, but I suppose it's possible it could dilute the accent over time. But hey... until Maine's more rural areas are fully populated, I don't think it's gonna be hard to find someone who still inhales and says "yup" at the same time.
Look, this is where we live, and it's the way we've always talked. At least since we all came here on the Mayflower. Pretty sure every "Mainer" had an English accent then, which is what our accent is loosely based on. But hey, I think we've made it thoroughly ours at this point. And at least we don't sound like those jokers from Massachusetts!