Most of my father's side of the family is from the New York City/Northern New Jersey area. My grandfather was from Tottenville, which is part of Staten Island. My father was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

When I was a kid, we would often go to Seabright, New Jersey where my aunt and uncle owned a house right on the ocean. When my cousins and I would get together, one of the topics of conversation was our accents. They would claim that I talked "funny" and I in turn felt the same way about them.

Many times I think about my late grandparents and the way they would say their words. When my grandmother said the word "toilet", it always sounded to me like she was saying "terlet". I found this video with a Western New Yorker and a New Jersey native comparing their words and accents.