When you think of bigger cities, like Chicago or Los Angeles, you can picture a certain kind of accent, i.e. the valley girl. But did you know that the Buffalo accent is pretty recognizable in itself?

When you first learn about the accent, it can make you feel a little self conscious – but you shouldn’t! Our accent is more recognizable than we realize, and even if we haven’t noticed it until now, out-of-town visitors are usually able to pick up on it. 

Is there a Buffalo/WNY accent? Slang? Regional terms?
by u/jcrangers91 in Buffalo

What Is A Buffalo Accent?

The Buffalo accent has strong traces of European dialects, including Polish and German, but also Italian/Sicilian. One language professor identified a handful of attributes from the Buffalo accent, including:

  • the “flat a”
  • “hard a” 
  • other variations in our speech, including the drop-down of central vowels 
    • For example, “bed” may sound like “bad.”

There are even traces of a “valley girl” accent in Buffalo, too, but that’s more of an intonation thing.

How Can You Tell If You Have A Buffalo Accent?

One sentence will reveal just how strong (or weak) your Buffalo accent is.

" Frank and Joanne ran down Transit from Amherst to Lancaster."

People with a Buffalo accent will have a hard long A in words like Frank, Ran, Lancaster.

A lot of out-of-towners have said that the accent in Western New York sounds like a combination of a New York and Canadian accent, which may hold some truth. 

You can also hear the Buffalo accent in these other familiar words and statements.

There is also a TikTok challenge that gives you a paragraph to read, and based on how you say it, it can identify where your accent sticks out the most. 

So…how strong is your accent? :)

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