This may be the first TikTok challenge you ever participate in, and it’s kind of hard to resist when the challenge allegedly “confirms your Buffalonian status.” 

Buffalonians and Western New Yorkers have a unique accent, and when you’re a Buffalo transplant, the accent is a bit more noticeable. Maybe you didn’t even know it was there! 

The Buffalo accent has strong traces of European dialects, including Polish and German, but also Italian/Scilian. 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 have even been some traces of a “valley girl” accent in Buffalo, too, but that is more of an intonation thing.

As a proud Buffalo transplant, I can confirm that Buffalo has a unique kind of accent. It’s almost Midwestern but with a mix of Canadian, and even though I have lived here for a year and a half now, there are still words that I say wrong or mix up (but I guess nobody’s perfect). 

You have probably heard about the one sentence that reveal just how strong (or weak) your Buffalo accent is.

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

Now, there’s a new TikTok challenge that gives you a few sentences and based on how you read it, one can tell if you grew up in Buffalo your whole life, if you are a Buffalo transplant, or if you have never even been to Buffalo before. 

I gave it a try, and you can too! 

You can see the example below. 

Believe me, I know that was painful to watch. Granted, I don’t say it that way anymore, but you can see how obvious it would be to point out (based on those words) who is a true Buffalonian. 

If someone slips up and messes up a word, kindly correct them. They’re probably trying their best to learn the ways of a Buffalonian!

Here’s the passage written out, in case you want to try the challenge. The bold words are the ones that clearly give away your accent, but don’t overthink it! Just read it how you would normally. :)

“I woke up this morning and I was craving a PACZKI so I got in my car and hopped on I-90. I ended up passing Cheektowaga Central Elementary School and I noticed it was a little FOGGY. And I thought, let me stop and get an EGGNOG latte with MILK from (coffee place of choice), and thankfully there was one just past WEHRLE Drive. Then I headed towards BLASDELL to pick up my PACZKI and would (Y’ALL / YOU / YOUSE / YOU GUYS) believe it? I had to do a little hop over a CREEK to get there. Thankfully I had a BAG so I didn’t drop anything. And I was able to finish it before my daily walk by CANISIUS College, which may not be a SUNY school, but it’s still one of my favorites.”

If you give it a try, make sure you tag us @1065wyrk.

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