If I Had an English Accent

If I had an English accent, well, you couldn’t resist me.

I would be intelligent and cultured and thoughtful and have the greatest manners and be trustworthy and honest and debonaire and have quite a witty sense of humor that combined my knowledge of history with my knowledge of teas and classic 16th century literature. I would stand up straight and I would eat with the right fork and I would have American women swooning at the simple mention of the words “cheers”, “bullocks” and “right-o”.

I could be the biggest, most annoying, idiotic man in the world, but because of my English accent — well, you would embrace me with all your heart.

As just a normal American guy, there are just some things I can’t pull off. If I were to walk into a bar, spot a girl on the other side of the room, approach her and say, “You are quite fetching, so much so that I could just eat you up!” you would throw a drink in my face. But with an English accent? You would want to have my children. As just a normal American guy, if I were to offer to walk you across the street you would sack me in the face with your designer Kate Spade — but with an English accent? You would accept and then call all your friends to tell them the story about the debonaire English chap who proved to you that chivalry was indeed, not dead.

I have tried to fake the accent in the past.

At a particuarly loud party, I informed a particular woman that I was from England — we talked for what seemed like hours about driving on the wrong side of the road, bangers and mash, the loo, the queue at the loo, the tube, driving on the wrong side of the road, the Queen (god save her) and six pence (although I don’t know why). She wondered if I had ever met the Rolling Stones (which I had) and the Beatles (which I had seen but never met) and if I ever saw Monty Python (which I had, on TV). She queried me about Scotland (“really green”) and Germany (“very German”) and driving on the wrong side of the road (“just crazy!”) and how I felt about Sir Elton John (“gay but happy”). We talked and talked and talked and she was so excited that she had met an English guy HERE IN LOS ANGELES. I mean, what are the chances (“many, apparently”).

That was, until she heard me talking to a friend a few minutes later (“dude, can you believe she believed I was from England”) and I realized the jig was up.

Still, when solicitors call, I throw on my proper attitude and cultured face and talk talk talk talk talk in my really bad English accent. And you know what? Yeah, no one believes me.

Still – if I had an English accent for real, that was good and legitimate… Life would be so much easier. I would be treated with the respect that which the British Monarchy gets on a daily basis. And sure, I might be treated like a figurehead — but I would be looked up to as the most cultured chap on the face of the Earth.

Of that, dear readers, I am bloody sure.

57 comments on “If I Had an English Accent

  1. Mike - October 29, 2006 at 9:07 am -

    # Gravatar

    Tragically, you speak the truth.
    I had a guy “fake British me up” at a party years ago, and even though I was on to him, I let him continue, because it sounded so bloody lovely and jolly good. I didn’t date him though, the psycho liar.
    I think it’s so hilarious when someone develops a foreign accent after being in the country for about 10 minutes, but they can’t quite get it right, like Madonna.

    Comment by Eve — September 6, 2005 @ 10:22 am

    actually eve, accents don’t take long to set in. i’m english but have lived in wales 3 years and already have a welsh twang to my voice. Madonna has lived in the UK since mid-late 2002. Thats 3 years and a bit. However I do think it’s a bit put on

  2. James - November 3, 2006 at 8:25 am -

    Mike is correct. Everyone is so used to the English accent over here that it just doesn’t work. In America however you get so much attention I would never have believed it had I not experienced it firsthand. I am definately heading back to America for holiday this year. But I’m afraid that I am in the minority, the English gentleman is on the wane. He has been replaced with two kinds of Englishman.
    1. The lager lout – A middle aged football fan who can usually be found sitting in a pub. When England get knocked out the world cup on penalties he will try to beat you up.
    2. The Yob – Basically he is a child (12 upwards mostly) who with his gang will try to mug you. They also like to stab you if you confront them.
    I love football and I’m 19 but I fall into neither catagory because I was brought up the right way.

  3. […] And surprisingly, I wasn’t just asked to talk about printer ink cartridges in my own country. Seemingly aware of my almost unchallenged popularity in the UK, the powers that be (at the printer ink cartridge society) extended the olive branch of peace, goodwill and brotherhood while also suggesting I make mention of their Brother Printer Ink Cartridges available in the UK, for those blokes with the glorious English accent. […]

  4. ol' chap - April 21, 2007 at 2:33 pm -

    Love this post. As mentioned before American accents work really well over here, it would be easy for an American male or female to court practically anybody here. Strangely I also love soft RP, and I’m English. However this accent is on the decline

    Tally ho!

  5. Greg - June 26, 2008 at 1:27 am -

    I just moved over to London with my flat, Canadian accent and I feel like a complete tool. Everyone sounds so smart. Well, okay, not those from the East End, but everybody else sounds really smart.

    And unfortunately, I have not found that a Canadian accent works in London like an English accent would work in Toronto with the women. Despite my best pick up line – “hey, you look good, eh? What do you say we go back to my hOWse and talk abOWt stuff?” – I am sadly going to bed alone at night.

  6. iain - July 2, 2008 at 11:18 am -

    I’m English living in the US and the accent definitely provides a way to get a conversation started. When I tell you I’m from Birmingham I think the Brits will giggle, as we’re not know for having the most attractive accent.

    But I have to say a gorgeous soft southern US accent (my girlfriend is from Tennessee), really works for me.

    Interestingly both accents have certain stereotypes associated with them, which become irrelevant if you’re raised in a different culture.

  7. B. Jackson - July 24, 2008 at 4:34 am -

    Im English, and went to New York a couple of years ago on holiday with my brother and parents, and the Americans couldnt do enough for us ! We got lots of things for half price or completley free if we went into shops, was allowed to skip a very long line to go up the Empire State building and whenever i went for a little walk on my own in our 5 star hotel, everyone who worked there knew my name and always started a conversation with me ! It got to the point that our mum and dad told us not to speak if we went out for a stoll becuase we kept getting stopped every 2 minutes because of our accent….

    so yeah, Americans do love the English accent lol

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