New Jersey’s accent has been voted the ‘least sexy’ in the United States in a new survey.
The accent made famous by shows such as Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives of New Jersey came last in a ranking of 50 US dialects, just below the local twangs of Long Island, Florida and Minnesota.
The Texan drawl came out on top in the Big 7 Travel survey for the second year running, with top marks awarded for the ‘Southern accent with a twist’ featuring ‘strong Rs and plenty of Howdys’.
New York accents were second on the list with Boston third, Alabama fourth and Chicago fifth in the ranking of America’s sexiest accents
The New Jersey accent is a favorite of TV shows and Hollywood movies – although locals insist that the state’s dialect is often misrepresented.
Michael ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi were among the stars of Jersey Shore, which ran from 2009 to 2012.
While there are differences between the North Jersey and South Jersey tongue, both were rated low enough to send the Jersey accent to the bottom of the standings.
‘North Jerseyan? Think ‘cawfee’ and dropping the Rs. South Jerseyan? It’s more like the Philly accent, but not close enough to bring up Jersey’s overall sex appeal,’ the 50th-place entry said.
There was some relief for Long Islanders who moved up one place after coming bottom of last year’s table.
Long Island’s native sons include Alec Baldwin, Jerry Seinfeld and Billy Joel – but their hometown was ranked 49th and mockingly branded as ‘Lawnguyland’.
While the Miami accent came 11th for its ‘sexy rhythm’ like Spanish, the Florida accent more generally was condemned as a ‘baffling mix of Midwest and Northeast with a hint of Southern’ – consigning it to 48th out of 50.
Minnesota was next, while Pittsburgh natives were told to consider themselves ‘lucky’ not to be lower than 46th with an accent ‘often considered the ugliest in all of America’.
At the other end of the table, the famous Texan drawl was voted the sexiest US accent for the second year running.
‘The typical Texan accent is a Southern accent with a twist, with strong R and plenty of ‘Howdys’. America’s sexiest accent? We’d have to agree,’ the authors approvingly wrote.
Despite the poor performance for Long Island, the New York accent more generally came second – moving ahead of Boston which was runner-up in the 2019 rankings.
‘Fast and hypernasal, yet quite charming at times’ was the verdict on the New York accent which has long been a staple of Hollywood movies.
Boston came third for an accent which has stymied generations of actors and produced such catchphrases as ‘pahk yuh cahr in Hahvuhd yahd’.
While Boston is known for a non-rhotic accent which often does not pronounce the R, the fourth-placed Alabama accent is the opposite – with ‘extra Rs added to words that don’t need them,’ the entry says.
‘A slow drawl, plenty of “y’alls” and dropping the “ng” at the end of words’ were among the features that sent the Alabama twang rocketing 13 places up the table.
In fifth place was the Chicago accent, while California came sixth – although the often-ridiculed ‘Valley Girl’ tongue was way down in 42nd.
The thick Philadelphia accent, Maine’s take on a New England dialect and the Northwestern accent with traces of Canada that is spoken in Oregon and Washington occupied the next three places.
Kentucky rounded out the top 10 for its ‘mix of Midwestern and Southern tones’, shooting up from 26th thanks to its ‘smooth drawl and long vowels’.
The so-called General American accent came 23rd with its ‘slightly boring, but nicely inoffensive’ sounds that are familiar on TV and radio.
There were lower marks for the Hudson Valley accent with its traces of Dutch (36th), while San Francisco came 37th.
Although Texas (1st), Alabama (4th) and Mississippi (12th) were all well-regarded in the South, New Orleans (31st) and Tallahassee (39th) proved far less popular.
Beyond the continental US, Hawaii came 13th for an accent influenced by Pacific languages and described as ‘so relaxing you’ll never want to stop listening’.
However, Alaska fared far more poorly, coming in 45th – a result blamed on its similarity to the 47th-placed Minnesota twang.
The travel website said it ‘looked to our audience’ to rank the 50 accents, in a repeat of a 2019 survey in which the Texan drawl again came out on top.