(Season 2, Episode 9 "Stray Rounds") I liked the use of the word ‘police’. Huge fan of the show. None of the Wire characters sound quite like that, with the possible exception of Valchek. Over at Language Log, Eric Bakovic has an interesting take on accent work in films and television. A number of the dealers and soldiers were actors from NYC and with New York accents. The Wire is a great show. I made my way through quite a few neighborhoods, but I've got to say that overall the city was a pretty sweet place to hang out as I explored learning the Baltimore accent.. Baltimore = The Wire I’m usually pretty good at picking up accents. ". I also noticed those same sounds in Prop Joe's accent. You know I’m going to have to ask you about The Wire now, right? Gr8, I haven’t seen the Wire-hope to soon, but i saw Luther n loved the accent there. John Doman, who plays Rawls, is an actual native Philadelphia. One of my [several] black coworkers from Baltimore have their own versions, so instead of "pencil" I hear "pounce-ill," instead of "shrimp" I hear "strimp," instead of "garage" I hear is broken into longer syllables, "go-rage" (in the same way I say "puh-lease" as almost 1 syllable instead of the distinctive "poh-lease" we hear on the Wire. Jay's Baltimore accent sounds different than Joe's, but they represent different contexts or backgrounds. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. But the exaggeration of language and dialects is a hallmark of great drama dating back to Shakespeare (a cliched thing to say, I know). It’s a similar construction as “he’s from good stock.” Almost as if “police” were a substance rather than a profession. You can hear what’s probably Idris Elba’s more “normal” British accent on the British cop show “Luther,” where he plays the lead detective, available on Netflix. He also has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AlBrownIsValchek. The dialogue was bursting with unique syntax, morphology, and slang. In the video here, dialect coach Erik Singer analyzes the accents of 32 different actors to see who aces the accent test. I have to second Bakovic on this point. And in all three, they say "a police." I’m from the Philadelphia area, which has an accent similar to Baltimore (Baltimore is more southern-inflected, more “hon”) and I definitely found the mix of Wire accents distracting when I watched the first few episodes–I kept pointing out “that’s not a Baltimore accent!” to my boyfriend’s annoyance. I worked in Baltimore County (corporate), but never heard anyone speak with the accent; and I know there were a lot of native Balitmorians working there. Its most notable characteristic is the nasally stressed "O" vowel producing a sound close to "Eh-oo". IMHO, he’s got a very Delaware Valley accent. As with all major cities there are ranges of accent too. Mello’s character was the real Jay Landsman, retired Baltimore homicide, so I don’t question his authenticity. It’s definitely is not a strong accent like a Hoboken or Bronx accent. Pearson had never seen The Wire, the TV drama that examines the life of Baltimore - from its crack dens to its failing school system, its struggling police force to its corridors of power - … Nice website too … didn’t know there was a site devoted specifically to Baltimorese! It is believable that many of the poh-leese would sound like they’re from up Jersey but not a white labor union dock worker from Holluntown or Glimburny. Words like “phone” and “home”, we draw out the “O”. The character with the strongest accent (at least, to me) was Valcheck -- Prezbo's father in law. African-American Baltimore has some influence from Tidewater Virginia and low-lands North Carolina from WWII and earlier migrations. For example, John Waters uses his own Baltimore accent in the commentary during his film Pink Flamingos. With Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn, Wendell Pierce. I have watched all episodes at least twice and I just don’t hear it. I noticed that most of the smaller roles had stronger accents, obviously cause they were locals and the main roles went to actors from all over the place. Out of everyone’s, and for good reason. They both have really thick, really authentic accents. Find the best information and most relevant links on all topics related toThis domain may be for sale! Whether drug lord Stringer Bell talked about killing someone or a police chief discussed a case of police brutality, both men used highly codified forms of language as a way of softening the horror of the situation. The two best examples of the Baltimore accent in the show BY FAR are Lt. Mello (played by the real Jay Landsman) and Vice Principal Donnelly. I may have had my minor quibbles with Dominic West‘s accent in the first season of the series, but as a whole, The Wire is perhaps the most impressive body of dialect work I’ve  seen in film or television. n. Carryout order consisting of three or more fried chicken wings and a serving of french fries. (Also same accent that the lead in White Boy Rick has). He'll talk with virtually no accent at all and then suddenly throw in an obvious "Balmer." Regardless, aside from a few minor slips you’d need to be looking for, it’s hard to tell McNulty hails from across the pond. These folks are actors, after all — really good ones who do what it takes to play their characters as authentically as possible, speech and all. It's tricky to isolate it to Baltimore, because the dialectical influences would be from Philly, and probably along the East coast, especially among African Americans, and language isn't static, with lots of variances in between regarding class, education, neighborhood, etc. Drawn out vowels is a lot of our accent. This one is (in my opinion) a lot less subtle. If you want a more comical example of this accent, look up videos of Scott Van Pelt doing the accent on his ESPN show. For me it sounds like the vowel in to or you has an umlaut. The Baltimore accent is pretty regional; you don’t hear it outside a John Waters film. Any fans of the series out there wish to comment? this is part of an episode "The Wire" on HBO.. Snoop goes into a hardware store to buy something. I have a question about the Baltimore accent. The Baltimore accent is a dialect that originated among the blue-collar workers of Baltimore City and is often referred to as "Baltimorese". A Baltimore accent, also known as Baltimorese (sometimes pseudo-phonetically written Bawlmerese, Ballimorese, etc. Created by David Simon. One thing I noticed is the police will frequently refer to the criminals as “people”, even if only in certain circumstances it was noticable (“we’ve got a wire on these people” etc), instead of something racist or pejorative. chicken box . I know he liked Robert Chew’s (Prop Joe) accent and Delaney Williams supposedly had a thick Baltimore accent. The Origins of the Pirate Accent, When Did Americans Stop "Talking British? I have a question about the Baltimore accent. I missed West and Elba totally, but my wife, whose ear is much better, got their Brit-ness immediately and couldn’t believe other people didn’t notice it. Questions about the Baltimore Accent in the Wire. So, many of the actors might not have had as much familiarity with it as, say, a New York accent. It's similar to the Philly accent. That book is about Baltimore homicide, which "Homicide, Life on the Streets" (tv show) is based on, which the Wire is based on. David Simon created "The Wire" based largely on his years as a newspaper reporter covering crime for the Baltimore Sun. Snoop was the most authentic B-More product imo. Felicia Peterson, who played her, was from there. It definitely takes place in Baltimore, and is based upon experiences of David Simon while a newspaper reporter in Baltimore, but it definitely is about police and various types of crime (most often drug related). Fellow Wire fanatics. . 10 McNulty’s British “Accent” Jimmy McNulty may be natural police, but Dominic West is not a Baltimore native. Valchek (Al Brown) is the only character who sounds to me like he might be a native Baltimorean. In fact, some of the people in it still work in the Baltimore dept. Al Brown, who played Valchek, just finished his new website at http://www.albrownisvalchek.com. John Travolta's character in the 2007 version of John Waters's Hairspray spoke with an exaggerated Baltimore accent. I know David Simon was very attuned to the authenticity of the characters, especially the Baltimore accent. With the Baltimore accent, it was always a struggle. Also dropping the "r" so instead of "hard" you get "hawd" or Cheese saying "butta" instead of "butter" - again these traits aren't as isolated as they once were. And about those jargons: what I found particularly remarkable about The Wire was the way it treated the lingo of police, drug dealers, union men, and politicians as part of the same problem. To learn more about the language patterns of African American Baltimoreans, you can listen to this podcast, produced by a native Baltimorean: http://baltimorelanguage.com/baldamor-curry-and-dug-podcast/ The podcast is called “Baldamor, Curry, and Dug’: Language Variation, Culture, and Identity among African American Baltimoreans” — it’s very creative and fun to listen to, and features native Baltimore speakers from a longstanding family (4 generations). From what I’ve heard, Baltimore-area and Philadelphia-area accents are very similar with the exception that Baltimore’s accent has a slight southern thing happening, and Philadelphia’s accent doesn’t. Where you know his American accent from: The Wire, Pacific Rim, American Gangster, The Office. But Baltimore's accent is distinctly Baltimorean and Mid-Atlantic, not Southern by any stretch. You can really tell which actors were from Baltimore for the most part. It's there man. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog: Is the Glasgow Accent Being “Cockneyfied?”, an interesting take on accent work in films and television, http://baltimorelanguage.com/baldamor-curry-and-dug-podcast/, This Week’s Language Blog Roundup | Wordnik ~ all the words, https://www.facebook.com/AlBrownIsValchek, Arrr, Matey! > The Wire is not about police, nor about drug gangs. That’s a great find, Christine! . Over at Language Log, Eric Bakovic has an interesting take on accent work in films and television. I spent a week at the end of May 2011 "stealth camping" in my old 87 VW Vanagon in Baltimore. I know David Simon was very attuned to the authenticity of the characters, especially the Baltimore accent. The compilation of him cracking up Tim Kurkjian (a baseball reporter who is a Maryland native) with his accent is hilarious. Funny Or Die and Cadillac released a video featuring the actors that included a conversation about the one and only Baltimore accent. I’m from Annapolis and you can definitely hear an accent. Is that not what a Baltimore accent sounds like? Edit: Snoop definitely has the accent. By Staff and wire reports. Pls, what regional british accent exactly did Idris Elba employ in the series-Luther. who are played by locals. coddie (CAH-dee) n. A fishcake of cod, onions and mashed potato, fried. Same with the “A” in “gas”. Cookies help us deliver our Services. Pingback: What are you watching tonight? As a native Baltimorean, I have a longstanding interest in… There are two completely different "Baltimore" accents we're talking about here. Baltimoreans feel free to chime in! People also tend to use the word "hon" a lot, although this is heard mostly only in the city. What am I missing? Yup, my first thought was Lt. Mello. The Baltimore drug scene, as seen through the eyes of drug dealers and law enforcement. Thanks for pointing that out. Jun 15, 2016 at 10:24 AM . Of the main characters, Omar definitely seemed to have done the best at trying to sound like a native. http://wilk4.com/humor/humorm221.htm. She grew up in Highlandtown where some of the Wire scenes are set. Each episode’s unique blend of African American Vernacular English, Baltimorese and various professional jargons was part of what earned the show such a rabid following (even if the dialogue was sometimes so thick it strained comprehensibility). "I love how regional Baltimore is," Bowen said. But, in real life, murder rates are … The inner city / black Baltimore accent is the one on display from characters like Prop Joe, Snoop, etc. An excerpt from Jonathan Abrams's 'All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire' details the casting of each character on the show. The book is nonfiction, it's really a great read. The British actor starred as Detective Jimmy McNulty and was often praised for the accuracy of his American accent during his time on the series. Then there's the "white" Baltimore accent, which is an accent found in Baltimore city and the surrounding counties of Maryland, and is generally what people are talking about when you hear the expression "Baltimore accent". (WeeBay’s head action and the way Namond held his mouth were very NYC for me). You hear it most when they say words like two, you, do, etc. Spider had a thick accent, Donut, shit most of the corner kids that weren't main characters did. A character might say “He is good police” or “Are you police?”. - Page 96. A subset of White Baltimore has a significant influence from West Virginia from a migration for WWII jobs . New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, Press J to jump to the feed. McNulty must come up with a fake name and accent to infiltrate the brothel. But black Baltimore does have its own identity with the local music genre of Baltimore Club music, the local unique black Baltimore accent, chicken boxes and half-in-half ice tea/lemonades etc. I think Snoop is probably the best example. Method Man and Wee Bee were the big notable ones. Looking at more recent examples, I don’t know if Fargo, Mad Men or the plays of Martin McDonagh would be as entertaining if the language used were less “broad.”. I think Al Brown (Valchek) sounds like he’s from the Philadelphia area. As already mentioned, Prop Joe's "dug" instead of "dog" is common. Turns out, Idris Elba is one of greatest around. The key feature of the Baltimore accent is identified by a sound change called “fronting back vowels.” It’s an accent feature that probably started in the South, according to Becker, where vowels that are usually pronounced with the tongue in the back of the mouth (like the “oo” in goose”) are instead pronounced with the tongue in the front (“gewse”). Lt. 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For authentic Balmorese is Senator Barbara Mikulski of three or more fried chicken wings a... Strong accent like a native Services or clicking i agree, you to. Three, they say words like two, you agree to our of... Distinctly Baltimorean and Mid-Atlantic, not Southern by any stretch principal, you can really tell which actors were Baltimore! Virginia from a migration for WWII jobs baltimore accent the wire seen the Wire-hope to soon, but they different...