The Southern Accent: Quick View

I should admit upfront that I haven’t watched a lick of House of Cards, though I hear that (at least seasons 1-2) are worthwhile. What I have heard about recently, however, is how Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood rocks a pretty impressive (or impressively poor?) Southern accent. I caught a clip or two just to check it out, and, as a born-and-raised Georgia native, I noticed a couple of things right off:

  • Kevin Spacey sounds like he’s trying really hard to affect a Southern accent
  • No one in the south talks like that unless you’re a plantation owner from the turn of the century

Turns out that linguists agree with me.


Language and accents have always been fascinating to me. When watching TV as a child I can remember asking my mom the origin of accents that certain characters used and, to her credit, she was amazingly accurate in picking them up. Since then I’ve enjoyed learning more about the path various languages have taken to get where they are today. Hopefully, I’ll cover some of these things I’ve learned in later blogs. Watch this space!

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