Listen: Boston radio host hangs up on N&O writer because of his Southern accent
The occasionally baffling dialect spoken by Outer Banks natives along the North Carolina coast has made a list of “The Top 50 Sexiest Accents” in the country.
Travel site Big 7 Travel says it compiled the list by asking its 1.5 million social audience about the sexiest and least sexy accents travelers have encountered.
“Hoi Toider,” the accent spoken by Outer Banks natives, came in at No. 35.
“Hoi Toider is the accent spoken by a small amount of people on the Outer Banks of North Carolina,” explained Big 7 Travel. “It’s an unusual brogue that sounds a bit Australian, a bit Irish and also a bit British.”
The sexiest accent in the United States is a Texas drawl (“Southern accent with a twist”), said the site, while the least sexy is a Long Island accent.
Two other Carolinas accents also made the list: The “charming” Appalachian accent spoken in parts of far western North Carolina was No. 40, and the Charleston accent was No. 27.
“Typical of older Southern U.S. English, the Charleston accent is lyrical and low, but is likely dying out in younger generations,” said Big 7. “Old Charleston charmers will say “hoose” instead of house and “stey-it” for state.”
Hoi Toide could be dying out as the population of newcomers grows on the state’s barrier islands, say experts.
It’s an accent unique to once-isolated areas of the Outer Banks, where early settlers combined 17th Century English, Scottish and Irish dialects, according to NCPedia.org.
“The dialect’s most characteristic feature is evident in the pronunciation of the phrase ‘high tide’ as ‘hoi toide’ in a way similar to how it is pronounced in parts of southwestern England even today,” says NCPedia.
A book on the accent, “Hoi Toide on the Outer Banks,” was published in 1997 by the University of North Carolina Press and it included a glossary of words unique to the language.
Examples include: “dingbatter” (a foreigner to the Outer Banks); “mommuck” (to harass or bother) and “quamished” (sick to one’s stomach), according to NC State’s Coastwatch Currents site.
Some of the other “sexy accents” come from Miami, Mississippi, California, Kansas, Kentucky, Atlanta and Pittsburgh.