My Fair Ladies


We were at a restaurant a few years ago for our anniversary and Tracey started copying the waitress. I knew she didn’t mean to do it because the look on my wife’s face was priceless – half horror, half pissing herself.

Have you ever done that thing where you’re speaking to someone with an accent and suddenly you’ve got one too?

I’ve done it a little bit. It used to happen occasionally to me when I lived in Papua New Guinea as a kid. I’d be talking to a local and suddenly I’m taking on their vocal mannerisms.

Tracey does the same sort of thing when she talks to people from other countries, mimicking them without meaning to. Her trek across Europe was essentially Tracey taking the mickey out of the citizens of one country after another. All unintended.

“That’d be lovely,” she’d say to a tour guide with a bad French flourish and they’d essentially have to load the tour bus up and get the hell out of Paris.

For that matter, is it racist to speak with a put on accent these days? If I start saying sex instead of six, am I suddenly dissing my friends over in Nu Zilland? If it is I may be raising a family of perceived bigots because it seems at least one of our children is in for a lifetime pulling similar facial expressions to their mother.

” ‘ello, luv,” the nice lady at the nursing home said as she wheeled in the pureed lunch for Great Grandma Mac to ignore. “You all doing all right ‘ere?”

(note: actual accent was probably nothing like I’ve presented it here – was English and lovely – but you try type it sometime and we’ll see how you go).

“Thanks,” said Tracey, no doubt concentrating to keep in real.

“Let us know if you need anyfink,” said the lady.

“All right then. Fanks,” Miss9 said in her best Eliza Doolittle as the lady walked out. Then our daughter threw her hands up to her mouth in embarrassment and looked at her mum with that same expression her mum gives to me when she mimics by accident. “Mum!” she whispered. “I just copied her. I’m so embarrassed.”

I predict she’s going to have a fabulous gap year when she’s older.

When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’  Facebook Page.

 ’raising a family on little more than laughs’


  • I am glad I am not the only person who has this strange affliction.I have had people ask which part of England are you from? Are you Dutch. I’m sure the Asians think I’m making fun of them.

  • Hehehehe this made me giggle. I remember when I was in primary school, there was a Canadian exchange student. I loved her accent and it was terrible because every time I talked to her (or heard her speak), I’d have to fight the urge to get my Canadian accent on. I remember coming home to my parents and saying, “I’m trying SO hard to not speak like a Canadian person but it’s SO HARD!”
    My parents probably thought it was hilarious now that I think about it.
    On another note, my brother and I were adopted as babies from Korea. Our mum is of Welsh descent. We lived with my grandparents for a while when we were little (they’re in Australia too) and my brother was probably the only Asian toddler with a Welsh accent I’ve ever heard/seen/known – reactions from strangers were priceless!!

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