I grew up in the little town of Middleburgh, New York. It’s a cute, scenic town with a rich heritage.  Residents of Middleburgh have their own unique dialect and way of talking. However, it sounds nothing like the Central New York accent, our's is almost one of a kind!

Many Middleburgh folk refer to their county name as “Ska- harry.” The name is actually Schoharie and is properly pronounced “Sko-harry.” My friends in Middleburgh call me Matt pronounced like “mat,” as in door, bath, and welcome. When I moved to Utica, I learned that my name is no longer pronounced like a piece of rubber that’s placed on the ground, instead my Central New York friends refer to me as “Meeyat.” I don’t live in the Mohawk Valley either. I reside in the Mohawk “Veeyally.”

It seems to me that the Central New York and Michigan-Illinois dialect are very similar. When I visited Chicago last year the first place I went was a famous deep dish pizza restaurant.  When it came time for me to place my order, the waitress asked me if I wanted an “eeeyapitizer.”  Then she commented on my Yankees cap. She said something like: “you do know that we’re all Cubs feeeyans here right?” It was in that moment that I realized that the Utica accent is very similar to that of the “Windy City.”  It’s the flat e in “Meeyat, Veeyally, eeeeyapitizer, and feeeyan” that are especially perplexing to me.

I find the Mohawk Veeyally accent quite endearing. It’s one of Central New York’s trademarks. Because I work in radio, I promised myself that I would never pick up any local dialects regardless of where I lived. However, for whatever reason, a little New York City sound comes out of my mouth from time to time. This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, because in New York state, I’ve never lived south of Kingston.

Here’s an example of the Central New York accent:

Do you hear it? How did this originate?


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