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New Jersey’s accent voted no. 1 least desirable in the US – new study

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, research by Preply, an accent classes provider, conducted a study on U.S. accents, and the New Jersey accent stood out, though perhaps not for the reasons Jersey natives might hope.

The Jersey accent, recognizable for turning “water” into “wooder” and making—even the calmest conversation—sound like a lively debate at the family dinner table, has unquestionably made its mark. In the composition of American accents, it’s the bold, high-tempo solo that you can’t ignore—catchy, distinctive, and unforgettable.

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The study rounded up the country’s accents, and New Jersey’s unique dialect strutted straight to the top…of the list of ‘least desirable’ accents. Its high volume, nasal tones, and fifth-gear speed seem to come off as “a bit much” to some, earning it the position of America’s blue cheese of accents—loud, punchy, and a bit of an acquired taste.

Despite this, every Jersey native knows that their dialect is a badge of pride: it’s sure to turn heads, start conversations, and never, ever blend into the background.

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NEWARK, NJ – NOVEMBER 14: Sen. Robert ‘Bob’ Menendez (D-NJ) departs federal court, November 14, 2017 in Newark, New Jersey. The jury continues to deliberate in his corruption trial. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Bob Hugin, a Republican candidate running in next week’s New Jersey primary election for U.S. Senate, talks with constituents during the Monmouth GOP Super Saturday campaign drive, Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Colts Neck, N.J. This year’s race for a U.S. Senate seat from New Jersey won’t start officially until after the Democratic and Republican primaries on Tuesday, June 5. But already incumbent Democratic Sen. Menendez and Hugin are hurling insults at one another in what will be New Jersey’s only statewide contest this fall and an arena in the national fight for control of the narrowly divided Senate. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

As evidenced by the study, the three least appealing accents include:

  • New Jerseyan (New Jersey): Known for strong vowels and unique persona, many listeners perceive it as nasal, fast-paced, or brash.
  • Mid-Atlantic: Its inflection gathers both acclaim (clear, transatlantic quality) and criticism (viewed as feigned), and it isn’t geographically localized.
  • Southern Ohioan (Southern Ohio): Defined by a bland, flat tone, which may be perceived as boring.

As specified by the study, the top three desired U.S. accents and their enticing elements are:

  • Southern: This accent, due to its peaceful, lyrical vowels, carries the charm and hospitality of the South, making it warm and welcoming.
  • Western: The serene, clear tone, reminiscent of the relaxed Western U.S. lifestyle
  • Cajun: A colorful and standalone blend of French and English forms the Cajun accent’s uniqueness.

From least to most desirable regional accents in the U.S., here is the complete ranking:


  1. New Jerseyan
  2. Mid-Atlantic
  3. Southern Ohioan
  4. New Yorker
  5. Chicagoan
  6. Long Islander
  7. Philadelphian
  8. Floridian
  9. Pacific Northwesterner
  10. Yooper
  11. Upper Midwesterner
  12. Southern Californian
  13. Chicano
  14. Alabamian
  15. Mainer
  16. Appalachian
  17. Bostonian
  18. Georgian
  19. Geechee
  20. Texan
  21. Hawaiian
  22. Cajun
  23. Western
  24. Southern

Check the complete dataset for a detailed breakdown of the accents’ specific features and perks:

Learn more about Preply here.


Preply’s ranking of accents results from meticulous research, drawing from four reputable sources: WordTips Research, YouGov Accents Study, Language Attitudes to Speech Study, and a Thrillist article. This ensures the credibility and accuracy of our findings.

WordTips applied an AI algorithm to analyze 528,612 Twitter posts on 165 accents to derive related positivity rates. YouGov shed light on the general perception of accents, studying their attractiveness and prominence. The Language Attitudes to Speech Study explored linguistic ‘correctness’ and ‘pleasantness,’ aligning accents with factors like sophistication and likability. The Thrillist article furnished an informal ranking, accompanied by accent descriptions, examples, and famous personalities.

Combining insights from these sources, a nuanced image of accent desirability emerged, with an unavoidable degree of subjectivity integrated due to the nature of these sources.

Preply is an online language learning marketplace connecting over 32,000 tutors teaching 50 languages to hundreds of thousands of learners in 180 countries worldwide. The company was founded by a Ukrainian team in 2012. The team now has members from 30 countries across Europe, the US, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Learn more about Preply here.


9 thoughts on “New Jersey’s accent voted no. 1 least desirable in the US – new study

  1. How is Baaastin not number 1?

  2. In the Navy, on a combatant ship, worked for a Master Chief who had the most mellifluous South Carolinian accent–every guy in the ship’s crew would work like a sled dog to do whatever he wanted done.

  3. People who don’t like our accent can “blank” off!

  4. If you don’t like our “said” accent and attitude, FO and don’t visit our state

    1. Stay classy NJ!

  5. …clearly based on the accent South of Route 4

    1. That ship sailed a long time ago

  6. Taylor Ham.

  7. What total B.S. People are brainwashed by endless Jersey jokes and mockery in the media, none of it deserved.

    Personally I cannot stand Southern or Western accents. It’s all irrelevant anyway.

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