Professor Alicia Wassink heads the sociolinguistics laboratory at the University Of Washington. Her team has identified several unique traits of Pacific Northwest English.
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Professor Alicia Wassink heads the sociolinguistics laboratory at the University Of Washington. Her team has identified several unique traits of Pacific Northwest English.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Yes, Seattle, you have an accent

If you grew up in the in the upper left part of the U.S., you probably don’t hear it. But it’s there: a Northwest accent.

KUOW listener Molly from Tacoma never thought she had an accent until she moved to Virginia and was told she had one.

Some regional accents are obvious. But many in the Pacific Northwest describe themselves as speaking “standard,” “normal,” or “plain” English. But is that really the case?

Take our quiz: Do you have a true Northwest accent?

On this episode of SoundQs Deborah Wang talks to a linguist and we learn what makes our Pacific Northwest dialect so unique and hear what it sounds like.

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button above or on your favorite podcast app. SoundQs is a weekly podcast where our KUOW reporters tackle questions submitted by our listeners.

Have a question about the Seattle region for us to answer? Drop it here:

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