Amber in Mansfield, Texas, has a friend from London, England. After she moved to the States, the friend was surprised to find that when she’s conversing with strangers from the United States, they’ll drop in what Americans think of as stereotypical British terms like right-o or cheerio! and even attempt to shift their accent to sound more like her. Why do people mimic other people’s accents? Some of this behavior may simply be thoughtlessness, but it could also be an earnest, if awkward, attempt to communicate. By the way, in this segment we messed up! It was bumbershoot that we intended to say as a false Briticism rather than brolly. The British do indeed say brolly! Find out more about that here. Here’s another place we’ve talked about imitating accents and also here. This is part of a complete episode.

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