Things Americans say to me when they hear my accent

15 May
  • Where are you from?
  • [Said without introduction] Are you British?
  • Ooh I love your accent! Where did you get it?
  • Oh you have an Australian accent! I can speak in one of those. (No, you can’t)
  • [Said accusingly] Hey, are you British?
  • Why are you here?
  • [Said in the tone of a man defending the colony of Massachusetts from Imperial aggressors] YOU’RE BRITISH!
  • My aunt went to Australia once
  • Are Australia and New Zealand, like, the same?
  • No, really, where are you from?
  • Bitch, just tell me where you’re fucking from
  • Excuse me, my daughter was wondering where you were from. (Lady, your kid is 18 months old. She doesn’t know where she’s from.)

When this happens, when someone talks to me as though I’m leading a British invasion of colonial Boston, I like to fuck with them. Sometimes I tell them I’m from Cape Town and remain in my version of a South African accent all day, knowing most Americans won’t hear the difference. Most of the time though I just fire back “where are YOU from?” and watch these very comfortable white people plunge into existential crisis before my eyes. It’s the best part of my day.


I wrote about the damage done by America’s cultural navel-gazing in my essay Australia’s moment: why NBC didn’t need to make The Slap.

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2 Responses to “Things Americans say to me when they hear my accent”

  1. Emma and Stewart May 15, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

    Haha this is so true! I’m from England and I’m constantly asked where my accent is from and for some reason they always think I’m Australian! I swear our accents sound nothing like each other.

    • Eliza Cussen May 15, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

      IKR? I think think think all Brits speak like Queen Liz and all Aussies speak like Crocodile Dundee!

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