Features: How to Speak Philadelphian: Accent on Chris Matthews

“I don’t think I ever realized I had a Philadelphia accent until I was away for a while in college and I began to understand that we really did talk differently than most people. Then I went to work in Washington for my first job in the Senate, and I remember meeting some people from out West, from Utah, and I would say ‘wooder’ and they would say ‘wah-ter.’ It was like I was talking to cowboys.”
“We’re the only city on the East Coast that pronounces our R’s. They don’t do it in Boston, certainly. They don’t do it in New York. But we do it in Philly. We are loyal
 to the R.”

“We add an extra syllable to words, like Ack-a-me. It’s the extra, unexplained syllable that I think is the heart of the Philadelphia accent. It separates us from the lesser forms out there.”