Accents are common across the country and many regions and states have their own unique accent.
Utah is no exception.
More and more Utahns are actually just transplants from other states, so the Utah accent is less prevalent than other accents, like a southern accent.
This pronunciation guide shows what a Utah accent sounds like. Whether you’ve lived in Utah since birth or just moved in and want to learn more about Utahn linguistics, this guide is intended to be a comedic, yet documented, look at the Utah accent.
How could this NOT be the number one Utah-ism? The dropped T is infamous. But it doesn’t just drop, it almost makes a staccato sound where the T should be when pronounced.
In a sentence: My bu’on fell off my jacket while I was hiking the mow’un.
This is common in some small towns around the country, but especially in Utah. It's an added vowel, which is contrary to many Utah-isms.
In a sentence: I just got a car wahrsh, so of course, it’s raining.
Why is the R added to Wash and dropped from Library? The world may never know.
In a sentence: I read a book about strawberries at the lie’berry.
There are pockets across the country where crick is preferred instead of creek. But again, the question must be asked—why? Diphthongs must be a little too complicated, huh?
In a sentence: I split my lip on a stick by the crick.
American/Spanish Fork=American/Spanish Fark
American Fork and especially Spanish Fork have long been the victims of Fark instead of Fork. A lot of this is chalked up to a lack of diphthongs in most Utahn pronunciations.
In a sentence: I parked at the American Fark Frontrunner stop.
Garage Sale=Garage Sell
Again, the contributing factor in this pronunciation comes from the general lack of diphthongs.
In a sentence: I plan to sell some bells at the garage sell.
Yep, more trouble with diphthongs.
In a sentence: I had a pretty great mel with Mel last Tuesday.
Instead of sounding like rehl or dehl as meal’s vowel pronunciation would, we get rill.
In a sentence: I rilled in a rilly big fish at the lake.
Why? Is it more problems with diphthongs? This small town in the southwest part of the state is often the butt of jokes when it comes to Utah pronunciations, and for good reason.
In a sentence: Somehow, by some strange act of God, there was a Hurricane in Hurrikuhn.
This is marked up more to European inspiration and less to Utah-isms. In a sentence: Duchesne is a common French name meaning “of the Oak tree.”
In a sentence: Duchesne was recently in the news thanks to vandalism at a church.
This is a tough one for most. When you look at this name, you don’t really know what to say. But Tooele is name after a Native American tribal leader, Tuilla. And then someone decided to mess with the spelling, because why not.
In a sentence: I love the haunted house in Tooele.
From hard vowels and diphthongs, we come to hard consonants. Though an exact reason is hard to draw, ink simply is easier to say than ing.
In a sentence: I like bikink, hikink, and swimmink.
It may just be easier to say it faster, but doesn’t your pillow deserve to be enunciated properly?
In a sentence: I love my pelluh and my bed more than Mondays.
Can someone just take all the T’s that are added to across and put them back where the T’s were dropped in mountain?
In a sentence: I walked acrosst the street to get to school.
Some people add a K to ing, some people subtract the G. Guess it’s a preferential thing.
In a sentence: I think rock climbin' in Maple Canyon is best.
If you say prescription 10 times fast, odds are you’re going to say perscription at least once. It’s just easier considering the hard consonant to start the word.
In a sentence: I’m going to need perscription-strength Claritin this fall.
It seems syllables are cut where they can be, as with caramel. This has been a national debate, but for the most part, Utahns say caramel with just two syllables, according to a Washington Post study.
In a sentence: The carmuhl chocolate Jell-O pudding was amazing.
Just like Spanish Fark, corn’s syllabic diphthong has been dropped.
In a sentence: There are some pretty fun carn mazes in Spanish Fark this October.
Miracle=Mihracle (first syllable sounds knit)
There’s not a good way to describe this phonetically, but it is fairly unique to Utah. Instead of saying miracle with an e sound similar to near, it’s often said with an i sound similar to knit. Who knows.
In a sentence: It’s a mihracle I knit my mittens in time.
Those diphthongs can be daunting, huh? This is less common than many, but in southern Utah especially, it is more ordinary to drop the diphthong in days of the week and just say use a long e sound.
In a sentence: I love taco tuesdee almost as much as I love Saturdee.