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Thread: Posh Accents

  1. #1
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    Default Posh Accents

    Hello,

    My husband and I would like to move to New Zealand. We're middle-aged. I've called myself poshlady as a joke, but we're not terribly posh. We're very down to earth really, but we speak with rather posh English accents. Received pronunciation wasn't our choice, but it's how our parents spoke and how everyone at our schools spoke. I'm concerned that speaking in this way would be held against us in New Zealand. Would there be any negative consequences for people in New Zealand with 'posh' English accents?

  2. #2
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    Not in my experience. It makes you more recognisable as a 'POM' but the worst I've had on that score is good-natured ribbing. More commonly people have said complementary things about my (slightly) posh accent. It's more what you say than how you say it.

  3. #3
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    There's no real class distinction from what I've seen (where we live) & been told (by Kiwis) so I don't think you would come up against any problems at all. I can now tell a few differences in Kiwi accents but generally I feel they are all the same & can't really tell a posh one from anyone else, maybe that's the people I'm mixing with

  4. #4
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    I wouldn't worry, you'd soon pick up some of the local phrases. So, good as gold, eh?

  5. #5
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    Even I have been accused of having a 'posh' accent, which I don't. Led me to believe that they consider all remotely British sounding accents posh..

    But even so, haven't really had any problems with that. I have been told once at work though that swearing in a posh accent is still swearing...

    Daniela

  6. #6
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    There are (were?) older Kiwis with posh accents....a mark of education and reverence for England. My 90 year old Aunt (now in a rest home in Napier) has a posh accent but she was my favorite in spite of it. She made us sit up straight and chew each mouthful of food 32 times too.

  7. #7
    Manks's Avatar
    Manks is offline Serial procrastinator and general busybody
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    Most Kiwis wouldn't be able to spot a "posh" accent from a Manc, such as myself. Much like we are generally unable to distinguish regional American accents (barring the Southern States of course!). For most Brits, telling a Kiwi from an Aussie is an impossibility! At first at least.

    So I wouldn't worry about being singled out at all. There are that many Poms over here that you just fit right in to the crowd! I will admit that nowadays, I don't even register if the person I'm talking to is a Brit or a Kiwi. Unless I stop and think about it, and listen to them closely. At the end of the day, I'm just talking to someone. Their country of origin usually has no influence over our interaction.

  8. #8
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    In my experience, the only issue you are likely to have is the occasional rip-off merchant trying to 'Pom Price'. I have found this seems to occur more with people who have a posh or southern English accent (but not London accent) than people with a northern accent. But as with all immigrants, you'll be fine once you find people, services etc that you can trust. NZ is more of an egalitarian society than the UK, so other than the above, most people you come across won't give a two hoots about your accent.

  9. #9
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    Hello and welcome.

    We're in just the same situation as you, regarding accents. We've met with hardly anything but positive attitudes in NZ, I'm happy to say. There was the odd try-on about Pom prices as mentioned just above, but with our son around who knew the territory, or others of the Kiwi family, that wasn't a problem - in early days, if you need to make a big purchase, ask a Kiwi neighbour or workmate to speak to make the appointment, and/or to go along with you. And you'll find you yourselves soon lose all reserve about challenging prices anywhere and everywhere, since bargaining is normal, and expected.

  10. #10
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    A posh English accent is pretty similar to a posh Kiwi one but there aren't many proper older posh Kiwis about. I met one a few years back and after about quarter of an hour I made the *massive* faux pas of asking when she'd left England. Oops. She still lived in the family homestead complete with servants quarters, but alas, no servants.

    You'll be fine- bet the Brits are more snotty about it than the Kiwis.

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