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These Are the Least Attractive Accents, Study Says

By Albulena Murturi


13 December 2023

Least attractive accent New York

©️ / Freepik

In a recent study conducted by Highland Titles, the accent landscape came under scrutiny. 1,000 Americans shared their thoughts on which accents they find most and least attractive. The results revealed some unexpected findings. They challenged popular perceptions and sparked discussions about the role accents play in our social lives.

Most Attractive vs Least Attractive Accents

Topping the charts as the most attractive accent globally was the Australian accent, followed closely by Scottish, London(ish?), Irish, and French. Surprisingly, the Italian accent landed in sixth place, with Welsh and the Brummie accent making surprising appearances in the top eight. However, the least attractive accents seemed to be dominated by American varieties, with New York taking the top spot, followed by Boston and American Midwestern.

Least attractive accent New York
©️ / Freepik

Annoying or Alluring? The Complex Relationship with Accents

The study delved further into the correlation between accent preferences and dating choices. Highland Titles found that over 75% of participants attracted to women expressed a preference for someone with an accent. On the other hand, 67% of those attracted to men shared a similar sentiment. Encouraging people to look beyond their local area for potential partners, the study highlighted the influence accents have on perceptions of attractiveness.

Notably, the least attractive accents also correlated with those deemed ‘most annoying.’ New York, Boston, and Midwestern accents topped the list, echoing a similar sentiment found in a survey conducted by language learning platform Preply in 2022, where the Boston accent was labeled the ‘most annoying.’ Fran Drescher, not Mark Wahlberg, was crowned the celebrity with the ‘most annoying’ voice, with Kim Kardashian and the late Gilbert Gottfried following closely behind.

However, it wasn’t all positive for accents. Over two-thirds of respondents (68%) acknowledged that someone’s accent can affect how annoying they perceive that person to be. In an unexpected turn, the Southern accent, despite being considered the sexiest and a general favorite, also claimed the title of the most annoying American accent. On the global stage, the Indian accent was singled out as the most annoying foreign accent.

Perceived Intelligence and Attractiveness

The global perspective on accents extends beyond romantic attraction. The study by Highland Titles also explored how accents influence perceptions of intelligence, sexiness, and overall pleasantness. British, Australian, and Irish accents emerged as the top three foreign accents people find most attractive. 80% of respondents agree that accents make someone more attractive.

Least attractive accent New York
©️ alvaro_cabrera / Freepik

Within the United States, Southern accents stole the spotlight as the most liked American accent. New York and Midwestern accents followed closely behind. The study emphasized the rich diversity of accents and dialects across the country, showcasing the uniqueness of regional linguistic characteristics.

Moving beyond dating preferences, the study revealed that accents play a significant role in shaping perceptions of intelligence and credibility. Approximately 39% of respondents admitted to assuming someone was more intelligent based on their accent.

The study extended its exploration into the realm of celebrity accents. Idris Elba’s British accent was voted the most attractive. However, notable British figures like James Corden, Adele, and Russell Brand found themselves on the list of the most annoying celebrity accents. The complexity of individual preferences highlighted the subjective nature of accent perception.

Least attractive accent New York
©️ Ivan Shilov / Unsplash

In conclusion, the Highland Titles survey provided intriguing insights into the multifaceted world of accents. Whether influencing dating choices, perceptions of intelligence, or annoyance levels, accents continue to be a crucial aspect of human communication. As the global community becomes increasingly interconnected, embracing the rich tapestry of accents and celebrating linguistic diversity could foster greater understanding and appreciation for the myriad ways we express ourselves through language.

You might also want to read: Australian Woman Speaks With French Accent After Car Crash

Albulena Murturi

An enthusiastic learner rediscovering the joy of writing.