General Question

simone54's avatar

What's with that 1920s American accent in movies and TV?

Asked by simone54 (7560 points ) March 25th, 2014

I mean the accent they often use in gangster movies. “Look here, see.”

Is there any proof that people used to talk like that? Or is it a creation of modern hollywood.

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10 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Do you know who James Cagney was?

GloPro's avatar

It’s called the Transatlantic Accent. It was taught specifically to actors and announcers.

So it was the newscaster voice of yesteryear, basically.

simone54's avatar

That’s what I was thinking @GloPro. Thanks.

XOIIO's avatar

Now look here see, whaddaya got against my accent? We’re gonna have a problem if you don’t walk away and bring me a cigarette and a coffee, toots.

cookieman's avatar

I always wanted to talk like that.
I kinda do

dxs's avatar

@cookieman Ya don’t say?

cookieman's avatar

@dxs: Yeah, I tend to use a lot of slang from the time.

dxs's avatar

That was supposed to be 1920s speak.
Again, I’m brought back to my salesman role in The Music Man. The epitome of this jargon.

kritiper's avatar

It’s hip-speak. Bop talk. Street slang. Hipsters, hippies, greasers, beatniks, zoot suiters, boppers, flappers, big wheels and hubcaps- all can talk that way. Y’dig?

Pachy's avatar

The NY newspaperman and author of “Guys and Dolly,” Damon Runyon, is partly to blame.

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