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Baltimore Accent

Your guide to speaking Bawlmerese, whether you need the accent of Bawlmer County or of the city of Bawdimer itself, we've got you covered! You can use the accent to be a true Ravens' fan, or if you just want to sound right when you go down the ocean, hon.


Baltimore Accent Learning Materials

  • The Baltimore accent materials include recordings of AccentHelp coach Jim Johnson guiding you through learning the accent, including leading you through a monologue in the accent. There are also a number of recordings of native speakers that Jim gathered on an extended trip to Baltimore - bringing the Bawlmerese experience back to you in this download.
  • You'll get four versions of the written materials: a PDF file to print or read on a standard computer, a large-format PDF for portable reading devices, and MOBI for Kindle and EPUB for other portable readers.
  • This accent is appropriate for productions of Hairspray and other plays. You also hear it in the films of John Waters and on the HBO series The Wire.
  • Baltimore accents are similar to the accents of Philadelphia.   Linguists often group the two as the "Mid-Atlantic dialect" though the term Mid-Atlantic is commonly used to mean something very different in theatre circles.  The Baltimore accent is commonly also known as Bawlmerese or Bawdimerese.  And you have to call everybody Hon.

Audio files in Two Volumes (160.3 MB, 170 minutes)

Volume 1: Learning the Baltimore Accent

  1. Introduction to Sound Placement, Intonation, and Helpful Hints (6:35)
  2. Consonant sound changes for learning the Baltimore dialect (12:09)
  3. Vowel changes in Bawlmer accents (10:54)
  4. Changes in Diphthongs for Bawdimore accents (8:44)
  5. Alternate Pronunciations for words in Bawlmerese (5:48)
  6. Wrap up to learning Baltimore accents (3:07)
  7. Practice with Sound Changes using a monologue (22:53)
  8. Practice with Intonation & Placement (4:47)
  9. Demonstration of the Practice Monologue (:53)

Volume 2: Recordings of Native Speakers from Baltimore

  1. Pimlico Female reading (1:08)
  2. + her conversation part 1 (8:00)
  3. + her conversation part 2 (9:20)
  4. Sailor Male conversation (6:46)
  5. Fireman Male reading (1:03)
  6. + his conversation (9:31)
  7. Dundalk Female reading (1:03)
  8. + her conversation (3:54)
  9. Dundalk Male conversation (5:42)
  10. Cross Street Market Male reading (:54)
  11. + his conversation (4:50)
  12. Cafe Hon Female reading (1:08)
  13. + her conversation (3:40)
  14. Drinker Male conversation (profanity) (3:20)
  15. Hampden Male conversation (9:33)
  16. Griffith Tavern group (12:29)
  17. Jewish Male conversation (background noise) (2:39)
  18. Writer Male conversation (profanity) (8:50)

Most of these recordings are made "in the field" so you will hear such things as birds, cars or other people in the background. A transcription of the conversations is included to help you follow along.