Kōrero: Speech and accent

The colonial twang (2 o 2)

The colonial twang

'Colonial twang' was a pejorative term applied to New Zealand pronunciation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. New Zealand speech was seen as departing from the gold standard of British pronunciation, though in reality the speech of New Zealanders simply reflected the make-up of the Pākehā population, which was largely derived from England. The writer of this column published in 1897 describes the twang as an infectious disease affecting people of all social classes.

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National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: Bay of Plenty Times, 4 October 1897, p. 6

Permission of the National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Elizabeth Gordon, 'Speech and accent - Early New Zealand speech', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/document/40122/the-colonial-twang (accessed 24 August 2019)

Story by Elizabeth Gordon, published 5 Sep 2013