Accents and Slang: Fun With Amusing Confusion

My maternal grandmother is a short Scottish spitfire who we (lovingly) joke will sic her bagpipes on you. She’s been in the United States for decades now, but while she embraces her adopted southern roots, she slips back into her accent with ease. When I was a kid, I remember her visiting her home country and bringing me back gifts. Yet, I also remember how heavy her accent was upon return and the weird words she used. Today, it’s the same when her sister visits or when I see them chatting away on video. The two of them flying through words together has my brain working overtime to keep up with what they’re saying. It got me thinking and spawned this confusing slang writing prompt!

Write about a conversation between two people that leads to confusion and a humorous event due to a difference in accents and slang.

confusing slang writing prompt
  • They can know one another or be strangers.
  • The characters both take different things from the conversation.
  • Whatever they discuss or decide, someone gets it so wrong that hilarity erupts.
  • Both accents and slang matter.
    • For instance, my grandmother pronounces “fruit” as “frut” (fr-uhh-t). To her, a biscuit is what we call a cookie or wafer, not those fluffy things that taste good with syrup or gravy. If she asks for a drink, you better have tea. When she’s mad, everything is a “bloody” something.
    • She also uses some Scottish examples of slang after speaking with someone back home: “cannae” (cannot), “winnae” (won’t), “cud” (could), “wee” (little/small).”

BONUS: Write part of it as a text message so there is no inflection or body language to hint at the true meaning.

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