Local Pronunciations

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Rochesterians often pick up an accent common to other Great Lakes-area cities like Chicago, Buffalo, Detroit, Cleveland, and Milwaukee. Former police chief and mayor Bob Duffy's Raachster accent is notorious. Linguists attribute this to a phenomenon called "the great northeastern vowel shift" where a soft "A" sound is nasalized into a hard "A" ("dollar" is pronounced "daller") and the soft "E" sound transmutes into a schwa or "uh" sound ("best" becomes "bust").

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