The Carolina Brogue

The early residents of the North Carolina Outer Banks came south by boat from Tidewater Virginia and the eastern shores of Maryland, and many of them had originally come from Southwest England or the Ulster province of Ireland. Features of British and Scots-Irish English have been retained in the local dialect, though the dialect of the early English-speaking settlers evolved independently to take on the distinctive character and vocabulary of the ‘hoi toide brogue.’ Once derided as “bad English” outside of its native communities, the dialect has been elevated by the BBC’s assessment of Ocracoke as ‘the Galapagos of language,’ and books like Hoi Toide on the Outer Banks by Walt Wolfram and Natalie Schilling-Estes.

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