Children pick up a lot of little quirks and mannerisms from the shows they watch growing up. Heck, I still use a lot of the strange slang I learned from the strange world of internet animation growing up. As most parents usually impose limits on their children’s consumption of media, though, this acquisition process tends to be rather minor and gradual. Of course, with the pandemic keeping everyone locked inside for a year and change, those limits tended to go by the wayside as children were desperate for something to do. For a lot of America’s youth, this has led to a mildly amusing development.
One of the most popular children’s cartoons in the entire world, second only to Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob Squarepants, is the UK-produced Peppa Pig, and for the duration of the pandemic quarantine, American children have been free to indulge in this charming British show even more than usual. This has led to a surprising uptick in American children not only using British colloquialisms such as calling a TV “the telly,” and expressions such as “ready, steady, go,” but even speaking in full-on British accents.
“My 5-year-old niece in NYC had an American accent before the pandemic. Now she has a posh English accent after spending a year at home watching Peppa Pig,” writes Wall Street Journal reporter Preetika Rana.
Why are American kids speaking with British accents? Blame pandemic “Peppa Pig” marathons. “Can we turn the telly on?” https://t.co/Cd4WHvOZtm
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) July 18, 2021
“On a recent VACATION, my 5-year-old dared tell me that she was loving her HOLIDAY,” California resident Matias Cavallin said on Twitter in response to Rana’s post, jokingly adding that “I told her we speak American in this house… and Spanish too.”
“Young Peppa fans see her as a friend… and, as we do with friends that we admire, pick up some of their characteristics,” Entertainment One Ltd, the show’s owner, said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.