I’ve been visiting the US since the late 90s and 1 thing that happens on every single trip is that someone thinks I’m Australian – without fail. I have no idea why and no one from the UK can actually believe it. Most people in the UK would put my accent as London / South Eastern England but I don’t have a distinctive regional twang.
Now we Brits are pretty picky on our accents – Scots hate to be called English, the Welsh hate to be called English and the Irish hate…. you get the picture. And don’t get regional accents wrong – Liverpudlians and Mancunians have completely different accents despite their cities being just 35 miles apart. So why is it that I keep getting mistaken for being from 12,000 miles away?
Canadians are the same – they are continually mistaken for being American but being effectively next door neighbours they usually can see the similarities between their own and American accents. It’s the same for New Zealanders and Australians – the similarities are there but again they are very distinctively individual.
Every single trip I take I will usually get asked where I’m from in Australia, whether I’m from Australia or if I’m in a taxi to an airport I’ll be asked if I’m flying back to Australia. I’ve even had one of those questions from a CBP officer whilst he had my UK passport in his hand.
I even had 1 guy, having been talking to him for quite a while about London (as he knew I lived there) to completely disbelieve that I wasn’t from Australia and questioned me 2 or 3 times about whether I was really Australian. “Yes” I replied. “I’m pretty sure I’m not Australian”.