Peppa Pig toys with American kids accents – turning them British

Posted on 3 August 2021
By Pierce King
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Look out America… The Brits are coming! And this time it’s Peppa Pig who is taking The States by storm and reportedly giving youngsters English accents.

American children have started adopting phrases like “give it a go,” “watching telly.” With some even swapping “mommy” for “mummy” after watching more Peppa Pig alone during their quarantine.

Parents are calling it the ‘Peppa effect’ after it is said to have affected kids’ speech after they spent the isolated year binge-watching the UK cartoon, which launched on Channel 5 in 2004.

Amused parents told the Wall Street Journal their kids are saying “Father Christmas” instead of “Santa Claus” and using expressions borrowed from Brits like “give it a go.”

Peppa Pig has become the second most-watched cartoon in the US after Spongebob Squarepants, according to viewing figures from consulting firm Parrot Analytics.

Matias Cavallin, from California, told the newspaper his five-year-old daughter Dani had begun saying things like: “mummy, are you going to the optician?”

Lauren Ouellette said her six-year-old referred to a bathroom as a “water closet” – an old-fashioned phrase that may baffle any modern Brit just as much as it did the Rhode Island mum.

“I was like ‘where did she learn that from? Was she on the Titanic in a past life?’ ” Ms Ouellette added.

Entertainment One, the production company behind the smash hit animated show said: “Young Peppa fans see her as a friend… and, as we do with friends that we admire, pick up some of their characteristics.”

It is not the first time Americans have claimed their kids are picking up British sayings from the youngsters’ favourite talking pig.

Even before the pandemic, parents had claimed their children were picking up slight English accents from the hit show.

However a speech and linguists experts said kids were just parroting the characters on the show, rather than developing proper British accents that will last.

Dr Lisa Davidson, a professor and chair of linguistics at New York University: “Kids at that age are certainly aware of those types of differences and can mimic them, too.”

And as all parents will be well aware kids are very skilled at noticing whatever behaviour gets their attention.