Survey: Kiwi top English accent not in UK

Flight of the Conchords star Rhys Darby helped introduce American audiences to the New Zealand accent through his role as Murray in the hit series. Photo / Supplied
Flight of the Conchords star Rhys Darby helped introduce American audiences to the New Zealand accent through his role as Murray in the hit series. Photo / Supplied

The kiwi accent has been rated the most attractive and prestigious form of English outside the UK in a BBC survey.

Respondents from throughout the UK completed an online survey rating the prestige and social attractiveness of 34 different English accents.

The kiwi "fush and chups" came seven places ahead of Australia's "sex and Seedney" - and nine ahead of the American accent in terms of attractiveness.

Scottish and Irish accents topped the list of preferred British accents.

Professor Allan Bell, Director of AUT's Institute of Culture, Discourse and Communication says the high rating for New Zealand English probably reflects the fact that it is relatively close to the prestige British accents.

"On the social side, it seems to represent generally positive British attitudes to New Zealand and New Zealanders."

He says the fact the British rate New Zealand English so highly is ironical, because studies of New Zealanders' attitudes show they are often very negative about their own accent and prefer British English.

"It looks like the post-colonial cringe is now entirely outdated."

New Zealand English rated highly on both attractiveness and prestige.

It was the 6th most socially attractive accent, placed above the Queen's English (7th) and well ahead of Australian (13th) and American English (15th).

'Standard English', Scottish and Irish accents topped the list.

New Zealand also ranked high (7th) on prestige, again above Australian (11th) and American English (8th).

The Queen's English got the highest ranking for prestige.

Respondents from throughout the United Kingdom completed an online survey rating the prestige and social attractiveness of 34 different accents of English.

- NEWSTALK ZB

- Newstalk ZB

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