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The Maryland Curiosity Bureau

How did the Baltimore accent happen?

EZE Jackson and Tommy Sinbazo
Baltimore natives EZE Jackson and Tommy Sinbazo volunteer their accents for linguistic analysis this episode. (photo credit Aaron Henkin / WYPR)

Whether it’s ‘Bawlmer’ or ‘Baldamor,’ the city’s accent is a phonological puzzle. This episode, we invite locals to share their versions of the Baltimore accent, and we bring in linguistics scholars and historians to help make sense of what we’re hearing. We even answer the question, ‘Is there such a thing as a Spanish Baltimore accent?’

This episode, we hear from:

Baltimore natives EZE Jackson and Tommy Sinbazo

Linguistics professors Christine Mallinson and Inte'a DeShields

Baltimore writer D Watkins

Aida Medina, Director of Cross Cultural Competency at Gallery Church Patterson Park

Aaron creates and produces original radio programs and podcasts for WYPR. His current project is The Maryland Curiosity Bureau. Aaron's neighborhood documentary series, Out of the Blocks, earned the 2018 national Edward R Murrow Award. His past work includes the long-running weekly cultural program, The Signal, and the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings series, Tapestry of the Times. Aaron's stories have aired nationally on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.