“21 March 1948, New York (NY) Times, pg. SM18:
“Spring is sprung,
The grass is riz,
I wonder where the flowers is.
The boid is on the wing —
Of course the wing is on the boid.”
“The Bronx is south of Westchester County; north and east of the New York City borough of Manhattan, across the Harlem River; and north of the New York City borough of Queens, across the East River.”
DAN NOSOWITZ wrote at AtlasObscura.com on MARCH 3, 2016:
“…”In Sanders, there is the early, slightly prudish Greenwich Village of Max Eastman and Joe Gould, of very intense arguments had very early in the morning,” writes Benjamin Wallace-Wells at New York magazine. “In Trump, there is the jaded cruelty of Bo Dietl and Don Imus and dreadful preppy bars on upper Second Avenue.”
Within New York, people love discussing the differences between a garish New Jersey accent and a honking “Lawn Guyland” (read: Long Island) accent. New Yorkers often claim they can pick out a Jersey City or a Brooklyn accent with ease, and, as with that Wallace-Wells quote, that we can read into a person based on the way they speak. One popular YouTube video breaks down the taxonomy futher: the Bronx accent is punchier and harder, the Queens accent more nasal, the Brooklyn accent more sing-song, the Manhattan accent faster and nervier, and the Staten Island accent more obnoxious.
According to linguists who study the New York City accent, this is completely wrong.
…The old New York accent, sported by FDR, among others, was well on its way to becoming the national standard. This accent, now basically extinct, has hardly anything in common with the modern New York accent. The old accent is often referenced by one strange transition: the “er” sound became “oy,” so New Yorkers could talk about the corner of Thoity-Thoid Street and Thoid Avenue…
Where this gets really interesting is when we talk about who speaks in what way. The New York City dialect is very strong and pervasive but in an extremely small geographic area; basically, we’re talking about the five boroughs, the western half of Long Island, and a tiny pocket of northern New Jersey (primarily cities like Newark, Jersey City, and Hoboken). Unlike other dialects, like the Boston dialect, the New York City dialect doesn’t diffuse slowly throughout a large area surrounding the core. It stops very suddenly right around the Meadowlands, a gross part of New Jersey just a few miles outside New York City. Despite how many people live in New York, the actual geography of people who speak like New Yorkers is very small.
Within the relatively small community of people with New York accents, variance is determined, linguists are pretty sure, by your community. Black New Yorkers demonstrate a few of the New York accent quirks (the r-dropping, especially) but not others. (Black linguistics is usually very separate from white linguistics; the fact that black New Yorkers even have that much in common linguistically with white New Yorkers is remarkable.) In that video, the one where Brooklynites are described as sounding “sing-song” and those from the Bronx sound “tough”? Those are perceptions based on stereotypes of those boroughs, not any kind of linguistic data—and in fact the little data that’s available doesn’t suggest those perceptions are accurate.
You can, generally, predict the way New Yorkers talk by how rich they are. A seminal 1962 study by William Labov surveyed New Yorkers in three stores: Klein’s (a now-defunct, bargain-style department store), Macy’s (then as now middle-class), and Sak’s (then as now for the rich). He found that, basically, the wealthier you are, the less pronounced of a New York accent you have…”