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19th Nov 2019

The #PeppaEffect is very real and parents would like a word with Ms Peppa Pig

Melissa Carton

Before I even became a parent I was already aware of the ‘Peppa Effect’.

I remember babysitting my younger cousin, who is a born and raised Northside Dublin kid with two Irish parents, and being absolutely baffled as to why she had a posh British accent. It wasn’t until she made me turn on her favourite show that I realised where it was coming from.

Now, with two children of my own, I’m even more aware of the appropriately named #PeppaEffect and so is the rest of the internet.

Parents from all corners of the world have been tweeting about their children developing British accents and British pronunciation because of Peppa Pig.

When I was growing up my parents were always giving out to me for speaking in an American accent thanks to my afterschool dosage of Saved By The Bell and Sister Sister. Now it seems that parents on the other side of the Atlantic are now experiencing the accent exchange vice versa.

While some are baffled and confused by why their kids are walking around sounding like they’re about to go for tea with the Queen, others are loving it and even actively encouraging it.

Not all parents are so enthused though, in fact, many would like a word with Ms Pig about her influence on their children. She is a cartoon of course so that’s never going to happen, but still, a parent can dream.

Personally, I like my children having their own accents. Our accents are a large part of our identities and where we come from and I love hearing different accents from around the world. Plus if my kids ever want to do a J1 in America when they’re older an Irish accent in somewhere like Boston will get you far.

I saw one woman on Twitter talking about needing to ‘deprogram’ her child by playing 2Pac so maybe some Phil Lynott or Imelda May would work on mine.

Now I can’t place all the blame at Peppa’s feet because part of it is down to my children’s dad. My son has always called me mummy because that’s what his dad says. He once tried to slag me off because I say mam when referring to my mother and I put him back in his box real quick.

There’s nothing wrong with anyone saying mum or mom but let’s face it Ireland is majority a mam/mammy/ma country and always has been. Let’s not forget that Eoin McLove sang ‘My Lovely Mayo Mammy’ not My Lovely Mayo Mummy.

While the Peppa Effect has taken a hold of Irish children, I think it’s much more noticeable in the States because I’ve seen parents talk about how their kids are now calling vacations ‘their holidays’ and sure we already say that.