Identify this accent (or is it a non-standard mannerism?)

For some reason, YouTube has been serving me up suggested videos on gold panning, including some from this guy

He has an accent that seems to deliver the end sounds of words like water, river, here, there, as ‘or’ or maybe ‘aw’

For example, in thisvideo, about 29 seconds in, when he says ‘gold is 19 times heavier than water’. At about 32 seconds, he ends the word ‘heavier’ that way. He’s not doing it consistently though - in the previous sentence, the word ‘heavier’ was not the same.

Is this part of a regional accent, or does the speaker just have a mannerism of his own?

East Texas.

Thanks - is it normal for it to be so inconsistent across examples of the same word in subsequent sentences? Is he trying to speak in a more ‘standard’ accent for the video, with native accent bit slipping through?

That definitely isn’t East Texas (I grew up with that accent and know it well). I believe he just has a minor speech impediment. It is common for people with speech impediments to have trouble with the word ‘water’. It sounds like he has trouble with some ‘r’ sounds in particular especially when the sound ends a word.

If that’s Texas, then I’m from Timbuktu. First of all, no one in Texas talks that fast. And the “water” pronunciation is either a speech impediment (as per above) or some sound distortion in the recording. I’m going to say somewhere in the North East (just due to how fast he speaks) and afflicted with a Baba Wawa impediment. He doesn’t have a discernible, regional US accent.

Since two of you big-hat guys are here, what accent does Tommy Lee Jones have? How defined do Texas regional accents get?

I think he doesn’t really change it, eg, from Men in Black to No Country for Old Men and in the latter movie, his voice and tone define the character and his environment. (Last scene clip, No Country for Old Men)

And, since after al, he is an actor, does it differ to your ears from his natural speaking?:

I have seen YouTube comments from non-Americans to have his speeches translated (particularly in the opening voice-over), the way many people, myself included, absolutely could not understand portions of the Scottish movie Trainspotting.

Which reminds me, a small but critical role is played by Kelly Macdonald, who is Scottish. How does she do? (short clip)

Sounds like a speech impediment to me. He has trouble with the L in “people”, the R in “rock,” the final R sounds in “year,” “river,” R in “working”, “here”.

His web site says, “I spent a few months playing around with it in Colorado when I was 7 and Arizona when I was 10.” and then that he moved to California. Says nothing about Texas but his web site is registered to

Admin Organization:
Admin Street: 10758 HWY 155 S
Admin City: BIG SANDY
Admin State/Province: TX
Admin Postal Code: 75755
Admin Country: US

Which is in NE Texas, just northeast of Tyler.

Google “Nathaniel Burson gold” and you will get a lot of hits.

There is a very slight hint of Elmer Fudd to some of those sounds, agreed.

Sounds like he has a speech defect called rhotacism. British TV presenter Jonathan Ross has it, Monty Python Terry Jones has it, as does Elmer Fudd, and the character Barry Kripke on The Big Bang Theory.

A video on the topic.