What accent is this/does it still exist?

From this ridiculous ad for Bull of the Woods Chewing Tobacco. Probably circa 1950s, but not sure.

The older bull (beginning at :12 seconds) speaks with a deep voice and hard-to-place accent that’s very archaic-sounding. I’ve never actually heard anyone speak that way in real life. It sounds somewhere between a low-voiced “mid-Atlantic” announcer and a trace of Southern or Southwestern drawl…is this a regional American accent, and is it still commonly heard anywhere?

It doesn’t sound particularly regional or “archaic” to me. It sounds like a pretty mainstream American accent.

My first impression was Virginia.

But then, I haven’t actually been to Virginia.

Are you kidding?

The part where he says “You see, Bull of the Woods Chewing Tobacco is rich, it’s mild,” etc, is unlike any American accent I’ve ever heard in my 32 years of existence.

Are you kidding? It’s not distinctive in any way I can discern. Whatever is odd about it seems to be some sort of artificial tone by the voice actor trying representing a bull. It’s not a real accent. I’m not sure why you think it would be.


It’s a voice actor doing a cartoon voice and a cartoon bulls voice at that. What kind of accent does your average talking bull have? What if was born in Wisconsin, but then raised in Minnesota and then at the age of 3 shipped to California? (No more an absurd question than the OP’s).

What accent does this Yak have?

Well, maybe you just need to get out more, and meet more talking cartoon bulls.

That is a stupid comparison. Yaks do not naturally speak English.

Nope, I’m not kidding. I don’t hear anything particularly unusual in the accent. As others have said, the voice quality is distinctive, but not the accent.

My first thought was trans-atlantic (think Cary Grant and other 50’s actors), but after listening a couple of times I am not so sure.

I guess I think of “voice quality” as sort of being a part of an accent. But maybe that’s wrong? I don’t know.

Last time I asked about a weird accent, in this thread (to which I’d still like to know the answer), nobody was able to really pinpoint it. Some people said Ireland, some people said an American who had lived in both the UK and America…it was weird.


FTR, rabbits have a Brooklyn accent.

You could do any accent with that voice.

Flatbush, accent, really, a mix of Brooklyn and Bronx, at least according to Mel Blanc.

I’m really confused by the people who are not hearing a type of accent there. There is something in the pronunciation beyond “voice quality”. I’m not sure. I hear some sort of mid-Atlantic mixed with a touch of Southern like the OP. It can be a made-up accent by a voice actor that has no analog to an actual real accent, but there’s certainly an “accent” going on there.

Read the thread again. It was correctly identified as an Irish accent in post #5.

Well, it’s impossible to speak without an accent. So, yeah, of course there’s an accent there. It just doesn’t strike me as a particularly unusual accent, one that would be so jarring as to be heard in a commercial. It sounds perfectly American to me. It’s got some Southern touches, some Eastern touches. Maybe it is based upon a specific regional accent, but maybe it isn’t. It’s not an accent that screams out “What the FUCK accent is this?!?!?!?” It certainly doesn’t sound “archaic.”

See, to me it sounds like an old-timey accent I’d expect to hear in the 40s or 50s. Perhaps not “archaic,” but old-timey. Maybe it’s because it sounds like some cartoon accent to me, and I associate cartoon accents with that time period.

It’s a standard American “radio announcer” type accent, the very antithesis of regional.

Some here are too young to remember when radio and TV announcers (men, for the most part) learned to speak in an intentionally non-regional manner. David Brinkley occasionally let a bit of southernism sneak in, as did Canadian Peter Jennnings (who charmingly said “bean” for “been”). Now there doesn’t seem to be any special training for radio/TV on-air talent and they just let it all hang out, speech-wise. For the women, this often means sounding like they’re 9 years old.

The bull? I mean, yes, the narrator, but not the bull, surely? The narrator has the generic radio announcer accent to me, but the bull has some sort of cartoonish offshoot that I could not hear in any sort of generic manner. It’s idiosyncratic.