NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio accused of faking accent to gain street cred

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By RYAN GORMAN

New York's Boston-bred mayor is a phony, according to some.

Bill de Blasio is accused by New York media of faking a native accent during his State of the City speech.

The Massachusetts native was noticed by DNAinfo pronouncing the word "neighborhood" and "neigh-bah-hood" during the Tuesday address from Baruch College.

Hizzoner pronounced the word "neigh-bor-hood" in previous speeches and media appearances, according to the news site.

De Blasio said "neigh-bah-hood" in the regional dialect of his adopted city more than 20 times, linguist Daniel Kaufman told DNAinfo.

"That is definitely an aberration in relation to de Blasio's dialect, which is very standard," Kaufman, the founder and executive director of the Endangered Language Alliance, told the site.

The mayor pitched more ferries for the city and furthered his affordable housing push, but those agendas were seemingly lost amid a sea of chatter about his new accent.

Watch his inaugural address below to hear the difference.

NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio's Full Inaugural Address
NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio's Full Inaugural Address


Kaufman chalked up the mayor's put-on accent as part of a greater effort to relate to his city's police and its more than eight million residents in the wake of recent scandals.

"Maybe this is a liability now that he's having issues with the police, a community that is quite strongly identified with the dialects of working class people of NYC," said the linguist.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, de Blasio's predecessor, was also from Boston. He has spent most of his adult life working to rid himself of that wicked harsh New England accent, according to a 2006 New York Times feature.

"[Bloomberg] may be the first mayor of NYC to speak without any trace of a NYC dialect," said Kaufman. "Giuliani, Dinkins and Koch spoke the Italian, African-American and Jewish ethnolects of NYC, respectively."

A city hall spokesperson told DNAinfo that the mayor has not worked on his accent, adding the allegation is "the most ridiculous inquiry we've gotten yet in 2015."