Peppa Effect Is Leaving Toddlers With Distinctive Peppa Pig Accents

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Parents are becoming increasingly concerned because their children are beginning to talk like a television pig.

No, not Donald Trump, kids TV favourite, Peppa Pig. Silly.

Parents and experts have been discovering the phenomenon isn’t isolated via parenting site Romper.com.

Janet Manley, who wrote an article on the ‘Peppa effect‘, explained:

Up until the age of 20 months, my daughter was a pristine developmental specimen, untouched by screen-time. Then we flew to Australia. After 21 hours of flight time spent binge-watching Peppa Pig episodes on the iPad, my kid had adopted Peppa Pig’s plum British accent, calling me “Mummy” and finishing her sentences with Peppa’s trademark snort. Two years later, she still oinks in conversation. Call it the Peppa effect.

Danielle from Virginia has noticed her two-year-old daughter has started calling her dad ‘Daddy’, but hasn’t picked up on the vocal styles of Daniel Tiger and Doc McStuffins.

Parents have been taking to Twitter to show their concern at the ‘Peppa effect’.

Donna Bond from Seattle tweeted:

Reason I feel like a shitty parent (today): my 3yo watches so much Peppa Pig she pronounces ‘Zebra’ and ‘tomato’ with a British accent.

Another tweeted:

my 3 yr old cousin has an english accent from watching peppa pig and i’m jealous

Donna explained to Romper her nine-year-old daughter was the first to notice her toddler’s accent. On being asked what a ‘zeh-bra’ (zebra with an English accent) was, her youngest explained “[Zeh-bras] are a certain type of zebra,” and “tomatoes are a type of [to-may-tos] that only pigs eat.” Very cute.

Roberto Rey Agudo, the language program director of the department of Spanish and Portuguese at Dartmouth College and a public voices fellow with the OpEd Project, explained Peppa mimicry is a ‘matter of exposure’.

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Robert ascribes Peppa prevalence…

[as] a matter of exposure… in part because Peppa Pig has been such a phenomenon with the 2 to 5-year-old crowd and it’s considered cute, whereas I don’t know what other shows have that kind of currency right now.

The Peppa accent combined with an oink are a way for kids to gain attention. Dr Emma Byrne, author of Swearing is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language, told Romper ‘I think the main reason it resonates with kids is it really winds up adults.’

She added:

If you imagine being somewhere between the ages of 2 and 5, you don’t have much power in this world, beyond those tantrums of going all floppy, but as soon as you find a word or a sound in this case to consistently get your parents’ attention, it’s an amazing thing.

Amazing? It’s incredible if it’s getting kids to speak English proper like the Queen does.

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Tim Horner

Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.