I was reading a book about accents at a local library and there was a chapter where the author says "some varieties of a language are more aesthetically pleasing than others". Some accents are considered “tops”, and these are the ones spoken by the Royals, the Elite, intellectuals and Distinguished Academics, etc

Consequently, a person moving from a rural state to a megalopolis might regard their own accent with distaste and may try to imitate the accent of the locals; for example, a French-Canadian in Paris, a Brummie in London, or a Texan in Boston.

As for the answer, it's a phrase, with 3 or 4 words, and no foreign terms. It is mentioned in the book on sociolinguistics and accents I was reading. I simply can't remember it. I'm looking for a phrase describing the condition, not the person.

For Clarity: I'm not saying that all French-Canadians, Brummies or Texans are, or should ever be, ashamed/embarrassed/self-conscious of their accents, but it is possible.


1 Answer 1


I've heard this referred to as 'linguistic insecurity'. This is neither '3-4 words', nor specifically incorporates the 'move to another region' aspect you mention, but people often talk about 'linguistic insecurity and migration'.

  • That rings a bell, but it wasn't insecurity. Linguistic...........
    – Centaurus
    Jul 27, 2015 at 15:32
  • It doesn't need the "moving to another region" meaning. I mentioned "moving" because that's when you would be among people with a different accent.
    – Centaurus
    Jul 27, 2015 at 23:23
  • Centaurus = user10184 SE labeled me "user 10184" because I hadn't logged in.
    – Centaurus
    Jul 27, 2015 at 23:24

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