Social media is freaking out over the way Staten Islanders say 'calamari': 'A true New York accent'
For many New Yorkers, Staten Island is a world in itself.
And with this distinction (whether real, exaggerated, or otherwise), there are many strange "regional" differences - including accents.
Take the "New York Accent Check", a challenge at TikTok where users discover a strange, incredibly specific pronunciation that only Staten Islanders seem to have.
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Calamari, which usually describes a fried squid dish served in Italian and other Mediterranean restaurants, seems to be an easy word to explore. For most Americans, the word comes out as it is written ("kal-uh-mar-ee").
But for Staten Islander, the word appears to be pronounced as "Galamah".
Several videos of the district's residents showing their accents go viral on TikTok, including one by a user named Tonianne Arena.
In the clip, her friend appears in front of a list of words that are meant to show the full extent of his accent. Some of the friend's answers differ from those of other New Yorkers, but one - "Galamah" - stands out from the others.
It is a word that appears in several other "accent checks" regardless of the speaker's age and gender. In another case, a young woman from Scranton, Pennsylvania, compares the debates with her friend who grew up on Staten Island, who Calamari calls "Callamad".
The Calamari debate appears to be a well-known topic for many in the district. In 2017, the Staten Island Advance even created a video on the subject.
This clip shows a number of Staten Islanders pronouncing the fish dish, with some pointing out exactly why it sounds so different when they say it.
"A lot of people don't use the vowels," says local restaurant owner John Noto in the video.
Whatever the reason, TikTok users had a lot of strong feelings for the word. Many shared their confusion as to why a particular area of New York would pronounce it so differently than the rest of the country.
"Why is it suddenly Galamah?" One user wrote.
"Lmao people ... people who say" Galamad "are of Italian descent who live in places like the specified island, nj & LI. REAL ITALIANS SAY" CALAMARI ", said another.
Others praised the videos, however, claiming that the Staten Islander Calamari was saying "the right way" - or at least the way that corresponds to their district.
"It's so true, hahaha haha. #StatenIslandProud, ”wrote one user.
"Exactly a true New York accent," added another.
If you liked this story, check out The Know's article on how TikTok users play tricks on their significant other.
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The TikTok post freaks out as people from Staten Island say "Calamari" first appeared on In The Know.
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