Make It So: Sir Patrick Stewart Moos In Udder Accents

A Jersey cow enjoys the sunshine in Jersey, one of the British Channel Islands. i i

A Jersey cow enjoys the sunshine in Jersey, one of the British Channel Islands. Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
A Jersey cow enjoys the sunshine in Jersey, one of the British Channel Islands.

A Jersey cow enjoys the sunshine in Jersey, one of the British Channel Islands.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

Cow-d it really be? Have our ears herd this correctly? (Sorry, I can't help myself.)

Patrick Stewart — ahem, Sir Patrick Stewart — mooed up a storm on the podcast How To Do Everything, impersonating cows from various regions. You might even say Stewart was code-switching.

A listener who says she moos with "kind of an American, Nevadan accent" posed the question: Just how would a person moo in a British accent? (And, by the way, it's true: Cows do moo in regional accents.)

Sir Patrick Stewart steered the listener in the right direction with this response:

"It's not a simple, straightforward answer unlike, probably, any other country where cows moo as cows moo. In England, we're dominated by class, by social status and by location. So, for example, a cow that is in the field next to my house in West Oxfordshire would moo in one kind of way, and a cow in a field in the semi-industrial town I grew up in in the North of England would moo in another kind of way."

He continued to udder:

"Well, if I were at home in West Oxfordshire right now and I walked down my lane ... and I say, 'Hi, good morning, cows. And they would moo at me like this: 'Mooooooouhh.' Now that's a very conservative moo ... "

Want to ruminate more on Sir Patrick Stewart's code-switchy moos? Give the episode a listen, and if it behooves you, subscribe to the podcast.

Comments

 

Discussions about race, ethnicity and culture tend to get dicey quickly, so we hold our commenters on Code Switch to an especially high bar. We may delete comments we think might derail the conversation. If you're new to Code Switch, please read over our FAQ and NPR's Community Guidelines before commenting. We try to notify commenters individually when we remove their comments, but given that we receive a high volume of comments, we may not always be able to get in touch. If we've removed a comment you felt was a thoughtful and valuable addition to the conversation, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us by emailing codeswitch@npr.org.