You may have noticed that TikTok sounds almost identical to everyone else. This is because Gen Z restored the Mid Atlantic accent, which was popularised in Hollywood back before the 1960s. 

Linguists have revealed that the “TikTalk” or “TikTok” voice is actually a mid-Atlantic accent, which was used to indicate class status and education in the 1920s era of sound films (talkies).

Katharine Hepburn and other stars made it famous. The half-English-half-American drawl became known as “the movie accent”, due to its prominent use in Hollywood films. Stars such as Harry Styles and Millie Bobby Brown, as well as Gillian Anderson.

And it has now picked up steam on the social media app, with TikTok user @It’sMeJadeB recently posting a video which has since gained over 1.7 million views in which she commentsed ‘Who decided this is how we were going to talk on TikTok?’ 

Others agreed with her observation. One user stated that they had looked at all of their videos and discovered they were imitating the accent. 

FEMAIL spoke with linguists, voice coaches, and did not hesitate to reveal how TikTok voice (aka TikTalk) has been used to tell stories in storytelling videos.  

Speaking about the 'TikTok voice', expert linguists from the app Babbel said the voice became popular in the 1920s with Hollywood stars like Katharine Hepburn

Babbel, an expert in linguists for the app said that the “TikTok” voice was first popularized by Katharine and Katharine Shepburn as part of their 1920s Hollywood stardom. 

'Since when was he American?': Harry Styles left fans baffled at the BRIT Awards 2021 on Tuesday night as viewers questioned why he had suddenly developed an 'American accent'

“Since when did he become American?”‘: Harry Styles left fans baffled at the BRIT Awards 2021 on Tuesday night as viewers questioned why he had suddenly developed an ‘American accent’

It's a similar story for Stranger Things star Millie Bobbie Brown who grew up in Dorset, England and has adopted an American twang

This is the same story as Stranger Things star Millie Bobbie Brown, who was born in Dorset, England but has taken on an American accent. 

Expert linguists at the app Babbel spoke out about the “TikTok Voice”: “The TikTok vocal is actually the midatlantic accent, also known as trans-Altantic or American Theater Standard, which was popular in northeastern United States and was named after the middle Atlantic Ocean, not the mid-Atlantic area of the U.S. 

“The Accent is named so because it sounds like an amalgamation of two accents on opposite sides the Atlantic: British Received Pronunciation, (BRP), and Standard American.

“Historically the mid-Atlantic accent was used to denote class, status, education and social status during the period of sound films (talkies) in 1920s. It became well-known as the “movie accent” because it is prominent in Hollywood movies. 

This accent is a combination of the Standard American and BRP accents that was learned and consciously taught back then. The accent has been embraced by everyone, from Cary Grant to Audrey Hepburn to newsreel anchors to Cary Grant. 

A Canadian elocution expert’ of the 1930s created the Mid-Atlantic accent Katharine Shepburn and other Hollywood stars used 

Actors such as Cary Grant or Hepburn used a bizarre form of English in the Golden Era Hollywood. It placed them between America and Great Britain. 

The Mid-Atlantic accent, as it was called, wasn’t actually an accent. It was an affectation created by a Canadian elocutionist.

Edith Skinner is a New Brunswicker who studied Speech at Columbia University in the Silent Film Era. She then went into business, teaching drama at Carnegie Mellon University and Juilliard, as well as assisting Margaret Prendergast McLean, renowned stage-speech consultant.

Skinner, who moved to Los Angeles around the 1920s, was the most prominent advisor in Hollywood for speech.

The 1942 book, titled “Speak with Distinction”, outlines her ideas for ‘Good Speech”: an accent free from regional characteristics and easy to comprehend in the final rows of the theater.

Good Speech had one purpose: to get rid of regionalized accents to make it a neutral American sound.

This accent may have been a reaction to Clara Bow’s silent film stardom. Clara Bow’s Brooklyn accent was quite jarring in the early days of talkies.

Skinner said that your voice is what expresses who you are in an interview with The Milwaukee Journal. You don’t want your unique voice to be lost, God has given you. It is my goal to eliminate the most obvious regionsalisms. This means that I will get rid the accent which says “you are from here” and “I’m from there”, the type of speech that tells what street you were raised on.

However, in real life her Mid-Atlantic accent was a mixture of an upper-class New England accent mixed with a British accent.

Today’s Americans will recognise the accent from old Hollywood stars Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and others.

You will notice the absence of any r sounds in speech or softening of vowel sounds as an accent.

“In Good Speech, all vowel sounds can be described as oral sounds. To make them, the soft palate should be raised. Skinner explained in her book that the breath flowed out of the mouth, and not through the nose or mouth. Skinner explained that every vowel sound is a pure sound. Any movement or alteration in any organ of speech in the vowel’s formation can cause it to become DIPHTHONGIZATION.

The ‘T” sounds can also be pronounced so words like “butter” don’t sound as “budder”, which is how most Americans would pronounce them.

A strange noise is made when words beginning with “Wh” are spelled out to make “what” sound more like “cccwhat”.

Glottal stops have been banned as well, making it awkward to use the English language in everyday practice.

Good Speech was the standard for cinema’s Golden Era. However, it fell by the wayside in 1960s Hollywood with the rise and fall of New Hollywood. Directors like Francis Ford Coppola, John Cassavetes tried to make average Americans more human in their films.

However, some drama schools still continue to teach the Mid-Atlantic Speech up until recent times.  

It hasn’t been taught for many decades. The’movie Accent’ rapidly fell out of favor following the end WWII. But, it is a common accent that people use when writing content on social media.

“Accents and dialects are cultural shorthands that tap into common stereotypes. And falling into one accent can help to convey a common type of character. 

“Because its prominence in American history media, the mid Atlantic accent can still be used for communication wealth and education.

Meanwhile they continued: ‘Whilst it can’t be said exactly why Gen Z are so eager to bring back the accent, we can theorize that they may be trying to tap into the status and power that come hand-in-hand with sounding mid-Atlantic.

“Outside of that, it could be that influencers want to stand out in a saturated market with a distinct sound – or they simply find the accent enjoyable!”

Experts how revealed why TikTok users have adopted an 'affected, theatrical drawn which is half-English and half-American' when making videos on the app

Experts have revealed the reason why TikTok users use a ‘affected theatrical draw which is half English and half American’ to make videos.

The accent was popularised by some of TikTok most popular users including Audrey Peters

The accent was popularised by some of TikTok most popular users including Audrey Peters (left) and @glamdemon2004 (right)

The accent was popularised by some of TikTok most popular users including Audrey Peters (left) and @glamdemon2004 (right) 

Some of TikTok’s most famous users, including Audrey Peters, Sara Nahusenay and @glamdemon2004 made the accent popular.

The accent is not limited to American accounts. @MaybeTasniu, a London-based company, also adopted the accent. 

Professor Nicole Holliday, sociolinguist at the University of Pennsylvania and co-host of the Spectacular Vernacular podcast, told Refinery29: ‘What they have in common is that they’re doing various strategies for attention/floor-holding, which is particularly important for influencers given how easy it is to skip past TikTok videos.

Some common characteristics she identified were:’moving up and down your voice more, unusual voice qualities like breathiness or falsetto and open vowels, rhoticity and the pronunciation of the consonant “r”.

And it's not just American accounts adopting the accent, with London based @MaybeTasniu also adopting the twang.

The accent is not limited to American accounts. @MaybeTasniu, a London-based company, also adopted the accent.

TikTalk is a method of signaling that you are a specific type of person and an influencer, according to the expert. 

According to her, the accent is a sign of aspiration or influence. She added: “The people who created it.” [influencer]White women are the mould. This is why everyone feels incentivised and encouraged to sound this way.  

Kate Lee, a professional voice coach with 20 years’ experience training presenters for TV and radio, explained TikTokers ‘play with intonation, vary pace, lift key words, hang on vowel sounds’.

“The way that you talk is what makes you part of the group, it’s how you get along with them.” “And now, of course we’re all part of it anywhere in the globe.

Celebrities including Harry Styles and Gillian Anderson have left fans baffled with their Mid-Atlantic accents over the last few years. 

Many people were confused by the sudden American accent that One Direction singer had developed at the BRIT Awards 2021.

Harry won the Best British Single award for Watermelon Sugar. The singer, who was born in Cheshire but raised in England, made his acceptance speech and claimed that he now sounded American.

After Harry’s acceptance speech, fans took to Twitter to ask why Harry was speaking in an American accent. Others pointed out that Harry had just completed filming Don’t Worry Darling here in America and explained the twang. 

Meanwhile Gillian, who was born in Chicago but has lived in London since 2002 after growing up there from ages 2-11, has also been criticised for her accent.

Her previous statement was: “I grew up in two different countries, so depending on whom is in my ears is which direction is my accent.” This is why it has become so familiar to me that it feels almost old news.

It’s a similar story for Stranger Things star Millie Bobbie Brown who grew up in Dorset, England.

Since she was eight years old, her American accent has been adopted by the actress. She had previously admitted that English accents were difficult for her roles.