My fourth-most visited post over the years, even though it is not very thorough. From January 2007.
Taking some “r’s” out and adding others in is the notorious characteristic of the New Hampshire/Northeastern Massachusetts dialect.(Correction 2019: Includes RI and coastal Maine) The new datter gave him a new idear. Or to use Fritz Wetherbee’s excellent phrase: Mistah waitah, now or late-ah, bring a glass of be-ah he-ah. Though these forms may be slowly disappearing, merging into that standard American accent from Medina, Ohio, they can still be heard, particularly among older and rural residents. I was in fifth grade before I read the word parka, and concluded it must be the correct form of our word pahker. In the women’s name “Martha,” you get the same even trade: Mahther.
Even among youngah folk, you might catch an added r in special situations if you listen closely. When the next word begins with a vowel, a soft r sound will be inserted: Lawrand order. Linderand I went downtown. Cuber is just south of Flohridder, and Nashuar is west of Reveah.
From Worcester to Portland you still might hear an older person ask for a tonic, meaning a soft drink or get a milk shake made without ice cream (with ice cream it’s a frappe). Forty years ago, no one in NH ever ate a hero, hoagie, submarine, or Italian sandwich. We ate grinders, and have since also allowed the word subs, though grudgingly. You can still drink from a bubbler (and surprisingly, they also kept it in Wisconsin), originally a brand name – but that’s “bubblah” here . Everywhere else in the country you have to drink from a fountain or drinking fountain. Older folks still say dungarees and sneakers, as well.
Everyone used to go down cellah in northern New England, but the use of basements for bathrooms in city schools or the bottom floor of buildings with elevators has pushed cellar into a more specialized use: the bottom floor of a house, if less-finished or unfinished. It's still mixed. Basement was so closely associated with public lavatories that in 1950 a child in Manchestah could ask “Wheah’s the basement?” and be told “It’s up on the second flo-ah.”
We say many vowels a little more precisely in other cases. Flohridder has the “oh” not “aw” sound, and a crayon or centaur is just that, not a crayan or a centarr.
New Hampshah Hospital is located in CONcuhd, even though no one ever conquhd CONcuhd NH. If that sounds strange, well, they don’t always have much concord in conCORD NC or CA either, do they? BUHlin and MI-lan ahnt close to BerLIN or MiLAN, neither in pronunciation nor geography, but Lebanun is a pronunciation wicked close to Lebanon, ahn't it? (Update 2019: I wrote about the origins of "wicked" in our dialect a few years later.)
You won’t see a blowdown or a hahd-top road, anymoah, but youah mothah’s sistah, who lives kittycorner across the street will still be yoah aunt, pronounced just like it’s spelled, thank you. We had a perfectly good second-person plural all to ourselves, but now you guys all ovah the North are using it. Jeezum crow, stop stealing ouah regional distinctives, wouldja? (Additional note 2019: As "you guys" became more common, it became more controversial. I don't know if that would have happened had it remained merely a New England phrasing.)