Basic Faire Accent (BFA) is Rennie slang for the method of speaking employed at a Renaissance Festival. It covers the actual pronunciation (accent) of words as well as the vocabulary and grammar employed. The accent, provided the persona in question is English, is usually an attempt at Elizabethan, though personae from other lands will use the same vocabulary with an accent from their birthplace.

Some of the sound changes in the accent part include:

  • The 'r' sound is drawn out into a pirate Arrr.
  • The use of the nasal 'a' as in 'apple' sound in words such as want.
  • 'I' being pronounced 'uh-ee'.
  • Drop the 'g' from verb forms ending in -ing.
  • -ed ending on a verb form is a separate syllable.
  • 'o' being elongated, in a sort of 'uh-oo'/'oo' style.
  • 'u' being short and rounded, making 'cup' sound like koo (much like how we pronounce coup).
This causes the beginning of Psalm 23 to sound approximately like: "The loord is mye shep-erd; I shaal not waant." (The RenFaire.com link below has a link to a set of sound files, which are undoubtedly superior to my transliteration of the sound.)

Common vocabulary words ones include:

The grammar change is perhaps best summed up by a quote from a web page on this accent: "Why use two words, when twenty will do?" Speaking tends towards the wordy and bombastic, though some would describe it as melodic. Longer forms of words are used whenever possible, and words like good and right are sprinkled liberally into sentences. Contractions involving "not" are rarely used, if at all.

The SCA, though retaining a taste of the vocabulary tends to consider the accent silly.


Some links of interest for further information, since I didn't want to simply cut and paste these guides in:
http://www.renfaire.com/Language/index.html
http://www.faire.net/SCRIBE/faqs/Glossary.Htm
http://www.thesilverstar.com/h8/basicfaireaccent.html
http://atthefaire.com/virgins/bfa.html http://www.thesilverstar.com/h8/basicfaireaccent.html

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