US parents claim kids are speaking in British accents thanks to too much Peppa Pig during lockdown: 'Peppa effect'

Picture: Instagram
Picture: Instagram 

Parents in the US are reporting their children are speaking in British accents and using a new, 'strange' vocabulary. The reason? Cult kids TV show Peppa Pig.

As parents grappled to deal with COVID-19 lockdowns and juggling working while caring for children at home, TV viewing times - unsurprisingly - increased. 

And according to data from Parrot Analytics, quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Peppa Pig was at the top of kids' viewing list. In the 12 months up until February this year, it was the second most in-demand show, beat out only by Spongebob Squarepants.

They found it ranked about 98.9 per cent of all other Childrens show in the country. And it currently has a higher demand in the US than the UK. 

The show has a huge global audience - to give an indication, its official YouTube channel has notched up close to 16 billion views and has 24.2 million subscribers. 

Centring around Peppa, a pig who lives with her mum, dad and little brother George, as she goes about her daily adventures in her very British life, it's left many US parents confused.

Mum Dominique Parr first noted the phenomenum last year in a now-viral TikTok. In a follow up clip, she explained that her daughter Hazel now spoke exclusively in a British accent, which she could only have learnt from the show. 

"My daughter has what I call the 'Peppa Pig British accent'. As you can tell, I'm not British - unfortunately, and my husband is actually from Japan. But my daughter speaks in a fully British accent, at all times," she shared.

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Hazel can then be heard, in a posh British drawl, exclaiming 'How clever!' and 'Daddy, are you K?'. 

According to the WSJ, one mum, Lauren Ouellette, found her daughter Aurelia, six, suddenly embracing traditionally British Christmas traditions last year - and speaking in phrases unfamiliar to the Rhode Island family. 

"It gave us room to explore something new. Is Father Christmas the same guy as Santa? And why is he called that?" she told the publication. The little girl also began asking to 'turn the telly on' and use the 'water closet'. 

"I was like, 'Where did she learn that from? Was she on the Titanic in a past life?'," she continued. 

The show has embraced the effect, posting a tongue-in-cheek update on social media of an 'easy' translation guide from British to US-isms. 

"You may have seen or been affected by 'The #PeppaEffect', so for all you US parents, we've created this handy glossary. Have we missed any out," they wrote alongside the translations.

Among the translations were: 'Bin = trash can; Petrol station = gas station; Football = soccer; Holiday = vacation; And trousers = pants'. 

Parents were quick to share the phrases their kids had picked up from the show.

"My daughter, now eight, still refers to flash lights as 'torch lights'," said one. "My four-year-old has been asking us to take the 'stabilisers' (i.e. training wheels) off her bike," added another. 

Others said the 'effect' had spread beyond the US. "We are in Australia and my two-year-old plays shops charging in 'pounds' rather than dollars!," one mum said.