To British ears, it might sound like replacing every vowel with the opposite one, but the New Zealand accent has officially been named sexiest in the world.
Yip. In a survey of 8,500 people from 60 countries by city guides company Big 7 Travel, the Kiwis took top spot for aural sexiness. The result has not been without controversy. It is, after all, quite an unusual accent, involving a lot of “vowel shift” – the linguistic phenomenon responsible for “fush and chups”.
Not to mention New Zealanders now boasting of their “sixy iccints”.
Even Flight Of The Conchords’ Jemaine Clement, who once placed alongside bandmate Bret McKenzie in Salon’s sexiest men alive list, questioned the result.
Any nation that gave us the maintenance-sex anthem Business Time knows a lot about sexiness, of course, and New Zealand has produced its fair share.
Look at a picture of Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi in his matching shorts and shirt combo and you’ll be exposed to as much raw sexual energy as you can handle. Kiwi comedian Rose Matafeo won best show at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe for Horndog – her stand-up about growing up, well, hornily.
It’s a sexy place. All those fit mountains and chiselled elves extras in Lord Of The Rings hail from New Zealand, as do Archie from Riverdale and his ridiculous abs, Xena Warrior Princess and her impractical bustier, and the world’s hottest septuagenarian pig farmer, Sam Neill.
Is the Kiwi accent the world’s sexiest, though? Really? What even constitutes a sexy accent? Most of the entries in the top 50 are countries, but some are regions. That’s a bit unscientific. The UK gets six entries in the top 50 – Irish and Northern Irish are grouped together as one accent in third spot (odd considering Northern Ireland’s own complicated relationship with vowels), while the US gets three (New York, 44, Boston, 28 and “South”, 9).
Everywhere else places once. Chinese (43) shouldn’t be on the same list as Scouse (32). There are hundreds of different languages and dialects spoken in China by a billion people – suggesting they all speak the same is nuts.
The Italian accent placing at number four with the claim “any word in Italian sounds sexy” further muddies the aqua. “Sono scivolato su una cacca di cane e mi sono fatto male al sedere, poi ho vomitato” may sound sexy to you, but it means “I slipped in a dog poo and hurt my bottom, then vomited.” All in all, this is a weird survey and, the lesson we should take from it? We should make more friends from other countries.
The Top 10
2. South African.
9. South (US)
10. Brazilian Portuguese.
Here’s the full top 50.
If you’re convinced and want to enhance your attractiveness by speaking like a Kiwi, there are resources available. This guide on WikiHow contains some really interesting stuff about Maori pronunciation, but also suggests saying “teen meenuts” instead of “ten minutes”, which can’t be right. TripSavvy offers the vocabulary tidbit of calling clothes pegs “pigs”, while Stuff suggests: “In New Zealand you can sit on a chair, and give a loud cheer. It’s the same sound.”