American Kids Are Talking Like Brits Again Because of Peppa Pig and the Pandemic

American kids are starting to speak like a certain posh pig.
American kids are starting to speak like a certain posh pig. / John Keeble/Getty Images

The British show Peppa Pig has become a worldwide sensation, enthralling kids across the globe—and causing them to pick up some downright jolly habits. Cardi B credits Peppa Pig for her daughter's penchant for jumping in puddles. And now, the show is even affecting how kids speak.

According to The Wall Street Journal, American children who binged Peppa Pig during the pandemic have started developing a British accent. The phenomenon, dubbed the “Peppa Effect,” may be the result of kids watching more of the show than usual while stuck indoors because of COVID-19.

Peppa Pig is a slice of life animated television show that revolves around an anthropomorphic pig, Peppa, and her brother and parents. The characters speak in posh British accents punctuated with typical animal sounds.

According to Parrot Analytics, in the United States, the show is the second-most watched cartoon, following SpongeBob SquarePants. The company researches and monitors the demands and viewing of television shows. In the U.S., Peppa Pig had 20.2 times the demand in the past month than other shows. It also ranks in the 98.9th percentile of all children's shows.

The Peppa Effect isn’t totally new; there have been accounts of the show's young fans adopting a British accent in the past. However, this phenomenon has become more widespread during the pandemic.

A mother in Rhode Island told The Wall Street Journal that her daughter has even started saying “Father Christmas” instead of Santa Claus. Words like “telly,” “water closet,” and “mummy” have become commonplace in many American households. Reporter Preetika Rana tweeted: “My 5-year-old niece in NYC had an American accent before the pandemic. Now she has a posh English accent after spending a year at home watching Peppa Pig.”

So, if you’re completely gobsmacked about why your child is suddenly speaking like a Brit, Peppa Pig may to be to blame.