The World's Favorite Accents, Ranked According to Twitter

Last update: 10/20/2023

World's Favorite Accents Header

Oh, you like to listen to Idris Elba talk?

There’s something about an accent that cuts straight from one soul to another. A person’s voice bubbles up from the depths of their belly and is shaped along the way by the speaker’s body, feelings, mind, experiences. And it emerges from their mouth — if not the window of the soul, at least its garage door — with emphases and inflections that resonate with the listener’s own feelings and experiences.

If that’s not a very scientific take, it rings true because accents are emotional. For example, being betrayed by someone whose accent you trust hurts more than by someone whose accent you don’t — and that is a scientific take.

Hence, according to new research from WordTips, Idris Elba’s cockney accent is the world’s favorite accent of any celebrity, despite the widespread perception of the cockney accent as untrustworthy and despite London accents failing to make it to our chart of 20 most popular British accents (see below). Let’s face it; when people hear Elba, they don’t just hear his working-class east London roots. They trace the inflections in his voice to the characters they’ve trusted and rooted for and the inner life of the former official “Sexiest Man Alive.”

The actor himself is aware of the contradiction. “I'm baffled,” Elba told Loose Women. “I think I sound like a market trader from Canning Town. 'Get your fish here, ten pound!'” 

Ever curious about words and what people do with them, WordTips analyzed reams of Twitter data to identify the celebrity, world and U.S./UK regional accents that people like the most.

What We Did

WordTips used a Hugging Face AI algorithm to analyze how positively Twitter users talk about 165 accents throughout the United States, the UK and 104 other countries worldwide. We also analyzed how positively Twitter users talk about the accents of 66 celebrities whose accents have previously been the subject of discussion on Twitter or in news articles.

Key Findings

  • Idris Elba has the world’s favorite celebrity accent, with a positivity rating of 77.7%.
  • The most popular U.S. accent is New Orleans, with a 46.4% positivity rating.
  • The Sheffield accent is the most popular British accent, with a 39.8% positivity rating.
  • The world’s favorite national accent is Tunisian, with a 52.0% positivity rating.

Idris Elba Beats Fellow Brits to Top Accent Accolade

While 13 of the 20 most popular celebrity accents are those of British actors or musicians, these 13 themselves vary wildly: in addition to several Londoners, James McAvoy has a Glaswegian Scottish accent, Cheryl Cole’s is Geordie, Hugh Grant speaks with ‘official’ received pronunciation (RP), Liam Gallagher’s is Mancunian and Sean Bean’s Yorkshire accent is so powerful that the Game of Thrones showrunners decided to make it the standard accent for House Stark and the North. This diverse range of accents suggests that there’s just something about ‘the British’ that international Twitter users appreciate — perhaps that same incongruous blend of the familiar (English language) and surprising (non-American inflections) that makes us find some things funny.

Meanwhile, Matthew McConaughey’s Texan drawl is one of only two American accents in the top 20 (you can see him discussing slang with #14 Hugh Grant here), and Rihanna’s Bajan accent is the top-rated non-British accent. Rihanna has attracted derision for veering back from her ‘fake’ American accent to her Caribbean roots. But her integrity (and the sound of her voice) have rung true with fans — and her path echoes that of the Beatles, who became progressively less American and more Scouse-sounding as their career flourished.

World’s Favorite National Accent is Tunisian

African and Middle Eastern accents dominate the top five most popular in the world, with only Tunisia and Sudan getting a greater than 50-50 approval rating. The Tunisian accent is shaped by its Arabic vocabulary as well as Berber, French, Italian, Spanish and even Turkish influences. What’s not to love? Writes one Twitter user proudly: “I am French-Tunisian, which means I speak Tunisian with a French accent and French with a Tunisian accent. Accents are a proof of cultural wealth, they are not a defect!”

Just out of the top five follows a smattering of European and Latin American accents, with neither the U.S. nor England getting a look-in. However, Welsh and Irish accents are present to represent the British Isles. “a welsh accent is so warm and welcoming,” tweetsone user, summing up the general mood. “every time i hear a welsh accent i just feel warm inside.”

New Orleans Has World’s Favorite American Accent

It took British colonists just one generation to develop a new accent in the ‘New World’ of America. They hit the east coast and spread out, their way of speech mingling with those of Native Americans and other colonizing Europeans such as the Spanish, French and Dutch. The accent leveled out to some degree as the English language moved west. Today, the world’s favorite American accents are clustered more towards the cultural meeting points at the east and south of the U.S. One of these is that of New Orleans, a major immigration and slave trade port, where the local accent known as Yat is influenced by Irish, Italian, French and multiple African languages.

The east coast maintained closer contact with Europe, too. So, while the American accent as Hollywood would have foreigners hear it has an audible ‘r’ sound, some easterners — most notably those of Boston and Philadelphia — echoed the ‘r’-less ‘ah’ sound that was becoming standard back in Britain. Today, the Boston accent is one of America’s most distinctive. To its defenders, it is a badge of authenticity or intelligence, while its detractors find it annoying, which may explain why it is ranked the world’s ninth favorite American accent. Just to muddy the waters further, Bostonians don’t believe they have an accent at all — at least according to the Bostonian film director who banned Keira Knightley from attempting the accent while acting in the Boston Strangler.

UK’s Top Accent Spans Yorkshire and the Game of Thrones ‘North’

Despite the widespread international belief that there are only two British accents — villain and cockney — we’ve managed to put together a top 20 that reflects the diversity of regional voices across the land. The top five are all English but reach from the southwest to the northeast, taking in the East Midlands area of Nottingham along the way. Irish (Derry) and Welsh (Cardiff) accents also make the top 10, while the Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow make the top 20.

The diversity of accents over the relatively small archipelago reflects both Britain’slong history and more recent social phenomena. To some extent, the way people speak in East Midlands areas such as Nottingham is shaped by the dialects that flourished there in the wake of Viking rule in the ninth century. Only after the standardization of English in the 16th century did local accents begin to become associated with the stigma of being working class. Class discrimination based on accents is still an issue. However, more equivocal use of regional accents in the media has helped to shift the balance — perhaps most notably, the world now rates the Sheffield accent (that of Sean Bean and GoT’s House Stark and the North) as its number one in the UK.

Double Dutch

Humans are a social bunch. The way we talk and group words evolve socially; it brings regional and cultural groups together, just like in the Connections answer puzzle, a New York Times game that was inspired by our love for language. And indeed, a lot of what we find loveable (or otherwise) about different accents around the world derives more from shared cultural ideas about an accent’s meaning than from the sound of the accent itself. We may enjoy a regional accent because of how its users are portrayed in the media, or even from our perception of the place itself: “There is some association about France and Paris or Italy as being kind of romantic places,” says Emily Nguyen, a Ph.D. candidate in linguistics. “Maybe a French or Italian accent kind of acquires the same feelings or thoughts and perceptions.”


To rank the world’s favorite accents, we analyzed how positively Twitter users talk about 165 accents throughout the United States, Britain and from 104 other countries around the world. We also analyzed how positively Twitter users talk about the accents of 66 celebrities whose accents have previously been the subject of discussion on Twitter or in news articles.

To determine the positivity of tweets, we applied a Hugging Face AI algorithm to each tweet’s text. This algorithm returns the possibility of a text being positive, negative or neutral. We calculated the proportion of positive tweets for all tweets about each accent.

Our seed lists of accents for countries outside of Britain and the U.S. used the labeling convention of [country name] + [accent] and [nationality] + [accent] to identify tweets that reference them. Therefore this analysis does not consider regional intricacies of accents within each country outside of Britain and the United States. Our seed lists of accents from Britain and the U.S. are informed by naming conventions for different regions, counties, cities or other known ways of referencing them.

Our analysis uses a total sample of 528,612 tweets. To be included in our final rankings, accents from the U.S. or referencing celebrities needed to be represented by at least 100 tweets, and British accents and accents from countries outside of Britain or the U.S. needed to be represented by at least 500 tweets.

The data was collected and analyzed in February 2023.