Oooohh la la. There’s just something about an exotic accent that just drives people wild. It’s like music to one’s ears. Perhaps it’s because a foreign accent reminds you of exotic places, of vacation destinations you’re dying to visit. Or maybe the language itself is one made up of beauty. Or maybe it’s just the way an accented voice rolls off the tongue. Whatever it is, there’s no denying the power of a sexy accent to get you in the mood.
Very few people can deny that when a beautiful person opens their mouth and speaks with an even more beautiful accent, it can make you weak in the knees. Look at sexy stars like Sofia Vergara and Jude Law – when they speak, their already considerable hotness goes straight through the roof. Even a relatively unimpressive visage can be rendered stunning when a sexy brogue accompanies it; Liam Neeson is a perfect example of that.
But what are the sexiest accents in the world? How does your own accent rank with the rest of the world, if it ranks at all?
TimeOut interviewed 11,000 people from around the world, from London to New York, Los Angeles to Singapore and everywhere in between, to determine which foreign accents get our hearts pounding and our palms sweaty.
Do you think TimeOut readers got it right? Cast your vote on the world’s sexiest accent in the comments section below!
Blond hair. Blue eyes. Unbelievably beautiful. These are just some of the descriptions that might come to mind when thinking of a Scandinavian. Whether they’re from Sweden, Norway, or Denmark, there’s no denying their power in Hollywood and beyond.
Look no further than Alexander Skarsgard to get an idea of Scandinavian sex appeal. He’s beautiful to look at, and while he mostly downplays the gorgeous accent, if you get a chance to hear him speak with it, it’s stunning. Of course, each country has their own unique dialects and all of them are positively lovely to listen to.
9. Latin America
When you hear a Latin American accent, chances are good that you’re imagining lying on a beach somewhere wearing a bikini – or watching girls in skimpy bikinis stroll by if that’s your thing. Stars like Sofia Vergara certainly don’t hurt the perception that Latin American accents are just downright sexy. Of course, this seems to only apply to native speakers of the language, not people born and raised outside of Latin America who try to speak with that accent.
There seems to be a double standard at play here, and many native speakers tend to mock Latinos raised in the U.S. Stars like Christina Aguilera have gotten flak for their affected accents in the past. But Gael Garcia Bernal? There aren’t many people out there who would have anything bad to say about his accent.
Who was the sexiest James Bond in history? If you didn’t say Sean Connery, then something might be wrong with you. Just listen to that iconic voice. You could watch the entire movie with your eyes closed and still find yourself enchanted.
And if Connery isn’t your cup of tea, then how about Ewan McGregor and David Tennant? If you’re into the ladies, well how about an accent and a sultry redhead to boot? You have Shirley Manson and Rose Leslie (Ygritte from Game of Thrones), two Gallic beauties with the looks and the lyrical voices.
Since the survey already covered Latin American Spanish, one can safely assume this favourite accent is the Spanish spoken in Spain. Spanish, like others on our list, is a romantic language, but historically and in the modern sense of the word.
Antonio Banderas, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz are examples of the sexiness that comes out of Spain, and many people report that listening to them speak does something to them. If anything, we’re surprised that this accent isn’t further up on the list, because wowza. Spain is hot, and not just the weather.
Italian is yet another romance language on the list that is really easy to listen to. Like all day. And we bet you’re not surprised by this in the least, are you? Italy in and of itself is a romantic country, one that many yearn to visit with their special someone someday. Or perhaps many are hoping to meet their special someone while they’re there. And we couldn’t blame them one bit.
Wine, delightful food, culture, history, beauty – all of this describes why we love Italy and pretty much anything that comes out of the country, including the people. For further proof of Italy’s sex appeal, look no further than stars Monica Bellucci and Antonio Sabato Jr. to see why we’re so crazy for Italians.
With quite possibly one of the most romantic languages spoken, the French have a very well earned reputation for being sexy. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons we love the sound of the language dripping from their tongues like chocolate or fine wine. It’s like silk to our ears. It’s soft, beautiful and sounds like poetry even if you can’t understand a word the person is saying. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about the accent that just drives us wild. Even their names seem to roll off our tongues with grace – that is, if we can pronounce them correctly. Stars like Gerard Depardieu and Audrey Tautou, along with classic beauty Brigitte Bardot are just a handful of stars that showcase the beauty of France.
G’day, mate! Probably one of the most surprising parts of this list is that Australians didn’t get ranked higher. After all, you can find the accent anywhere you look, from sexy beer commercials to TV dramas. It seems Hollywood is crazy for some Aussie flavor, and who can blame them?
While it may sound somewhat similar to a British accent to the untrained ear, there are differences that make the Australian accent stand out on its own. Admit it, when someone speaks with an Australian accent, it almost makes you want to go surfing – or something – doesn’t it? Or at least watch some ripped Aussie hunk hit the waves. Stars like Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman are just a couple of prominent celebs who call Australia home. Heck, there are some you might not even realize hail from Down Under – like Ryan Kwanten, best known as Jason from the hit HBO show, True Blood.
He does a fine job of covering that accent up and sounding Southern, but we have to wonder – why would he want to?
If you’re one of the many moviegoers rushing out to see 50 Shades of Grey this Valentine’s Day, you might be surprised to find out that Jamie Dornan is, in fact, Irish. If you weren’t planning on seeing it, perhaps that might make you change your mind?
Okay, he doesn’t actually speak with that sexy Irish brogue in the film. But the big accents from this small island are all pretty endearing. There are plenty of them in Hollywood, like Dublin boy Colin Farrell, Northern Irish-born Liam Neeson and Michelle Fairley.
I can hear it now – “But Americans don’t have accents!” or more accurately, “There are so many variations of the American accent, which one is it?” But of course Americans have accents, and apparently the rest of the world finds them sexy. The distinctive Southern accent does seem to have a wide appeal in particular, with stars like Matthew McConaughey driving fans crazy.
And you have to admit, when McConaughey speaks in that delightful Southern drawl, it sounds weak-at-the-knees charming. But there are a wide variety of accents across America, so maybe you can just tell us what your favorite regional dialect might be? Southern? Northeastern? Midwestern? California surfer?
Let’s see a show of hands of people who are surprised about the accent that tops our list. Anyone? Didn’t think so. As is the case in among any large population, there are regional variations to the British accent. Yet, there’s no denying that all of them sound pretty dang awesome. Oh, and sexy too.
British men like Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston are super hot right now, and honestly, you can’t watch many of the best shows and movies these days without some sort of British movie star invasion. Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Downton Abbey… People all over the world love these shows that prominently feature British actors and their adorable accents.