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Irish Person Called Out For Ignoring American In-Laws Who Keep Making Fun Of Their Accent

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Cultural differences between people from other’s countries and the families they marry into can often come with foibles.

For one Irish person on Reddit who married into an American family, a full-on conflict ensued over their accent, when the in-laws wouldn’t stop mocking the way they said certain words.

They weren’t sure about how they had handled things with their in-laws, so they went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by the username Life-Counter-1297 on the site, asked:

“AITA for ignoring my SIL and her husband when they showed up to a family gathering”

They explained:

“This is about my SIL, my husbands sister, and her husband, my husbands BIL.”

“I’m Irish. I moved to the US 5 years ago after meeting my husband, we’ve been married for 3 years now.”

“My accent has not faded at all in the 5 years I have lived here. Actually, it stands out a little more than ever to be perfectly honest.”

“My SIL has made some comments in the past about how I talk, little jokey things that were annoying but I let it go for the sake of peace. A few times she has said my name wrong too.”

“About a year ago she started outright mocking how I talk. Making fun of the way I say three and th words in general.”

“Or the way some words are said differently like aluminum. My husband told her to knock it off. Her husband was joining in too.”

“If it wasn’t words it was Irish names they would mock or laugh about. I always attempted to be good humoured about it but it was so feckin hard to hear it.”

“More than once I held back so I wouldn’t give out to them.”

“The breaking point was his joke that I sounded dumb and illiterate for dropping letters or saying them a different way.”

“Telly was a word they went crazy over me saying. They said it was childish.”

“My husband told them if they were going to treat me that way then we’d just not see each other anymore.”

“They didn’t think he was serious but outside of bigger family occasions we don’t interact now. Not even a phone call or text.”

“My MIL turned 60 a few days ago and there was a small family party to celebrate.”

“SIL and her husband were there and did attempt to talk to me, but I ignored them and walked away, not wanting to be mocked by them again.”

“They didn’t like that and went around complaining. My MILs two sisters told me I should have been a civil adult and engaged with them briefly to not be rude.”

“MIL and FIL told them it was better than the alternative of an out and out fight.”

“It did put a damper on MILs birthday and she’s been lovely to me, so I feel a little bad about it.”

“AITA?”

People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

And for the most part they were in agreement that OP’s in-laws behavior was really inappropriate.

“NTA they knew you would no longer be interacting with them.”

“They went out of their way to try to talk with you, and then proceeded to go around and complain when you wouldn’t.”

“They are the ones that put a dampener on the party, not you.” –Deucalion666

“100%!, NTA,”

“Damned if you engage in conversation, damned if you dont.. They were the drama llama’s for going around and stir the pot.”

“OP: you can always go and give MIL some flowers or have a conversation about it if you are up for it. But in no way you are the AH or feel guilty about it.” –ToastAbrikoos

“NTA”

“Your SIL is the AH as someone who has an accent (Scottish) it really grates when people think they’re being funny when they’re just being plain rude!!”

“Your husband sounds great and I’m glad he had your back.”

“If anyone queries again why you refuse to speak to SIL just explain politely you were brought up to be respectful but also not a mug and for decency sake you will no longer interact with rude people.” –tigerz0973

“It’s not only rude, it’s xenophobic. Attacking OP about pronunciation as well as cultural names is bigoted.”

“Imagine them telling OP to enter in someone and not be rude as they were racist to her? It’s the same” –watchingonsidelines

“I know the feeling.”

“I picked up a few Irish pronunciations from my Dad (mainly th), but it means that every time they come out one idiot will come out with ‘Potato’ in a fake Irish accent.”

“They think they are hilarious and the first person to think of that when in reality it is just rude.” –Awkward_Un1corn

“NTA, and agree, SIL and BIL are both AHs. Why would you acknowledge the rude people? You’re not a doormat.”

“I love to hear different accents and learn about life in different places as well, I would probably be monopolizing OP’s time because of this..” –loftychicago

“I worked in the US office of a Scottish quango for a few years.”

“One guy always shut this bs down by saying something like, ‘It’s YOUR problem. We spoke the language first’. I loved it.” –ShazInCA

“NTA you stayed quiet and kept the peace by not entertaining their bs.”

“You don’t owe anyone a conversation if their initial reaction is just to mock you and make you the butt of their joke.” –allieadventurer

“Exactly. Had OP spoken they would have insulted her again and she would have walked away from still. OP just cut all that out. Good for OP.” –SuperHuckleberry125

“NTA. It is off how many people think its rude to appear to be rude towards rude people. How is that possibly worse?” –markroth69

“NTA”

“You were Civil. You didn’t start a fight, you just avoided them.”

“Your MILs sister obviously didn’t ask you to be Civil but more of a pushover. Ummm … no?” –MasterpieceOK4688

“NTA. I’m from northern England and living in southern England and they take the piss out of me for my accent all the time.”

“It really gets on my nerves and there’s only so many times you can laugh about it.”

“I use odd words and phrases too and people talk to me as though I’m thick because they can’t understand some of what I come out with.”

“You have my sympathy and outright respect for having controlled yourself and not clobbered them!!” –Global_Monk_5778

“NTA.”

“I know a few yanks who get super pissed when I make fun of anything American but constantly take the piss out of my accent/Australia.”

“TBH I just lost respect for and started spending less time with them.” –LAET_BarnabyOfJones

“Conversely in Australia I took the piss for my accent and being from Los Angeles, I was asked if I s’it on my porch tapping my revolver watching José work in my garden’ and called a Seppo.”

“I’d call them close-minded but they were Labour/green and went to ANU.”

“I have thick skin and anglophone jokes are fun but it crosses a line when it gets to mocking and racism.” –thaddeus_crane

“NTA. Ordinarily I’d always say talking things over is better than giving people the cold shoulder, but screw them.”

“They’ve been told their behaviour is offensive on multiple occasions and you should never have to put up with ridicule, especially about something you should be proud of! Embrace your Irishness.”

“I’m a Brit and it infuriates me that anti-Irish sentiment (even if it’s ‘jokey’) is still a thing.” –slashdisco

“NTA. I could listen to an Irish accent all day (they are also a particular favorite of my 15 year old daughter).”

“I’m Australian & we say telly it’s just a nickname for television like saying fridge. Good on you & your husband. Jokes are only funny if everyone laughs. They went too far.” –FluffyParfait6182

“NTA because there’s a line between peace-keeping and being a doormat and why should you step over it?”

“But don’t tell me you can’t smile sweetly while telling them —— in Irish——— to go f*** themselves ;D” –dragonsfriend9172

“HAHA as an Irish girl on this side of the pond they don’t know how lucky they are that you’ve decided to take the higher ground and just ignore them.”

“Our Nation’s motto should be ‘fu*k around an find out’ if cutting to the quick and Jeering was an Olympic Sport we’d be singing Ole, Ole, Ole for two feckin weeks!”

“NTA….” –tinytyranttamer

“NTA.”

“I think it’s really weird to mock someone’s accent or the words they use because it’s from another region.”

“Never really understood that, but I grew up in Toronto where a lot of people have different accents.”

“If anything, it says a lot about how ignorant and frankly racist they are.” –sqquishy79

Hopefully OP’s in-laws can learn from this to have a bit more respect in the future.

Written by John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.