The animated series features Peppa, a female pig, and her crew of adorable animals, who all live in the United Kingdom. And as more and more kids tune into the show (it now has over 7.2 million subscribers on YouTube), they’re beginning to mimic how Peppa and her friends talk.
“After 21 hours of flight time spent binge-watching Peppa Pig episodes on the iPad, my kid had adopted Peppa Pig’s plum British accent, calling me ‘Mummy” and finishing her sentences with Peppa’s trademark snort,” one mom, Janet Manley, wrote on Romper. She calls the phenomenon “the Peppa effect.”
According to a recent study reported by The Telegraph, it makes sense that Manley’s daughter, who was 20 months old at the time, started pronouncing words with a British accent. Researchers at the University of Plymouth found that children begin developing their accent at around 20 months.
Dr. Caroline Floccia, an associate professor at the University of Plymouth’s school of psychology, told The Telegraph that “It might widely be assumed that toddlers pick up their early grasp of language from their parents. But this research shows their social context is much more important than people might think, even at an early age.”
And while some parents are worried about the effect that the show is having on their child’s speech, others think it’s endearing to hear them say things like “zebra” and “tomato” with a British inflection.
“The most entertaining aspect of my life right now is that my toddler has been watching Peppa Pig and now speaks with a British accent,” tweeted one woman, while another said, “I’d like to thank Peppa Pig for the slight yet adorable British accent my toddler is acquiring”