According to new research, people with thick regional accents struggle as much as everyone else to understand what they’re saying. In a two-year study focusing across 178 countries, many residents from Kentucky to New Zealand confirmed “your guess is as good as mine,” and that every day, people endure countless miscommunications and faux pas due to the fact that everyone around them is semi-incoherent.

“My mother was telling me a story about her day,” said Michael Sandison, who has lived in Scotland his whole life. “I just had to smile and nod the whole way through, because I couldn’t make out anything through her thick Scottish accent. One bloke I know visited his online girlfriend in Kentucky. They went out to some chicken place called ‘Popeyes’ and she kept asking for a ‘leeeid’ for her drink. It took an entire team of workers to find out she meant ‘lid,'” Sandison mused.

In Australia, people are given wrong directions thousands of times a day. We watched Western Australian tradesman Davo Plunkett direct his friend Callum Kelly where to meet after work. “At a quorda to one, Oi’ll take me smoko. Oi’ll give ya a bell then.” Confused, Callum pretended to understand and said, “Orl-roight, give me the bill then.” Equally confused, Davo said, “The bill? Nah mate, a bell. On the blower. Although if ya wanna chuck us a few bob we can pop boi the bottle-o and Maccas on the way to the traino.” “Blower? Maccas?” thought Callum. “I don’t get it. What exactly is he asking for? Some kind of object? They sound like nouns, at least.” He laughed nervously and said, “No wuckas, then back to moine for a kick-on in the arvo.” This time, it was Davo who looked on in bewilderment. “Joisus. Wot the fuck are you blathering about? Arvo?” “The arvo, mate! Before tea time!” “Why cahn’t ya just say afternoon ya fuckin muppet?” “Pull ya head in, you were the one hammering on about bottle-os!” “You sound like shite! I can’t understand a word you’re saying. Joisus, I can’t understand what I’m saying either! Oi’m living a bloody curse.”

By William Boffa and Emily Sanchez