Even after 400 years, the people on this Virginian island still speak Shakespearian English!

Even after 400 years, the people on this Virginian island still speak Shakespearian English!

At least they’ve adopted modern forms of hygiene.

Originally a retreat for the Pocomoke Indian tribe, John Smith was the first European to discover the small island of Tangier, Virginia. In the 1670s, the island was claimed and settled by Elizabeth Scarburgh and Anthony West.

Throughout history, Tangier provided very limited access to mainland Virginia. As such, many of its 727 citizens did not pick up distinctly American customs.

For example, like many places in America, Tangier has an accent distinct to the area. However, unlike its Virginian neighbors, the island’s dialect is distinctly un-American. In fact, most residents speak not with an American accent, but in an Old English dialect reminiscent of how people talked during Shakespeare’s day.

In addition, the island’s isolation gave way to some other cultural oddities. Most notable of these is the existence of Tangier disease, a genetic disorder known for causing high cholesterol.

Only one school exists on the island, with each grade consisting of ten children or less. Two local doctors work on the island.

Until 2010, residents did not have access to the Internet or cable television. However, since acquiring these services, Tangier residents have grown incredibly fond of streaming sports.


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