Québecois French qualifies as tic, as some locals have the habit of saying "là" ("there") at the end of each sentence. "Alors" ("so") also sometimes fills this role, as does "genre" (similar to "like") and "moi" ("me") and "lui" ("him") are often thrown in where an English speaker would consider the sentence complete without them. Eg, "Il est tropeur, lui" would be "he is a troper, him".
Those constructions - for example, "He's a troper, him" or "I like beer, me" - are also associated with certain English dialects, particularly Geordie / those from the North East.
Newfoundlanders ("Newfies" in less-than-polite company) are typically incomprehensible to most 'Mainlanders' (people not from Newfoundland), but it gets worse when they pepper their sentences with innumerable "yes b'y"-s.
Also from Metropolitan French, also at the end of a sentence and also supposedly discredited, there's "quoi" (word-for-word "what"). Unlike "tu vois", though, it also gives the sentence a very particular tone, and has no real equivalent in English or, indeed, any other language. It is therefore extremely difficult to translate.
Francophones from all over have their own equivalent of "eh" in "hein," which despite the spelling is pronounced like a very nasal version of "eh." And they actually do use it as much as a US caricature of a Canadian says "eh."
While not being word-for-word, tagging "you know" at the end of a sentence serves a similar purpose.
Some Taiwanese speakers will end sentences with "ho" ("good").
Taiwanese young people litter their Chinese sentences with "jiu shi" ("it's just..."/"it's like..."), which has as much meaning as the American use of "like".
In mainland China, there's a few verbal tics that depend on province and dialect. One of the more well-known ones is the tendency of Mandarin speakers (especially those from Beijing) to append "-ar" (rhymes with "car") at the end of phrases, sometimes slurring words together. The end result turns the accent-less sentence "Xiànzài jǐ diǎnle?" ("What time is it?") to "Xiànzài jǐ di-ar?".
This tic is noticeably absent outside of the mainland, which is an easy way to identify who lives there and who doesn't.
In fact, the "-ar" tic is so prevalent that the Japanese have their own stereotype of Chinese people ending their sentences with "-aru", the phoentic equivalent.
Mexican people, especially those from Mexico City, often append "güey" (alternatively a friendly word, kind like "dude", or a serious insult equal to "fool") at the end of their sentences; Northerners and Mexican-Americans, meanwhile, often do the same with "ese" ("homeboy").
People from Mexico City also tend to start their sentences will "Pues..." (which can be translated as "Well...") and end them with the same "eh?" as Canadians do.
Argentines often start their phrases with "che"; the rebel leader Ernesto "Che" Guevara de la Serna gained his nickname because of this habit.
Similarly, in southern Brazil, "tchê" is often used as a way of saying "dude" or "man".
It's also very common, especially in and around the Buenos Aires province, to append a "viteh" to the end of almost any declaratory statement. It's "¿viste?" in heavily accented Buenos Aires Spanish; it means "did you see?", but is used colloquially as the Minnesotan "doncha know?".
When an Argentine stumbles over his words due to talking faster than he thinks, instead of stammering or going "uh" for a moment while the brain catches up, he'll invariably say "este, como es?" which is somewhat difficult to give a real translation to. Formal: "This, how is it?" Dynamic: "How's it go?", "It's like..."
Singaporeans and Malaysians often use "lah" at the end of sentences, to soften the impact of the message. Eg. "Take out the trash," carries more emphasis than "Take out the trash, lah." In Ghanaian and Nigerian English "la" has the opposite effect, so "Take out the trash la" would be roughly equivalent to "Take the trash out already!" Singaporeans and Malaysians beware.
Also, in the drinking game Kings (or Circle of Death), one card allows the person who picked it to make up a rule, the penalty of breaking which is to drink. A very common rule in some places is to add the "In my pants" rule mentioned below, making for interesting conversation.
Not all Minnesotans end every sentence with "doncha know," but yeah, a few of us do, doncha know?
There are some remnants of the stereotyped phrases in Minnesotan speech, as they sometimes have a tendency to end sentences in "y'know?" The other phrase of "Ya sure, you betcha" (Which is only ever used by the elderly) is now two separate phrases used when agreeing with something: "Yeah, sure" and "You bet." The heavy Fargo accent is mostly a myth. The rare person who does have that accent is usually from the far north.
The stereotypical Pittsburgh "Yinzer" is someone who, among other verbal quirks, ends most sentences with "n'at" (short for "and all that"), n'at. The name comes from their use of "yinz", as opposed to "y'all", as a second-person plural — and as with "y'all", it's frequently misused as a singular pronoun.
Another shock, on moving to southwestern Pennsylvania, is the use of the phrase "H'ainnit?" (Meaning "ain't it?") as punctuation.
Italians speaking English tenda to put As where they don't-a-belong. This is because Italian, like Japanese, doesn't have many closed syllables (syllables that begin and end with consonants), so an Italian who learned English as a second language may inadvertently drop unvoiced vowels into words to make it more consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel like Italian if he is not proficient enough.
This is also considered a southern Italian tic. Northern Italians consider the gesticulating and over-the-top pronunciations ("I make-a big-a pizza!) in both Italian and English as things southerners do.
Among Italians, for a skilled listener, it's usually incredibly easy to tell from which region, province, sometimes even city someone hails from: regional accents and dialects are both incredibly numerous (Wikipedia lists about 200 of them) and often quite different from one another. Tuscans use "but huat you doin?" instead of "what are you doing?" ("ma he tu fai?" instead of "cosa stai facendo?") and cut the "doing" and "going" verbs, Romans change "l"s into "r"s, double "rr"s into single "r"s, and are fond of using and abusing "Aoh!" (roughly "Hey!"), while Neapolitan is practically a different language with a different vocabulary, among other things. Piedmontese speakers, especially those from Turin, are often parodied for their stereotypical use of "neh?" (roughly "isn't it?" or an emphatic expression depending on context) at the end of each sentence.
Inner-city dwellers in Britain sometimes end every other sentence with the word "though".
All over the Midlands, the popular tic is "Y'know?" and has evolved to be less of a question and more to ascertain the agreement of two parties.
In the south-East, "like" is used.
Further north, it's "Innit?"
Like, oh my God, how has stereotypical Valley Girl speak not ended up on here, or whatever? They have, like, so many verbal tics, it should be obvious! Like, duh! Sometimes, like, they even talk as if every sentence with a question mark, or whatever? It's like, unbelievable, and stuff?
The equivalent in Mexico and Venezuela, the "Niñas fresas" and "sifrinas" liked to pepper their speech with "O sea" and "¿vez?".
German teenagers (regardless of gender) often use "halt" in a similar manner.
In a similar vein, it is becoming more and more common for American teenagers to add "like" every third or fourth word of a sentence, particularly in place of just pausing to pick a word. Same for teenagers in Australia, as well.
Italian teenagers use "tipo", which is the exact equivalent of "like", or "cioè" ("that is").
King George III of the UK was famous for involuntarily adding "what what" to most things he said. Yes, it was just him. Once, he reportedly added "peacock" to all his sentences.
Dominican people have a habit of adding the phrase "Tu sabe" to any sentence in any place in the sentence, being middle, beginning, or end of the sentence. It's equivalent to people saying "You know what I'm sayin?"
Some Cajuns begin or end sentences with "Mais" (pronounced "meh"), like "well" but more involuntary.
Caroline Kennedy's attempt at being taken seriously was embarrassed by revelations that she used 'y'know' 30 times in a two-minute interview, and over 140 times in another.
Other newspapers used that interview as a case study of how anyone can be made to look stupid by simply transcribing their speech verbatim.
Sometimes the Welsh do this, Boyo! I've lived in Cardiff for years and I'm glad it hasn't rubbed off on me, lovely.
And the Cornish do it dreckley!
Faith and begohra, neouw, are ye be sayin' the Irish don't have that stereotype, me fine young Troper?
Ach, themmuns in Stroke Country have a few of thon wee tics as well, so they do!
According to stereotype, people from Liverpool have a tendency to end their sentences with 'la', as in the typical Scouse greeting 'alright, la'.
Stereotypically, Glaswegians end every sentence with "jim" or "jimmy" (and according to Billy Connolly, the drunker they are the longer it takes for the meandering sentence to reach that point), while Yorkshiremen often end sentences with "tha knows" (informal dialect form of "you know?")
The stereotypical Yorkshire accent also includes the replacement of "the" or "to the" with a weird glottal sound usually written as "t'" as in "Going t'shops".
The same goes for Lancashire. It can be heard in the works of Peter Kay: he talks like that normally, but often exaggerates it for comic effect.
A variation of a sort: in Poland, there are numerous self-deprecating jokes about such usage of the local equivalent of the eff-word.
A clever Bilingual Bonus in thisPenny Arcade strip, as the word in question ("kurwa") does mean "whore" and indeed tends to be one of the first words foreigners pick up, to the chagrin of some Poles and the amusement of others.
Brazilians often tag their phrase starts with "então" and "daí" ("then") and phrase ends with "né?" ("isn't it?")
In the Brazilian equivalent of Tennessee (Minas Gerais), there are several dozen verbal tics, the most (in)famous being adding "uai" to the end of sentences, or not pronouncing soft Ls that follow an A (so "wall" would become "wah"). The younger crowd refer to each other as "vei" (a mispronounced slang term for "velho", meaning old).
People who speak Swedish with a strong Stockholm accent tend to pepper their speech with "dårå" ("then then" but used more as "you see") and "va" ("what"). Then there's Rinkebysvenska (sort of a Swedish dialect spoken primarily by immigrants from the Middle East) where the Arabian word 'jalla' is used in all kinds of random ways, like 'jalla hejdå' (jalla goodbye), 'jalla godnatt' (jalla goodnight). The tendency of some Swedish-speakers to use "asså", "liksom" and "typ" is pretty common as well, as is "ba".
Swedes listen or react to what someone else is saying to them with a very pronounced verbal tic. In place of what for English speakers might be a "mhmm," they do a combination of "jah" and a sharp intake of breath. A lot. Sometimes punctuated with a following (often nasal) "prrre-ciiis" or "absolut."
The ubiquitous "jahå'', "jaja mensan" and "åh".
Australians, along with a tendency to swear incredibly often, quite usually make heavy use of the words "bloody" (the great Australian adjective) and "bastard".
There's also a tendency to start sentences with "Yeah", leading to the beautiful phrase "Yeah nah" (which means no). The length of the "yeah" can give you a hint as to how hard the person is thinking their response through; it's not uncommon to have a drawn out "yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah..... nah" while the person considers.
When angry, girls from New Jersey and NewYork in the US add an A to the end of words. Like "Stopa!" "Knock it offa!"
It's actually fairly common with teenage girls across the US. When girls do it, they often extend the vowel before the "a" in their aggression. So when they say "No!", it sounds more like "Noah!"
Some people from Galicia (an autonomous community in northwestern Spain) add "hom", "ho" or "oh" at the end of some sentences (usually questions or exclamations)
In Russian language: "-s" (as in "spy") added at the end of a sentence or just at the end of any word whatsoever. It's not quite that common nowadays. It still exists. It was much more widespread in the 19th century, though it was already considered something of a quirk in high society. Porfiry Petrovich from Crime and Punishment had this, in particular.
The "-s" ending is called slovoyers and originally was a polite, respectful form of speaking (it is a shortening of sudar "sir" or sudarinya "madam"). The usage of the slovoyers discontinued after the Red October. Now used mostly in irony and sarcasm.
This trope is a sign of respect in the Philippines and familiarity if it's lacking. In the regions where Filipino (the Tagalog-based national language) is mostly used, when you have someone who is new to a place (like a new employee in a room full of veteran workers) the newbie would end their sentences with po. The po is a gender-neutral sign of respect, in the most basic sense used for someone older than you. The sentences would usually translate accurately by adding 'sir/ma'am.' (Order nyo po? = "What's your order, sir/ma'am?" Ewan ko po. = "I don't know, sir/ma'am.") You can tell a person has been at a job or has been doing something for a while if they talk without the po. Hell, it's even appeared in English, as "ma'am/sir" but sometimes appears or spoken like one word, i.e. "ma'am-sir". This can get hilarious, even in teleseryes (equivalent to the Spanish telenovela). For example, the protagonist in the teleserye Be Careful With My Heart has a really bad habit of addressing her boss "Ma'am-sir Chief" even though her boss is a male.
Also, Cebuanos and Ilocanos often pronounce their 'e's (Pronounced 'eh') as 'i's (Pronounced 'ee'). Exaggerated in the media, but sometimes hilarious nonetheless.
There's also the frequent use of kuwa/thing as a pronoun. "It's in the thing".
As Bill Engvall points out, "I tell you what" is a complete sentence in Texas. ("Well, what??" "I just told you!")
The 14th Dalai Lama, when publicly speaking in English, often finishes a long sentence with "like that?" As English is not his first language, he's checking with his interpreter to make sure his grammar is correct.
Alaska governor Sarah Palin, "Also..." in sentence constructions where it makes no sense and "you betcha!".
"Ooh, ooh!" Joe E. Ross even did it in some of his animation roles.
In Afrikaans, many people end their sentences with 'ne'. Coincidentally, it means more or less the same as the Japanese 'ne', as well as being pronounced the same.
As well in Sinhalese (the language of Sri Lanka), 'ne' serves the same function as the Japanese 'ne'.
Or, for that matter, the conversational shortening of the French "n'est-ce pas?", "isn't it so?"
Also the Portuguese 'né?', shortening of 'não é?'(lit "is not"; meaning "isn't it?")
The word is indeed spelled 'né' in written Afrikaans. And Portuguese ancestry is very common among Afrikaners.
Same for the "neh?" used by Italians living in Piedmont
Afrikaans also has "hê?", which is probably derived from French "hein?" via the Huguenots. South African English speakers do the same with "hey?". It's also often combined with "y'know", leading to every sentence ending with "y'know hey?" (as well as "y'know hey" being a complete sentence in itself).
South African English also uses "no" as a catch-all interjection, which sometimes becomes confusing to those unfamiliar with it. "No, I agree", "No, that's right", "Ja, no" (from Afrikaans "ja-nee"), all of these sentences and more can form without expressing any disagreement or reservedness. (And not even necessarily in answer to a "I'm probably wrong, but..." or an open-ended question.)
Another verbal tic that's catching-on amongst South African English speakers at the moment is the British expression "innit?" - which means exactly the same as "ne" in Afrikaans.
Zimbabweans seem to do the same with "isn't it?" Not quite "innit"... more like "iznit" or "izzenit".
John Caparulo tends to end his sentences as if he had a verbal tic, all right?
Yah der hey, dose folks from 'Scansin have way too many ta list here, you betcha!
U.S. Senator and 2008 presidential candidate John McCain often addresses crowds as "my friends".
The swear word putain is something very common in some French dialects. That must do them wonders during diplomacy with the Russians.
In the south of France it's known as the "virgule toulousaine/marseillaise" (the Toulouse / Marseille comma), given how often it shows up.
Lesson #1 in How to Sound like Tina Fey: Replace the words "man" and "woman" with "gentleman" and "lady", but make no effort to sound formal. Also try to fit the word "this" in before them, resulting in comments like "so this lady was crazy."
Fairly common amongst most white middle-class New Yorkers, along with several other quirks. "I was waiting on line when this lady cut in front of me" would replace "I was waiting in line when a woman cut in front of me."
People in Baltimore tend to refer to other people as "hon".
People adding an upward tilt? at the end of their sentences? that makes it sound like a question? No matter what they're saying?
People from Cork in Ireland, have a tendency to add "like", "boy" and "girl" into their sentences, among other things. D'you know what I mean, like? Serious boy, I'm telling ya. "Boy" is pronounced "b-eye".
Certain parts of Scotland do the same thing but with 'lad' and 'lass' instead of 'boy' and 'girl'.
Whitney Houston popularized the phrase "Hell to the no!", being used instead of the plain "Hell no!"
Upper Midwesterners of Scandinavian roots have an interesting little interjection, uff da!, which expresses a standard response to any form of excessive sensory or emotional input.
Some Californians, particularly those in the San Francisco Bay Area or Central Valley (or if they're filming a Coen Brothers movie), use "dude" as both an expression of joy/anger/exasperation/WTF and an informal address between friends. There is heavy reliance on intonation for the exact meaning, and that makes it insanely hard to explain in text, dude. It's interchangeable with "man" for the most part, although the former is between peers while the latter is mostly used when talking with/to an older person.
Additionally, the word "Hella" is used even more frequently as a replacement for 'really' or 'very' and is often used in conjunction with "Dude" ie; "Dude, that looked hella dope" The longer the last syllable is drug out, the more disproportionate the disbelief becomes.
The word "Damn" is often pronounced "Day-uhm" This, in of itself has multiple enunciations, ranging from 'barely noticeable tic' to 'wannabe gangsta' if the word develops a second syllable.
People in eastern Pennsylvania whose families identify themselves as Pennsylvania Dutch have some interesting tics. They're not Dutch, but German, and some of their sentences are exact translations from the original German. Thus you will hear things like "Throw the cow over the fence some hay" and "The coffee's all" (meaning 'all gone'). The regional Amish have very similar tics.
While over in Cincinnati, also German settled, "Please?" replaces "huh?" or "what?".
Some Spanish speakers begin every statement with "Sabes Que?" Which means "You know what?" George Lopez pokes fun at this A LOT.
Eeh, Spain, vale? The Spanish have a few of these, no?
Keith Olbermann would sometimes be given to wondering aloud "HOW DARE YOU, SIR?"
Danny Wallace, in his autobiographical book Yes Man, talks about going to a party at which he met a man who ended every sentence with "do you know what I mean?"
Now, the most important part, ah... of doing a Jeff Goldblum impersonation is to, accelerate and ACCENT your speech, ah, in um, places where it would. Not benaturaltoaccent, or pause.
In Germany the stereotype for Swiss people consists of them being slow and ending every sentence with the words "oder?", making every statement a question. Truth in Television to a certain extent.
The Oslo dialect was notorious for the word "gitt" at the end of any question you could think of. Even worse when the word showed up in other sentences as well. For the record, "gitt" has the same meaning as "dude".
Australians use "Mate" in very much the same way as "Dude" or "Man", but it's usually in reference to a friend. Similarly, New Zealanders say "Bro", even to females.
In urban Philadelphia, the term "jawn" is used as a substitute for any noun with black residents. "Can I get that jawn over there?" "I'll have a large jawn, thanks." "You gonna take the jawn to Center City?" Even natives need clarification sometimes on what exactly the jawn being referred to is.
Among southern blacks "junt" is used in a similar role.
Urban black Americans may frequently end sentences with "yo", "a'ight" or "na'mean?"
The word "Nigga" is also used a lot, either to address someone or in a more general sense.
In Greece many people use "ξέρω 'γω" which translates into "do I know?" and is apparently related to the English "y'know". There is also the word "μαλάκα" which translates to "wanker" but is used to same way as "dude" or "man". Usually males use this when they to talk to each other, but it's so popular that even girls use it.
People from Brooklyn often call everybody "son", for example "I can't believe you would say that, son".
Guyanese often say "na man" when they are asking someone something repeatedly. "Get de ting deh, na man." (get the thing there).
In Chile, "sí po" and "no po" are more common than just a plain old "sí" or "no". "Po" doesn't really mean much of anything, but it's a shortened form of the more widespread Spanish word "pues", which also generally doesn't mean much of anything. In Santiago, there's a weekly party for study-abroad types and other similar foreigners which is called "Miércoles Po" ("miércoles" = "Wednesday") as a sort of play on this.note No points for guessing which day it's on.
Czechs, particularly men, and particularly if they're from Bohemia, tend to use the word "vole" or "ty vole" the same way some Americans use "dude" — to address someone informally, to express some kind of emotion, to fill spaces between words, etc. This expression takes a little explaining, because it's the vocative form of the word "vůl" — which means "ox", so it's saying to someone "Hey, you ox". Originally this was an insult, but it's evolved.
It can be heard in many different areas, but there's a tendency for some to pronounce "sorry" as "sorey."
In Austria, some people are prone to adding "ur" in front of adjectives, which translates to "really", meaning very. For example, ur alt = really/very old.
Some not-very-cultured Russians tend to use the word "бля" (blya, short for whore) as an interjection, like in "Я, бля, ну конкретно бля, этому бля, мудаку всю рожу бля разъебал нахуй бля." It sometimes reaches truly ridiculous levels, like in gopniks (Russian street thugs) who can't utter a sentence without saying it at least thrice.
Some people on the Internet have a habit of doing this lol.
John Carmack has a unique speech habit: He adds a "hmmm" to every sentence, at least when he was younger. This is mentioned in the book "Masters of Doom", telling the story of id Software and how they became one of the biggest names in the games industry.
Michael Fassbender has the tendency to say "sort of" and "you know" a lot during interviews. It's sort of hilarious.
This can be heard in the Upper Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in particular), where the Scandanavian influence brings out the occasional "Ya, you betcha". Canadian "Eh?" is also present there.
Formal Japanese will have "desu" at the ending of every strict sentence and "masu" at the ending of every verb.
Russian hard rock performer Sergei "Spider" Troitsky is famous in Russia for many of his verbal tics, especially for beginning most of his sentences with "в общем-то" ("in general") and ending them with "например" ("for example").
In Bulgaria it is somewhat common for people to start a sentence with "значи" (znachi), which originally means "meaning" or "means", but in this case it plays the role of "so". As in "So you're going to...", "So I told him to...", etc. This has been used to the point of some teachers calling it a "weed word" and trying to teach students to stop using it. In some parts of the country the particle "де"/"de" is also often used at the end of a statement, usually implying annoyance: "stiga de" - "enough de", "ostavi me de" - "leave me alone de", etc.
Another example is the use of slang words in some regions (mainly by the teenagers). In Sofia it is (or was) common for teenagers to put the word "копеле"/"kopele" (meaning "bastard") somewhere in the sentence, when talking to someone, usually friends. In Plovdiv it is still very common for them to end almost every sentence with "майна"/"maina", which has no actual meaning, but probably derives from an old dialect word for "mother" and can also be used as a curse word.
NPR's Radiolab show aired a segment pointing out fellow host Terry Gross' tendency to start sentences with the word "so".
Some Arabs tend to add "eh" at the end of the sentences (it's not pronounced the same way as the Canadian "Eh").It more or less means "huh!" (exclamation mark included) and is usually used when frustrated ex. What's up with this article, huh?!
Mathias 'Warlord' Nygard, the lead singer of Finnish viking metal band Turisas, makes liberal use of 'just', 'sort of', and 'just, sort of' when doing interviews in English. This could be explained by the fact that English is almost definitely not his first language, and he's simply filling in gaps in his speech (that's not to say that his English isn't very good, of course).
Juelz Santana of Dipset fame would frequently end his sentences with "you dig?".
Many Polish noblemen of old had memorable verbal tics; for example, Karol Radziwiłł had "Panie kochanku" (translates roughly to "Beloved Sir"), while Stanisław Potocki was sometimes called Rewera for his habit of constantly saying "re vera" (Latin for "in fact").