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7 of the funniest regional pronunciations of words in the U.S.

By / 10.07.13
funniest regional pronounciations list

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-121510930/stock-photo-image-of-young-african-man-expressing-uncertainty-over-grey-background.html" target="_blank">Confused man image</a> by Shutterstock

It’s amazing to think how large and varied the United States is. Sure, we’re not larger than Mother Russia, and we don’t have more people than India, but goddamn are we all over the place with some of our everyday things. For example, the terms we use and pronunciations we have. We’re so different and yet the same, so join us as we celebrate American English by making fun of our silly accents and pronunciations.

7 Car-mel vs. Car-a-mel


<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-156743696/stock-photo-caramel-cube.html" target="_blank">Caramel image</a> by Shutterstock

Most of the East Coast and some of the South understand that such a lusciously sweet thing as caramel needs to have three full syllables to properly show their love for it, while the Midwest and West Coast just call it car-mel, like Mount Carmel.

6 Cray-ahn vs. Cray-awn vs. Cran vs. Crown


<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-156612809/stock-photo-crayons-in-a-tansparent-jar-with-soft-background.html" target="_blank">Crayons image</a> by Shutterstock

Most of the East Coast and some of the Midwest say “cray-ahn,” while the majority of the Midwest and West Coast say “Cray-awn.” Still, yes, some people actually pronounce crayon as “crown.” But this is coming from probably the only guy in New York State who pronounces crayon as “Cran,” so I can’t really judge.

5 May-uh-naze vs. Mahn-aze


<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-156778868/stock-photo-mayonnaise-in-bowl-on-white-table-selective-focus.html" target="_blank">Mayonnaise image</a> by Shutterstock

Most of the South says the one that sounds kind of like “man-maze” and the rest of us pronounce the entire word.

4 Ant vs. Ahnt vs. Awnt


<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-130839767/stock-photo-happy-mother-and-daughter-smiling-at-the-beach.html" target="_blank">Aunt image</a> by Shutterstock

Although most of the USA can agree that your aunt is no different than an ant when you speak about her, it seems so wrong, and yet feels so right. Most of New England says “Ahnt,” while parts of North and South Dakota, Minnesota and Virginia say “Awnt.”

3 Puh-JAH-mas vs. Pa-JAM-as


<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-128022437/stock-photo-studio-portrait-of-young-woman-with-brown-hair-in-blue-pajamas-holding-red-coffee-cup.html" target="_blank">Pajamas image</a> by Shutterstock

This is a pretty amusing one as the country is very divided over it. The “jam” pronunciation happens in most of the West Coast, all of the Midwest and most of New York State, while the “jah” pronunciation is Southern New York State (including NYC), all of the South and most of New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts), BUT NOT VERMONT. Go figure.

2 Pee-CAN vs. Pih-KAHN vs. PEE-kahn vs. Pee-KAHN


<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-156415247/stock-photo-pecan-nuts-with-leaves-isolated-on-a-white-background.html" target="_blank">Pecans image</a> by Shutterstock

Coastal North Carolina and Virginia, along with just about all of New York, Northern New Jersey and every other state up to Maine considers this fine nut the PEE-can. Parts of Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma refer to it as the “Pih-KAHN.” Parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and South Dakota call it the PEE-kahn (for some reason) and almost the entire rest of the 50 continental United States refer to it as pee-KAHN pie, so I guess that must be the “right” one.

1 Sear-up vs. Sir-up


<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-154036031/stock-photo-a-stack-of-pumpkin-pancakes-copy-space-for-your-text.html" target="_blank">Syrup image</a> by Shutterstock

Almost everyone can agree that “sear-up” is hilarious as well as not right. Almost everyone except for parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Southern New York State including NYC and Long Island, to be exact. I don’t care what you call it as long as it has Aunt Jemima’s kindly face on it.

TAGSArbitrary Rankingscultural pronunciationsfeaturedfunny pronunciationshow do you say aunthow do you say caramelhow do you say crayonhow do you say Mayonnaisehow do you say pajamashow do you say pecanhow do you say syrupListsmispronunciationsmispronunciations in americamispronunounced wordspronunciationspronunciations across americapronunciations around the USpronunciations by regionpronunciations of wordsweird pronunciations
Jason Epstein
About Jason Epstein... Jason Epstein is a nationally published freelance writer living in the greater NYC area. He's known for his close friends/good conversations/playing bass/wind in the face/rocking out/reading up/holding it down/good times/turning on dimes/and sometimes trying to rhyme(s). He can be reached at his website and you can follow him on Twitter here.

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