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Words people mispronounce that drive you nuts...

chefa

Advanced Member
Jul 21, 2009
648
30
How about "pacific" for "specific", "battry" for "battery", "alkehall" for "alcohol"?
 

mmilus

Member
Gold Member
Jan 15, 2011
107
1
One of my biggies is "eeeee-legal" - no, it's il-legal to do that. I hear that one on NPR on a regular basis and it makes me want to drop kick the radio!
 

wadesgirl

Legend Member
Gold Member
Jul 25, 2007
11,412
31
It really, really burns me when people pronounce the "s" in Illinois. There's no "noise" in "Illinois."

The state capitol of Iowa is Des Moines - same thing, the "s" is silent. It's pronounced how it looks without the "s". But we always here Dez Moinez, Dez Moineeezzzzzz and other very bad ones! My mom who knew how it was pronounced always threw the last "s" on.
 

lt1jane

Veteran Member
Gold Member
Sep 9, 2010
1,343
60
a girl at work yesterday was complaining about how someone mis-pronounced something. She wanted them to "pronunciate." My boss informed her that is not a word. You "prounounce" or "Enunciate" you cannot "pronunciate."
 

darlinclem

Advanced Member
Gold Member
Aug 13, 2007
563
3
I have family members who say sody for soda, alheimer for Alzheimer, and my biggest pet peeve affergan for afghan. I just want to SLAP!
 

The_Kitchen_Guy

Legend Member
Silver Member
Nov 4, 2005
12,459
79
The state capitol of Iowa is Des Moines - same thing, the "s" is silent. It's pronounced how it looks without the "s". But we always here Dez Moinez, Dez Moineeezzzzzz and other very bad ones! My mom who knew how it was pronounced always threw the last "s" on.

One of the 'burbs northwest of Chicago is Des Plaines. Yup, pronounced "Dess Planes." It must be confusing for someone new to the area (especially if English is their second language) to try to figure out why the "S" is spoken in Des and in Plaines, but not in Illinois.

So many wonderful French names have been Anglicized with all of the silent letters pronounced and I cringe at things like Nick-oh-let and even Jo-lee-yet instead of the proper Nic-oh-lay and Jo-lee-yay.

I especially cringe when someone talks about the Mack-i-nack bridge. That's worse than fingernails on a blackboard for me.
 

pampered1224

Legacy Member
Silver Member
Apr 13, 2004
3,784
40
"Tracy Speaken" Why the heck is it always so hard to pronounce the "ing" sound? I could maybe get by on "Speakin", (as in Speak in what?). But Speaken? Not even close! I listened to that for two years and every time this lady grabbed the phone I would cringe knowing full well it was coming!
 

pchockeymom

Veteran Member
Jan 1, 2011
1,522
27
One of my sisters is married with the last name of "Diaz". A VERY common hispanic last name. She says she always knows when someone who doesn't know her calls because they mispronounce it ("DIE-AZE", "DAYS", "DEEZ", etc.). So her solution, "I'm sorry, no one by that pronunciation lives here!" Love it:D
 

lt1jane

Veteran Member
Gold Member
Sep 9, 2010
1,343
60
My last name is Suprise and most people pronounce it like a surprise party. If they spell it right, it's because they spell suRprise wrong. My husband prounounces it "SUE prize." The correct French pronounciation is "Sue PREE zee." That may be correct, but I will not be the person to change it. The whole family uses "SUE prize" and that is what I use.

I have a cousin whose wife found out the "correct" prounounciation of their last name. [Ragatz, commonly prounounced "RAG atz", the correct French (again) is "rah GOTZ"] At the wedding, "rah GOTZ" was being used. My mom was confused because in 30 years of marriage, her sister and brother-in-law never said their name that way. I refuse to be "that" kind of in-law.
 

chefheidi2003

Senior Member
Gold Member
Aug 18, 2007
2,943
2
One of my sisters is married with the last name of "Diaz". A VERY common hispanic last name. She says she always knows when someone who doesn't know her calls because they mispronounce it ("DIE-AZE", "DAYS", "DEEZ", etc.). So her solution, "I'm sorry, no one by that pronunciation lives here!" Love it:D

HAHA..my maiden name is Kreitzer..pronounced Cry-T-Sir..so many people like to pronounce it like a close name Kreiser..or Kreider..which is understandable but still not right..I always loved when people would call and ask for Mr or Mrs Crysler..really..you think we own a car company..haha..I wish..LOL. Or Kreetser..we always just said I am sorry you have the wrong number. Only once did I correct the person and give them the time of day..that was because you could tell that they were trying to say it right.
 

pampered1224

Legacy Member
Silver Member
Apr 13, 2004
3,784
40
Well if we are going there - watschke. The "Americanized" version is "watch - key". Makes sense I guess when you consider that the pronunciation was change on Ellis Island when my great grand father arrived here escaping Germany under the Hitler regimen. But about 4 years ago, I found out the correct pronunciation is "washk". The "a" sounds like "AHHH". "schke" has a "shk" sound. No long "e" at the end and the "t", "c" and "e" are actually silent. There is a bit of a discrepancy about the "e" as silent or "a" - short "a" but most times it is silent. I wonder if Ray Nitschke has this problem! "Mr. "Nishk" sounds weird! I found this out from a man at a tire place named Bob Matschke. Who uses "MASHK". I had a boss whose last name was Kuester. Pronounced "kester" by his family,(mostly for protection sake I am sure!). NOT! "KEESTER"! Like in what you sit on! And he was too!
 
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Sheila

Legend Member
Gold Member
Mar 26, 2008
5,375
75
My stepmother still answers the phone, "Yellow."...

My Dad (now deceased) used to answer the phone "Halo statue" (Hello, is that you) - joking of course, he liked to see how many people could figure out what he was saying. On the rare occasion that someone would say it to him, he'd reply "at's me statue"
 

The_Kitchen_Guy

Legend Member
Silver Member
Nov 4, 2005
12,459
79
"Statue?" "Ya, dat's me, statue?" sounds like some of the things we used to hear around here (Milwaukee) when I was growing up. Milwaukee was settled into three distinct communities, Germans on the north side, Italians on the east side and Polish "down by" the south side.

We all had idioms that were a conglomeration of all three languages, but especially the Polish and German influence.

"Ain'a?" which was a contraction of a contraction of a word that isn't even a word: ain't. "Ain'a" was a contraction of "ain't it so?" which punctuated the end of a sentence, much like the Germans say, "Nicht war?" or the Canadians say, "Eh?" or the French saying, "Nes pa?" Example: "It sure was a nice day today, ain'a?"

"Hey!" which was another punctuation at the end of a sentence. "It sure was a nice day today, hey?" It was often shortened to just "eh" sort of like our friend to the north, eh?

German tends to put the object of a sentence at the end, so when our German ancestors came to Milwaukee and learned English from neighbors and friends, they tended to use German sentence construction instead of a more formal English construction. That's how we ended up with such gems as "Throw Mama from the train a kiss."

In German, the word "bei" which is pronounced like the English word "by" means to go to a specific place. In English, of course, the word "by" means to pass without stopping. It caused great confusion for many who would have said in German, "Ich gehe bei Manfred's hause" which in English would be, "I am going to Walter's house." (Excuse my poor translation - it's been decades since I studied Deutsch.) So, it became "I'm going by Walter's house," which had others scratching their heads.

"Going to" someplace became "Down by" as in, "I'm going down by Schuster's" (a popular department store.) Schuster's had several locations, but one of the most popular was on North 3rd Street (now Martin Luther King Avenue) and there was a streetcar route that made a turn there. So, to make it clear which location was being visited, the complete sentence was "I'm going down by Schuster's where the streetcar bends the corner 'round."

Monday was always warsh day, and on days with iffy weather, women would call good old Gordon Hinkley on WTMJ radio's Ask Your Neighbor ( a call-in advice show) and ask, "Are the neighbors hanging out today?"

The one that always threw me for a loop was the phrase, "Do you walk to work or do you carry your lunch?" It took me years to learn that phrase originated "down by the sout' side" where a heavily Polish workforce toiled in the huge factories, drop-forges, machine shops and steel fabrication shops and lived in the same neighborhoods. If a worker happened to live within a short walking distance of his shop, he might walk home at noon to eat a lunch his wife prepared for him. But, if a guy wasn't that close to the shop, he would have to "…carry his lunch."

But my favorite Milwaukee-eeze idiom is "bubbler." Everywhere else in the world, this device is known as a water fountain or something similar, but in Milwaukee, it's a "bubbler." The origin of the name goes back to Kohler, the famous plumbing manufacturer in Kohler, Wisconsin, maker of water fountains that were widely used here. Kohler had a special outdoor version that used to populate Milwaukee area parks. In the center of a small bowl was a chrome ball that resembles a trailer hitch ball. It had a small hole at the top of the ball, and when you wanted a drink, you would open a valve and water would shoot up out of the hole. The water would cascade back on to the ball, flow over it and down a drain hidden underneath the ball.

The trademarked brand name was "Bubbler" and the name was cast right into the bowl. Hence: Bubbler.

8d149a8b.jpg


There were indoor versions of it, too, in schools and other public buildings.

c3d5fdcf.jpg

Where's the Bubbler?
 

dollfangs

Member
Silver Member
Oct 20, 2005
327
0
a girl at work yesterday was complaining about how someone mis-pronounced something. She wanted them to "pronunciate." My boss informed her that is not a word. You "prounounce" or "Enunciate" you cannot "pronunciate."

actually your boss is wrong. pronunciate is a word. it is a verb and means to declare or pronounce.
 
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