Pronounce These 12 Words and We’ll Tell You Where You’re From
Our world has gone global, but some words continue to be pronounced oh-so-locally.
Drawer (as in a “chest of drawers”)
When referring to a place where you keep your socks (as opposed to the word that refers to someone who “draws” like, with a crayon), most Americans pronounce it as a single syllable that ends in the “r” sound, like “droar.” But if you pronounce it like “draw” (rhymes with “straw”), there’s a really good chance you’re from the metropolitan New York area (such as Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island, or regions of northern New Jersey). Brush up on the true meanings behind these 70 commonly misused words and phrases.
Most Americans pronounce this word that refers to a place to sleep as kaht (with the long, drawn-out “ah” sound). But if you pronounce it to rhyme with “caught” (rhymes with “taught” and “taut”), then you’re likely from the Boston area. The same goes for other “-ot” words, like lot, rot, clot, tot, hot, and not.
Mary, marry, merry
Say this sentence aloud: “Everyone’s merry that Mary’s set to marry.”
Did all three of the “m” words sound the same (specifically, did they rhyme with “hairy”)? Probably, because that’s how the majority of Americans pronounce these words. If not, then you’re probably from the Northeast or New Orleans, where the words are pronounced differently:
- Merry: MEH-ree
- Mary: MAIR-ee (with a slightly shorter “a” sound)
- Marry: MA-ree (with the “a” sounding like “cat”)
Folks from Oregon pronounce their home state like the last syllable sounds like “guhn” and will correct you if you pronounce it like the last syllable like “gone.”
New Orleans natives pronounce it NOR-leens. So if you pronounce it “New or-LEENS,” there’s a good chance you’re a visitor. Learn about the 17 common foods you’re probably pronouncing wrong (no matter where you live).
Ever heard anyone say, “I’m from Joisey”?
Didn’t think so. That’s because virtually anyone from New Jersey would never pronounce it “Joisey,” and most don’t drop the “New.” So if you’re saying it that way, you’re probably from somewhere outside the Garden State.
In more than 75 percent of the United States, the word for your parent’s sister is pronounced exactly the same as the word for that tiny little bug that you don’t want ruining your picnic. If you pronounce it “awnt,” then it’s most likely you’re from the East Coast, where people who use that pronunciation are most heavily concentrated. One thing we can agree on: These are the hardest-to-pronounce town names in every state.
Most Americans pronounce this word for a small, babbling body of water as crEEk, so that it rhymes with “meek.” And if you’re from California, there’s more than a 95 percent chance you do. But if you’re from the Midwest, there’s a strong chance you pronounce it so that it rhymes with “flick.”
Most Americans pronounce the “h” in “huge.” Those who treat the “h” a silent and say “yuge” tend to come from the New York area. The same goes for “humor,” “humongous,” and “human.” You won’t want to miss these regional names for foods you eat all the time.
Nearly 65 percent of Americans pronounce the word “been” as if it were spelled “bin”. If you pronounce it like the name “Ben,” then it’s most likely you’re from someplace in the North Central United States. Now tell us the words you’d use for these things, and we’ll guess where you grew up.