Sunday, April 22, 2007


I come from a long line of intentional mispronouncers. A favorite catchphrase of my dad's is "Hope to sh*t in your mess kit!" spoken in the same context and tone of voice as "Have a nice day." I still have no idea what the hell it means.

My dad is also big with the spoonerisms, and permanently scarred my older brother by having him learn the phrase "Chi Chi Boo Boo" when waving goodbye to a train. Needless to say, I did not fare much better than my brother.

So, I am now stuck with a habit of intentionally mispronouncing words in casual conversation.

I couldn't find any word to describe this concept, so I'm making one up. A stiglet -- an intentionally mispronounced word.

There's really only one stiglet that I can use quite a bit, and believe me, I use it quite a bit. Click on the word to hear how it sounds coming out of my piehole.


The rest I use when I can, but they don't come up that often.

pneumonia (you see where this is going don't you?)

On very rare occasions, I'll hear a word mispronounced and adopt it as my own. Here's a favorite of mine:



Dale said...

I'm glad I'm in good company. A friend of mine is a big supporter of pronouncing words as they're spelled.

lulu said...

The people in my family pronounce thw white stuff that comes out of cows as "melk". We all do. It's weird.

Mob said...

My mother always said 'coner', rather than 'corner', somehow losing the 'r'.

She almost hit me once when I corrected her for the umpteenth time, which made me laugh, because it was so out of character for her.

I too have adopted saxomophone, so I have no idea what horrid language my children will end up speaking once I'm done with a steady diet of mis-information.

Splotchy said...

lulu, melk is definitely a nice word that rolls off the tongue.

mob, it's your responsibility to make a unique impression on your kids, and if it means bastardizing their vocabulary, so be it. My mother says "tur" instead of "tour" -- she is not the big mispronouncer my dad is -- and it's a treat whenever she says this word when I'm talking to her.

Joe said...

You know, I was going to ax you about that habit of yours.

My dad always pronounced bratwurst as "brockwurst."

I've fallen into the habit of deliberately saying "liberry" instead of library, and "mulk" instead of milk.

Splotchy said...

bubs, I'm sure MizBubs especially appreciates your use of "liberry".

Splotchy said...

dale, are there any words besides the silent "p" your friend regularly misuses?

I'm also curious how he/she pronounces "colonel".

Dale said...

She'd no doubt say call-oh-nell. A few years back when Toronto amalgamated some boroughs, it was popular in the news to call this new place The MegaCity. She immediately began pronouncing it mah-gassity.

My sister can't seem to properly say the word onion. She always says ungyun. I tell her repeatedly that the 'g' is silent.

Splotchy said...

My 4 year old son distinctly pronounces on-yon, and I'm always trying to work it around so he says it. It really pops out at me when he says it, but the way your sister pronounces it is even more jarring.

He also used the word "blunk" to describe a large amount of things (I think it was initially a misspeak of "bunch"). I have adopted this word, but it annoys him greatly, so I can't really use it around the house. Someday he'll hopefully realize how cool a word it was he created.

Unknown said...

I got a couple for you...I'm from Mississippi.
Here are some awesome ones to add to your repetoire.
Purnch-punch, as in fruit "purnch"
Lurnch-lunch, as in I'm going out for "lurnch" may I bring something back for you perhaps?
Have fun...