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Alright, enough is enough!

I’ve got to get something off my chest that’s really been testing my patience for the last thirty or forty years, and that’s the way otherwise intelligent, astute human beings pronounce that word, “Missouri”.

Before we can progress with this invaluable lesson, we should determine whether you are, like myself, a careful practitioner of proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling, or if you are, shall we say, part of the problem.

If the latter is the case, we need to think up something to do with you.

I’m not going to waste time giving you the dictionary pronunciation of Missouri, because that’s only one man’s opinion, and besides, most of the dictionaries I’ve encountered have let themselves become so sullied by modern slang and the sloppy speech patterns adapted over the last couple of centuries that they can’t even agree with themselves on the simple, correct notion that Missouri is pronounced mi-zoor-ee, rather than the coarse, improper, and wholly wrong-headed pronunciation, mi-zoor-uh as practiced by unschooled aborigines and some of the higher primates.

If you are among this unfortunate group of mispronounciers, one of these Missouruh-sayers, I would ask you to listen to reason.

Is there any other word in the English language ending in “i” in which that simple, straightforward vowel is pronounced, “uh”?

Uh… I don’t THINK so!

Do you ever hear anyone say, “Let’s jump in my Ferraruh and drive down to Napoluh for some linquinuh?”

Huh, didja?

Okay, “Not in my neighborhood”, you’re thinking, but do any of your friends ever say, “Let’s take my Auduh down to Mississippuh for some macaronuh?”

Of course not.

Or did you ever hear anyone say, “My girlfriend wore her bikinuh in Tahituh?” or  “Do you really like my minuhskirt all that much, or are you just one of those papparazzuh?”

That’s because in the entire history of the Romantic Languages, an “i” on the end of a word is always pronounced “ee” and only MISpronounced “uh”.

If you have trouble remembering, you might try memorizing this little jingle I made up.

“‘Uh’ is just wrong… So there.”

As my final argument in this matter, let me point out to you that Oklahomans pronounce the name of the little burg near their eastern border “Miamuh”.

I guess if you’re from “Biminuh” or “Fujuh” or “Nagasakuh” you might be forgiven for not realizing it, but if Oklahomans pronounce a word a certain way, then other Midwesterners instantly recognize that this is in all likelihood, not the correct pronunciation.

So Oklahoman speech is the exception that proves the rule.

Okay, I guess feel better now.


  1. Oh my gosh. This is the best argument about the pronunciation of Missouri that I’ve ever heard. I grew up in Texas and live in Missouri now and its just annoying!

  2. I lived in Southwest Mi-zoor-ee. You apparently have never heard of Miami, Oklahoma 🙂

    The pronounciation of Miami was a key way to figure out if you were talking to a local.

    1. Hi Diane. Thanks for your comment.

      Perhaps you skipped a section; Neil addresses Miami, OK, beginning here:

      “As my final argument in this matter, let me point out to you that Oklahomans pronounce the name of the little burg near their eastern border ‘Miamuh’.“

      Thanks again for reading. Take care.

      1. I guess I did miss it since the name of the city was only spelled phonetically rather than by its proper name of Miami.

        Thank you for pointing out that slip!

  3. Your pronunciation is correct. However, it’s not aborigine people that get it wrong. It’s uneducated WHITE people. Believe me, I know a few out here in Yuma, AZ. The funny thing is that I have heard one person pronounce it both ways five minutes apart. WTF?!

    1. Hmmm… “uneducated”. Guess that 4 my years for collage was voided out. Have you ever heard of a regional dialect? The person you quoted changed the the way they say Missouri is probably because of being harshly judged by people like you. Gads! Trolls are so much NOT fun…

  4. Well tossing in another thought – shouldn’t we be pronouncing Arkansas as “Arkansaw”? Kansas doesn’t seem to give anyone any trouble. My parents grew up in St. Louis in the late 50’s early 60’s. Both graduated from Mizzou-Rolla. Father – Masters in Electrical Engineering and mother -Applied Mathematics and pronounced it Missour-ah and so did their college friends- so that kind of debunks the uneducated path. It’s never bothered us one way or another and I think endearing, a bit like the different dialects from other states (think Massachusetts, Georgia, Pittsburg).

    1. Dare I say this? Perhaps it’s a redneck thing? I have known some very intelligent and well educated rednecks in my lifetime. One, in particular, worked for NASA and was involved with the Viking mission. I won’t mention any names. So, my above statement is not 100% correct.

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