Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Missouree or Missouruh?

You learn something new everyday on the Internet, that is if you are OPEN to learning something new! The older I get the more set in my ways, some things I find almost impossible to change, like my accent. I'm hillbilly through and through, you know it the minute I open my Missouri mouth! I say that with pride, being a hillbilly is not an insult to me. I take great pride in the fact that my ancestors helped carve out a living in the hills of southwest Missouri.... or Missouruh. It's a colloquialism, a regional thing, the way we pronounce the state. A poll was actually done in the Springfield News and Leader, my hometown paper, and 60% of those voting said Missouree, the remaining 40% insist it's Missouruh. I say it both ways and it can be confusing for those around me. If I'm talking about history of facts I call it Missouree, yet it comes out Southwest Missouruh State or ask me where I'm from and I'll tell you Missouruh!

The state is actually named for the Missouri River, named after the Sioux Indians. They were called the ouemessourita, meaning "those who have dugout canoes", by the Illini tribe who were the first natives encountered by Europeans in this region. Dialect is an interesting subject, no matter where you live there are odd pronunciations that defy logic. It tags us, links us to our ancestors and our regions.
Even Gov. Nixon says Missouruh so I'm in good company!

You like potato and I like potahto, You like tomato and I like tomahto
Potato, potahto, Tomato, tomahto, Let's call the whole thing off!


  1. i love dialects and oddities from around our great land - not even counting those from overseas. :)

  2. Hmm, thought the ee sound was a "Northern thing" and the uh sound was a "Southern thing" :-)

  3. I have been there a few times and just love it! Great people there. :D

  4. I find myself embracing (read "clinging to") my Southerness way more now than I did when I was younger. Oh, tt was always pee-can and not peCahn, But now the phrases and the accent are comforting, somehow. Like I'm hanging out with old friends.

    I say Missouree, too. But oddly enough, my grandfather, who never visited there, said Missourh!

  5. I say Missouree. My husband says we are from Illinoise. No one else says it like that in either of our families. He has a real southern drawl. No one knows why. I love it though.

  6. Joycee
    I had 2 babies born in northern Missouree and graduated there. Not in that order, of course!!
    We moved to Michigan in 1988.
    But whenever I visited my sister in Blueye they would say Missouruh!

  7. Silly Joy didn't mention her discussion on Facebook regarding the subject. You can find it here: There's over 90 comments.

  8. I missed this one.

    I am proud to be a hillbilly too! Each region of the country has its little accents and quirks and that is what makes us who we are. Even our foods define us. I love it.

    I mostly say Missouruh, but I call it the Missouree river??


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