General Question

robmandu's avatar

How do you pronounce the word "caramel"?

Asked by robmandu (21242points) February 13th, 2008

A recent topic got me to thinking about this.

Apparently, there are two acceptable pronunciations.

I tend to use CARE-A-MEL for the sticky treat… and CAR-MUL for the action of cooking sugars. Dunno why.

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31 Answers

gooch's avatar

I always use the care-a-mel pronounciation. Many words are like that having different ways to say them. Either with the E sound or with the I sound? I use the E sound.

ishotthesheriff's avatar

i get really annoyed when someone pronounces it car-mul, for some reason

El_Cadejo's avatar

CAR-MUL its a very rare occasion that I will hear someone pronounce it care-a-mel and it always bothers me. This like many words seems to depend on where your from for how you say it. Kind of like the whole soda and pop thing.

ishotthesheriff's avatar

but it’s carAmel! people should pronounce it like that. [;

syz's avatar

Care-a-mel , but I car-me-lize sugar.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@ishotthesheriff just because something is spelled a certain way doesn’t mean thats how it is pronounced. Say oh subtle for instance.

Les's avatar

@ishotthesheriff: It is also wedNesday, but we don’t say that! (And most people don’t say febRuary, either.) Just saying, is all.

ishotthesheriff's avatar

i pronounce the N when i say wednesday… i don’t say wedsday. how else to you pronounce subtle other than. . . sub-tle.. no one says .. soob tley lol

just saying, too.

Les's avatar

I don’t pronounce the “b” in subtle. If you did, why would there be that old saying ”..putting the ‘b’ in subtle.”? But, I suppose, to each his own.

Poser's avatar

I’ve always pronounced it car-mul. My girlfriend always gets on to me, saying I pronounce it wrong. I’ll have to ask her how she pronounces Wednesday, subtle and February next time she mentions it.

Spargett's avatar

English is a highly flawed language.

simone54's avatar

There is no such thing as a silent A in the middle of a word.

ezraglenn's avatar

caramel [NOT CARMEL] , wednesday [I don’t even know how you would say this without the N… weds-day? wtf.], february [NOT FEB-YOU-AIRY], jewelry [NOT JEW-LA-REE!!!], etc.

words arent supposed to have random pronunciations.

ishotthesheriff's avatar


Poser's avatar

@ezraglenn—No, you can’t say Wednesday without the “n,” but do you say it with two “d’s”? Is it Wed-NES-day, or Wens-day, or even Wends-day?

ezraglenn's avatar

absolutely. WEDNES-DAY

glial's avatar

Carmul, but then again, I’m from Luziana

Randy's avatar

Carmul and I’m arkansan so go figure… But my momma and her momma and her mommas, momma said carmel too, so it kinda makes sense.

sndfreQ's avatar

or my faves OFF-TEN and NOO-KYOO-LUR…wow, and LIE-BERRY and FEB-YOU-AIRY

It irks me the most when professional broadcasters make these mistakes…argh! (is the H silent?!?)

El_Cadejo's avatar

@ezarglenn definitely wens-day i always had the hardest time as a kid spelling wednesday because of the way i pronouced it. Though until now i didnt know there were other ways, interesting.

jonno's avatar

As an Australian, I pronounce it “car-a-mull” (the “u” is short, not like in “mule”)... and I don’t say it “car-a-MELL” as Americans seem to :D. And I’ve never heard “car-mul” before…

“Wednesday”: although “Wens-day” is common, it can be pronounced more ‘correctly’ as “Wed’ens-day” (the “ens” part is said very quick)

ezraglenn – Jewellery is spelled like this outside of America, and as such we say “jool-er-ree”, instead of the American “jool-ree”

Schenectandy's avatar

I usually pronounce it: owmph

samkusnetz's avatar

i say CAHR-uh-mell.

eambos's avatar

I say cahr-a-mell, but then I also say Kar-mull-izd.

bluemukaki's avatar

@Spargett: Not that flawed, just people being weird about pronunciation. Flawed because it has a billion influences and has been bastardised by the Americans, Australians and New Zealanders along the way!

aloysius's avatar

English isn’t flawed or bastardized. It evolves constantly, the same as it always has, and always will. That’s how it works. Also, there aren’t “correct” ways to pronounce words—there are standard and non-standard pronunciations, and regional variations. Majority rules here, and many of the words we use today began as “bastardizations” or misunderstandings. See: octopi.

I say “carm-l” because that is the correct pronunciation in this region, and that’s what I grew up with. So there is a silent, mid-word “a,” because that’s how we say it. It is regional. Correct and incorrect don’t come into it.

About Americans altering English: A lot of American language is old stuff that the Brits have quit using. English English has changed just as much as the English of other countries. It wouldn’t be relevant if it hadn’t.

(*BTW, “often” can be pronounced with or without a “t.” It is derived from “oft,” which did and still does have the “t” sound.)

dealmaker's avatar

I think the word carmul comes from illiterate people who couldnt read and sound out the way its supposed to be pronunciated CARAMEL, sound that out loud and you will find the true pronunciation

freckels41895's avatar

i say care-a-mel..and im from KY..but i always get made fun of :(

bookwoman11's avatar

I am pretty picky about proper pronunciation, and I say “kahr-mul”. According to a few online dictionaries that I consulted before posting this, either pronunciation is acceptable, however my way of saying it was listed first in most instances, indicating it is the most universal way of saying it.

jamesdean813's avatar

Why did everybody who read this not look up the actual pronunciation from a dictionary. There are so many pretentious people on here claiming its pronounced car-a-mel and also making fun of people who say it the other way, like freckels41895 who says that if you pronounce the word like this\ˈkär-məl you are “illiterate”. By the way, thats the exact pronunciation from a dictionary. Their is also usually a pronunciation that looks somehting like this; ˈker-ə-məl, which is also correct. What is never correct is the way that almost everybody on here says it is, which is something like Car-a-mel, where the first part of the word is like ‘paratrooper’ but with a C at the beginning. Seriously people its sad that there is a device in your hands that has virtually unlimited knowledge and you all seem to use it instead to post misguided or downright wrong comments.

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