Date: Tue, 10 Oct 1995 15:05:15 -0500

From: "Kathleen M. O'Neill" koneil1[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UIC.EDU

Subject: Re: ornery

Most of my students say ornery with two syllables. Roughly 7% say it

with three. Is that consistant with other regions?

Tom Uharriet

How funny this should come up.

Funny strange, not funny ha ha.


I cite my mother's idiolect an awful lot, because hers is one of

the most eccentric I know of.

At any rate, I grew up hearing her call us "AHN ree" with a very

nasal initial vowel -- and for no good reason, I might add. :-)

I had _no clue_ how to spell it for many years.

When I first heard someone pronounce "ornery" as "ORN ree" (which

occurred before I ever heard someone say "ORN uh ree") I thought

they were speaking in Swahili or something.

But I now pronounce it "ORN ree," swallowing the middle syllable


Of course, my mother comes from Baltimore and, well, there are some

fun pronunciations in Baltimore.

Any Baltimoreans out there?

All my life I struggled with my mother over her pronunciation of "or-"

spellings, like "orange" and "forest." She says "FAHR est"; I say

"FOOR est."

But there are others:

all my relatives (since they ALL live in Balto) sound as if they're

saying "ahrn" for "iron," "doll" for "dial," "iggul" for "eagle," etc.

Sorry about the tangent ... must be old home week or something. :-)


;Kathleen M. O'Neill ... Language Laboratory Technician I ;



;University of Illinois at Chicago ... Language Laboratory ;

;703 South Morgan Street (M/C 042) ... Grant Hall, Room 311 ;

;Chicago, IL 60607-7025 ;

;312.996.8838 or 8836 ... 312.996.5501 FAX ;