How do you pronounce "lawyer"?

I say LOY-er. Of course I’m from Calgry.

None of the above. I pronounce it loy-yer. I live in Central Florida but grew up outside Philadelphia, and I lived outside NYC for about 9 years as well.

Not to throw too much of a wet blanket on this, but people are typically horrible at accurately reporting what they actually say. It’s a form of the observer effect: The moment you know you’re listening for specific phonemes, you slow down and form them unnaturally relative to your normal speaking voice. That, and relatively few people can adequately describe the various phonemes in the first place, and it’s always more difficult to find something if you can’t adequately characterize it.

Right. I think this a lot about these pronunciation threads, where people attempt to depict the sounds with plain letters and capitalization. I’ve thought and talked a lot about speech and accents before, but almost entirely in person.

I’m certain that the people reading this thread don’t all have precisely the same sounds in mind for each of these choices.

It would be nice if we all knew IPA, I guess.

The link to the pronunciation recordings was supposed to help with that.

Ah–I forgot you’d done that.

Neither of those sounds close to right for me–but I had checked “LAW-yer” because that’s what I think I’m saying.

My brother in law is a lawyer. I pronounce it “slimeball”.


I picked “LOY-er” but it’s more like loy-yer.

I say law-yer, and interestingly (or not :)), my name is Laura. And yes, it matters to me how it’s pronounced. NOT that I say anything if someone pronounces it incorrectly, but when someone says it right, I do say “thank you”.

UK too, and I say “law-yer” and “saw-yer”.

So what’s correct? Lah-ra? Lorra?

LOY-er. It seems like you have to do verbal gymnastics to say it any other way.


Also, SAW-yer and NYE-ther.
ETA: My dad used to say, ‘EE-ther is OK, but EYE-ther is correct.’


Ha! I was in a community theater production many years ago, one of the lines required me to saw “lawyer.” The director told me when I said it, that my California accent made it sound like “liar.” So I started pronouncing it “loy-er” and it’s been that way ever since.

Dude! Californian’s don’t have accents! :stuck_out_tongue:

jsgoddess, is this another one of those words that your sweetie can’t pronounce? :dubious:

I say “law-eh-yuh” as any good southern girl should. Three syllables and all that. The “law” part is similar to the “aw” in “y’all”.

He pronounces it WRONG, but I didn’t know how he pronounced it* before starting the poll.