How do you say calliope?

I was watching Auction Kings the other day when they came across a calliope to auction off…The staff of the auction house kept calling it a "cally-ope. What the hell? Is that a Georgia regional pronunciation, or what? I live in central NC and we always say “Ca-Lie-O-Pee”. Dopers, chime in.

“Cally-ope” - although I’ve never heard the word spoken by anyone else or bothered to look up the pronunciation, so I just went in my head with how it looks in print.

Of course I thought it was “cally-ope” until I heard someone say it. Now I would say kuh-LYE-oh pee, if I said it. Which I don’t think I have for years.

When my son and I went to the first Harry Potter movie we realized that we–mainly me, since I was the grownup–had been mispronouncing Hermione (and Hagrid, and probably more, but at least those two). Her-MY-oh-knee versus HER-me-OWN. Boy did I feel stoopit.



It’s my daughter’s name. We pronounce it cuh-lye-oh-pee.
Our goofy pronunciations are callie-Oh-pee and ca-lee-ope.

I’ve only ever heard people who are confident in their pronunciation of it say the ‘right’ way.

Assuming these are both describing the same pronunciation, that’s the only way I’ve ever heard it.

Thanks guys. Maybe some Georgia folks will check in, but that just sounds wrong to me.

However, following the link on that page to the article on the instrument leads to this tidbit:

Penel-ope and Pers-ephone know the problem too well.

Don’t feel stoopit. That was such a common mistake, she eventually wrote it into one of the books! (Although it doesn’t make much sense, plot wise…there’s no indication that the character that calls her “Hermy-own” has ever seen her name in writing.) She was “Hermy-own” in my head for the first four books. It was a surprisingly difficult transition once I learned how the name is actually pronounced!
Oh, and kuh-LYE-oh-pee.

If one is referring to the muse, that is indeed the pronunciation; however, my understanding is that circus people invariably use KAL-ee-ohp. Unsure whether the ditty quoted by Der Trihs is related, however.

This . . . except when one is deliberately trying to sound ignorant.

Not too long ago I met a woman named Calliope at a networking event. I’m very glad she introduced herself before I read off her name tag.

Yep. She’s Callie-ohpee. I avoid actually saying her name when I run into her, because one day I will call her Ka-LYE-oh-pee to her face. Argh.

I’ve heard that cally-ope is an old circus pronunciation, peculiar to American circusmen. God help if if I can recall where I heard that, though. Cah-LIE-Oh-Pee is the correct pronunciation.


If it’s good enough for Bruce Springsteen it’s good enough for me.

Moved MPSIMS --> IMHO, home of polls.


Seriously? Cally-ope? I’ll have to consider that while I sip on my frah-pay.

Wait–that’s not how to pronounce “frappe”? (I’ve never heard it out loud, but I assumed it must rhyme with “latte”…)

How is it pronounced?

I pronounce it just like Manfred Mann. :slight_smile:

Just say “The calliope crashed to the ground” and you will know how to pronounce it.