Pap-RIK-a or PAP-rik-a?

How do you pronounce ‘paprika’: pap-REEK-a, PAP-rick-a, or something else, and where are you from?

I grew up pronouncing it PAP-rick-a, because that’s how my parents pronounce it, but found that people look at me oddly for it. I assumed that my family had some weird, incorrect pronunciation, but couldn’t quite eradicate it. Then, today, I saw this video, in which Mark Bittman pronounces it like I do (the first time is at 1:42, although later, the anchorwoman, who is pronouncing it pap-REEK-a, kind of ‘corrects’ herself and changes to his pronunciation). My father’s accent is not dissimilar to Bittman’s, although it’s not as heavy, so is it possible that it’s a regionalism? I grew up in New Jersey, although many people from the New York region still find my pronunciation odd.


I’ve always pronounced it with an emphasis on the middle syllable. Don’t know if it’s right, but 90% of the time I’ve heard it used, it was that way.


South Texas.

PAP-ri-ka sounds odd.

I waver between the two. I grew up saying “puh-PREE-ka” for two reasons: One, my parents are both Polish and growing up, they pronounced it with the stress on the second syllable because stresses almost always land on the penultimate syllable in Polish. Of course, this would lead me to stressing a lot of other words incorrectly, like “oregano” (though the Brits do say ore-eh-GAH-no.) Two, it’s the usual pronunciation I hear around these parts.

Now, occasionally I will lapse into stressing the first syllable, because I had lived in Hungary for a number of years and, paprika being such a ubiquitous spice there, I found myself using the word a lot, and pronouncing it the Hungarian way, with the accent on the first syllable (Hungarian always stresses the first syllable.)

Both versions sound normal to my ears.


[OT]The word always makes me think of Harry and Sally: “Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash.” [/OT]

Both pa-PREE-kuh and PAP-ree-kuh are acceptable although I think we all know superior people use the first pronounciation.

I chose this name since Dr_Pepper was taken.

PaPREEKA – the last syllable is accented too, but not as strongly.

Accent on 1st syllable, but then again I speak Hungarian.

After reading this thread I have the wierdest mental image of someone running into battle swinging a giant sword screaming “PAPRIKKKAAAAAAA”!!


Florida, no Eastern Europeans in the family tree

I’ve always done it the same way too, like pa-PRI-ka.