Wieners and weiners

‘Wiener’, of course, is a person from Wien (Vienna). It is also short for Wienerwurst – Vienna sausage; or in common usage, a hot dog.

But many people spell it weiner; which should be pronounced ‘wine-er’. M-W says that ‘weiner’ is an acceptable alternative spelling for ‘wiener’. My automatic spell-check objects.

When did ‘weiner’ become an acceptable spelling?

When Americans couldn’t be bothered to deal with foreign spellings.

(PS V and W are pronounced differently in English than German. Wiener is pronounced VEEN-er, using U.S. phonetic spelling; weiner, if it were really a German word, would be pronounced VINE-er. Volkswagen is pronounced like FOKES-vagon.)

Don’t get me started on Anheuser-Busch or Löwenbräu!

It didn’t.

I suspect M-W says a lot of stupid things.

I’ll ponder that this afternoon while I’m getting my lunch at Das Wienerschnitzel.

Of course they ‘corrected’ that when they changed their name to just Wienerschnitzel.

I’ve never found a Wienerschnitzel that actually sold Wienerschnitzel.

OTOH, Norbert Wiener was neither a Weiner nor a ‘hot dog’. He was an an American pure and applied mathematician.

I’d hate to go through life, where whenever I enter a room someone says ‘Wiener-dude alert! Wiener-dude alert!’

It could be said to be potential German word - if people used it, making it an actual German word, the meaning would be ‘weeping male’.

Actually, M-W doesn’t say many stupid things.

Perhaps they should have said “an alternative spelling.”

My reading of grocery adds from the 1930s-1950s show a 3-1 useage of wiener over weiner.

Actually, it says ‘variant of wiener’. But by virtue of its being included as a ‘variant’, I concluded that it is acceptable.

You concluded incorrectly; Merriam-Webster does not attempt to judge whether a spelling is “acceptable” or not, only whether it’s extant. There is no such permissiveness in the American Heritage Dictionary, which has no entry for “weiner.”

Incidentally, there is a legitimate “Weiner” – it’s Yiddish for "wine merchant,"and apparently the Silesian variant of “Wagner.”

Well, okay, I guess. I just figured that if they did say “weiner” is an acceptable spelling of “wiener,” they’d be apt to say just about any number of things.

I’m definintely with my pal on this one! :rolleyes::slight_smile:

And I have to add that I do NOT fiied "wienie or (“weenie”)-dogs (for dachshunds) amusing, as I am sure they wouldn’t if they could let us know! :wink:

That one and “dash-hounds”! :rolleyes:


Children are taught in elementary school…

I before E, except after C" is a mnemonic device devised to help students remember how to spell certain words in the English language.
So, yes I’d spell it Wieners.

Sure, there are exceptions to the rule. But, those elementary school mnemonics helped me get through college. Without them I couldn’t spell poop. :wink:

Yeah, but what about “weird”?

Wiener = “vee-nah”
Weiner = “vy-nah”

Neither word has the English W sound, either.

Oh, and I’ve been lurking here for years, since 2005 or so, and just registered today.

There’s a mnemonic for that too. :wink:

i before e except after c
unless you're being weird 

i before e except after c
or when sounded like a
as in neighbor and weigh 

These exceptions are why I struggled with spelling. Rules mean little. Good spellers have excellent memories and learn this stuff by rote.

“Weiner” gets about 17MM hits on Google, whereas “wiener” gets 28MM, so it’s less common but hardly unheard-of. My wild-ass guess is that, as a proper name, Weiner is at least as common in the US as Wiener. And now I’m thinking of Doug and Wendy Whiner from SNL.

Actually, it’s Wiener, not Weiner, like in the thread title :slight_smile:

I absolutely refuse to bring up the difference between




You are correct. I intended to type ie; not ei. I made a typo. I’ve reported my OP and asked that a mod correct my typo to avoid confusion.