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How do you pronounce "praline"?

Are there regional variations in how people pronounce this word?

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  1. I'm from New England and pronounce it pray-lean. I've heard people from the South pronounce it more like prah-lean.

    1 Reply
    1. re: escondido123

      Not from NE, but pronounce it the same as you. Actually never heard it pronounced any different!!

    2. I pronounce it the way God himself pronounces it...


      (Didn't know God was Southern, didja?)

      1. If it is to be pray-leen then it will have pee-cans in it. If it is a praw-leen, as in New Orleans usage, it will have puh'kawns in it.

        6 Replies
        1. re: hazelhurst

          No, no, a thousand times no! It's pray-leens with puh'kawns! But I guess that's Texas for you....

          1. re: hazelhurst

            That's how I know it! I'm originally from Lower Alabama, myself. However, I was recently told I was pronouncing it wrong by a native Northern Californian. Go figure. I just smiled sweetly and suggested she ask my mama.

          2. My southern-born parents pronounce it "prah-leen," which is closer to the French (it is a French word, after all.) People here in New England, where I live, pronounce it "pray-leen." When I make them, I pronounce them delicious.

            1. Currently a Virginian, formerly a Georgian and it's a pray-lean with pee-cans in it. :)

              2 Replies
              1. re: alliedawn_98

                I see a difference already. We put Pee-cahans' in ours... [Grin]


                1. re: alliedawn_98

                  I remember Emeril Lagasse saying that 'pee-cans' were the things that long-haul truck drivers had in their rigs for when they didn't want to take the time for rest stops.

                  I'm from New Yawk and we always said 'pray-leans' and 'pee-cans'. Her in California it's usually 'pray-leans' and 'puh'cahns'.

                2. This is all very interesting.
                  Growing up in the Midwest, I never heard of pralines as a child. I first encountered this word in written form as an adult and looked it up in some reference that mentioned the french word praliné. So I puzzled over whether it should be pronounced in two or three syllables.

                  It seems pretty clear that, despite all the other differences, everyone agrees that it's a two-syllable word and that the second syllable rhymes with "lean."

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: racer x

                    I am not sure if our two-syllable pronunciation is authentic, or just being Deep South Lazy. On the MS Gulf Coast, there were very few three-syllable words. Matter of fact, the only real multi-syllable word that I can recall was Mississippi...


                  2. As for the pecans, I don't have any set way of pronouncing it.

                    My mother, who loved butter-pecan ice cream, pronounced pecan in butter-pecan as "puh-CON."
                    On the other hand, I remember relatives talking about "puh-CANS" when referring to those nuts in general (I think I use this pronunciation most often).
                    However, I also heard people using "PEA-cans" a lot.

                    1. I'm a native North Carolinian, and have always pronounced it pray-leen (and pee-cans). I'm from the NE part of the state though, and have family members with strong Outer Banks brogue accents. I don't have the strong brogue, but don't have a what most would hear as a traditional Southern accent either. I suspect their dialect (and mine to a lesser extent) has a lot of unexpected similarities with New England dialects.

                      1. The name of a New Orleans restaurant is pronounced Pray-leen Connection.

                        Now how do you pronounce New Orleans? (snort)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: collardman

                          N'Awlins, dawlin'!

                          And it's definitely praw-leen.

                        2. my dad always said the the pee-can was what you kept under the bed to avoid going to the outhouse at night. The pe-cawn was the nut you ate.

                          1. I am from the MS Gulf Coast, though seem to have spent more time in New Orleans, and I say "praw'-leen." My wife, a New Orleans native, also pronounces the delicacy the same way.

                            Last time that we were on the island of Lan`ai, a chef asked her to come back to the kitchen, as he was working on a praline recipe, and wanted her input. He pronounced it the same way, but then was from Westwego, LA, so maybe that explained it?


                            1. I live in N-E Ohio and I pronounce it pray-lean

                              1. I'm a Californian who pronounces it pray-lean (and the nut that goes into it, I pronounce something between peh-kawn and puh-kawn, with a shorter e than the first implies, but not as short as implied by the second).