HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >



I dunno maybe I'm being a tad snobby but when someone says "muscles" instead of mussels I move on pretty quick.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. How can you tell when someone is saying "muscles" instead of mussels, they sound the same to me...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Marge

      Could the OP have meant "writes" instead of "says"?

      1. re: Multifoiled

        Sure, but it's pretty ironic to bitch about other people's spelling mistakes and at the same time not being able to write a logical and 'correct' post.

        Oh, the irony. It hurts, it hurts.

      2. I move on pretty "quickly" when someone uses "dunno".
        But "muscles" could be autospell on a mobile device. Also, not everyone speaks English as their primary language. Chillax! LOL

        16 Replies
        1. re: wadejay26

          I would "of" thought "dunno" is more intentionally ironic than a sign of ignorance. In any event, my first reaction to the OP was "huh?"

          1. re: wadejay26

            The op is Canadian. This might help explain what is at the centre of this behaviour.

              1. re: James Cristinian

                Thanks for the correct spelling, James.
                If Newfie, it's moosuls or moosles, eh?

                (The double 'o' is short as in look, not moose.)

                    1. re: James Cristinian

                      But, could it have been a problem? Why is it not a problem? :)

                      1. re: fryerlover

                        Hal2010 was thanking me for the correct spellings of centre and behaviour, a little Canadian/US back and forth fun, no problem, eh.

                        1. re: James Cristinian

                          I think @fryerlover was making a comment on the ubiqitous use of "no problem" for "you're welcome."

                            1. re: Multifoiled

                              True dat! I was just getting in on the fun. ;).......and learning all at the same time.

                              1. re: fryerlover

                                There's a place for the use of the phrase "no problem" and its variations. That's as used by James.

                                Where it does not have a place is coming out of the mouth of a restaurant server. As in "I'll have the seabass please" ....."No problem". Of course it's no fucking problem......you're a restaurant and it's on your fucking menu.

                                1. re: Harters

                                  I definately agree on that point. Can't stand when it's used in the service industry.

                                  Or when a teenager says it after you asked them to do something around the house. Damn right! It better not be a problem or the fact that you don't pay rent will soon be a problem. Rant over. Thank goodness she's in her 20's now!

                  1. re: wadejay26

                    Could have been worse. In addition to using "dunno", she could have thrown a "prolly" in there.

                    1. re: dmjordan

                      I would hear "prolly" as slang hundreds of years ago when I was a child. We didn't use it at home, and subsequently forgot about its usage. Well, until the internet anyway.

                      Related to that slang word: another one that comes to mind - and also out of favor - is calling someone named Charles "Cholly." I heard that one way more often.

                      I have to do a little research on this, it's interesting.

                      1. re: breadchick

                        I had a cousin Cholly. I didn't know that his name was Charles until his funeral. Welcome to Bawlemer, Hon.

                  2. The double exclamation point and the "I dunno" are what bother me, as well as one missing comma. I wouldn't notice how someone pronounces "mussels."

                    3 Replies
                      1. re: hal2010

                        Thank you for the adverb. I'm hoping that if I keep thanking those who use them, they'll come back into regular usage.

                      2. re: GH1618

                        Shouldn't that be "points"? LOLOL!

                      3. Jeanne Claude van Damme is known as the "Muscles from Brussels" precisely because Muscles and Mussels are pronounced alike.

                        2 Replies
                          1. re: babette feasts

                            I've often thought of JCvD as the Mussel from Brussels. Those molluscs get all the best parts.

                        1. I like muscles. Chicken thighs, pork shoulders, duck breasts, rabbit legs... Most of the meat we eat is muscles. As for shellfish, I prefer clams and oysters.


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: babette feasts

                            Funny, that was initially my thought direction, too.

                          2. I dunno...

                            My daughter and her friends laugh at my pronunciation... my family is from Cornwall but I've been in USA for 32 years and so now have an accent that nobody accepts. My American-born daughter and her friends love to ask me to say "banana" but I don't understand why they find it so funny.

                            Anyway, I think I'd pronounce muscles and mussels just the same.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: drongo

                              And you would be correct!

                              I'd love to hear you say banana...! I'm not sure how someone from Cornwall says it.

                              1. re: sandylc

                                At a guess, it may be because we Brits pronounce it with a long "a" on the second syllable where, when I've heard Americans pronounce it on TV, it's a short "a", as the first syllable. Ban-ar-na. Whereas, my understanding of American is ban-an-a.

                                However, I won't joke about Cornish people. They've recently been designated as a "minority", within the UK, affording them the same protection as Welsh, Scottish and Irish people within our society. No other regional group in England has similar protection (which allows me to continue to take the piss out of folk from Yorkshire).

                              2. re: drongo

                                Must be terribly amusing when you ask if leftovers should be wrapped in Aluminium foil!

                                For the record..I'm USA, but lived in the UK for 5 years ( My standard opening: "I'm from the West Country....the one 3500 miles West")

                                Folks in the UK would giggle as I mumbled something closely resembling what they might say...we all get used to it.

                                And the best of all times.............my local Korean Dry Cleaner who is also so good at alterations that my wife sends all of her clothing store customers to them, always gives us a nice (if Gaudy) calendar at Christmas. One year it had the tag line:

                                "All tailoring done on Promises!"

                                As for Mussels/Muscles.........not sure how the words can sound different. Not a deal breaker if they can cook them. I'll even allow for spelling/word choice mistakes.

                              3. This reminds me of the life long mystery of the lyrics behind The Squeeze song from the late 70's, "Pulling mussels from a shell"
                                -or- "Pulling mussels for Michele". If that later, then it could really be "Pulling muscles for Michele"!!!! Like the origins of the great Pyramids in Egypt, mankind may never know the origins of the lyrics for this song...............

                                18 Replies
                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                  Sorry to disappoint but it's "mussels from a shell". The song is about a beach holiday. The opening line mentions Camber Sands - a very downmarket British holiday "camp" in Sussex. It still exists and was just a couple of minutes walk from the house we rented for a week last year. "Camps" were extremely popular holiday destinations for working class Britons in the 1950s and 60s before foreign holidays became affordable for pretty much everyone.

                                  1. re: Harters

                                    But he could have pulled a muscle from "flexing" at the beach trying to impress Michele.

                                    What is a "camp"? As in a camp ground?

                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                      Originally, yes. Sort of.

                                      There were two major players in the market - Butlins and Pontins. Butlins had started out pre-World War 2 but the expansion was postwar. Pontins opened in 1946 having bought a surplus army camp.

                                      I went to a Butlins once - when I was 18, with a friend. Great place to meet girls and, as you had your own chalet accomodation, there was somewhere where you could, ahem, be private.

                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                        You have a very funny mind, JR....

                                    2. re: jrvedivici

                                      "This reminds me of the life long mystery of the lyrics behind The Squeeze song from the late 70's, "Pulling mussels from a shell -or- "Pulling mussels for Michele"."

                                      What's the mystery? It's the name of the song!
                                      "Pulling Mussels (from the Shell)"

                                      Plus, the song is from 1980.


                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                          "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is the name of the song and the actual lyric. Whether the singer is really saying "in the garden of Eden" is merely speculation.

                                          1. re: Multifoiled

                                            I'm sorry Multi, but I think he was dating a girl named Jen or Susan, and he didn't want to admit he had been going to the beach with Michele. That's what it sounds like to me!

                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                              Do you know there is an actual word for all of this?

                                              A mondegreen is the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase as a result of near-homophony, in a way that gives it a new meaning.

                                              1. re: Multifoiled

                                                Multi, hey I'm just trying to have a friendly conversation here.....I don't know why this is turning personal, I don't have anything against anyone for their sexual orientation. Ok? There is NO near-homophonia here!!


                                            2. re: Multifoiled

                                              " ′Scuse me while I kiss this guy."

                                              1. re: Gio

                                                Gio, weren't you suppose to post that under ME? Geeze, Multi you lucky dog.

                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                  You were out of the room at the moment. Pulling mussels out of their shells, were you?

                                                2. re: Gio

                                                  "There's a bathroom on the right..."

                                              2. re: jrvedivici

                                                Or "Ten devils in the freezer".....

                                                1. re: gourmanda

                                                  Had to look that one up. Is that one for real? Bit of a stretch, no?

                                                  1. re: Multifoiled

                                                    They are all a bit of a stretch....