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Thread: Pronunciation of the word diaper

  1. #1

    Default Pronunciation of the word diaper

    Almost everyone I've ever known has pronounced "diaper" with two syllables, as "dye-purr"...the a being silent.

    But every now and then I'll hear someone say it with three "dye-uh-per". And it just sounds really weird to me...for some reason it sounds like an old person saying it.

    So I was just curious...does anyone here pronounce it with three syllables, or do you know people who pronounce it that way? Is it weird to you too or is it just me?
    Last edited by teddy564339; 24-Feb-2010 at 02:54.

  2. #2


    Two syllables here.

    Some people have the pronounciation way off, I believe they say "nap-pee."

  3. #3


    I heard leela say it the second way you mentioned on futurama once.

  4. #4


    It's kind of like pronouncing salmon or caramel. It depends on who you are around. I've met people who pronounce it both ways.

  5. #5


    Both are accepted, but I believe the two syllable pronunciation is correct because it is the way I pronounce it.

       [dahy-per, dahy-uh-per]
    1. a piece of cloth or other absorbent material folded and worn as underpants by a baby not yet toilet-trained.
    2. Also called diaper cloth. a linen or cotton fabric with a woven pattern of small, constantly repeated figures, as diamonds.
    3. Also called diaper pattern. such a pattern, originally used in the Middle Ages in weaving silk and gold.

    –verb (used with object)
    4. to put a diaper on.
    5. to ornament with a diaperlike pattern.

  6. #6


    I had a friend in HS who pronounced it the second way. He was Brazilian, so it was due to his accent. I actually thought it was kind of hot, however, it wasn't so hot when he said the word due to him finding one of my Goodnites, lol.

  7. #7


    When I was a kid I had occasion to live on both coasts in the US, but I was from the west. I remember that in the east educated people used what sounded like odd pronunciations of various words, including "di-a-per." They tended to be more precise with all the syllables in words.

    I was used to "asprin." They said "as-pi-rin."

    The word "bury" was "berry" out west but "boo-ry" in the east.

    Our "danjrous" was "dan-ge-rous."

    "Lemee do that" was "Let me do that."

    Later, I majored in English and did some acting and learned to respect precision in language, but as a nine year-old it was culture shock.

    Geez, they called jeans "dungarees" and asphalt "macadam."


  8. #8


    Both of my grandmothers pronounce diaper with three syllables. When I was little my Mom also pronounced it with 3 syllables. Nearly everyone else pronounces diaper with 2 syllables and the silent a similar to diamond.

    Probably it is a generational thing. Younger members of my parents' generation on to the present seem to prefer the 2 syllable pronunciation.

    My husband Don is actually slightly older than either of my parents. I remember when we first met Don used 3 syllables. After spending quality time with me Don began saying it as 2 syllables.

    In the fields of art and textile history, diaper is almost always pronounced with 3 syllables.

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Raad View Post
    I heard leela say it the second way you mentioned on futurama once.
    If I remember right, Leela said that on the episode where the Professor turns 150 years old. There was some sort of tribute to him at his 150th birthday party, and she said "He learned how to read while still in di-a-pers, at age 8"

  10. #10


    Yay for linguistics and my 100th post!!! The pronunciation of any word, diaper included, depends on the dialect. While one pronunciation will be accepted in one area, it may sound very weird to someone in a different area. I for one use the silent 'a' pronunciation (how can you not like a word that can be pronounced acceptably with a silent 'a?' Are there even any other accepted words with a silent 'a' in them? I mean there are TONS of words with silent 'e's in them but not too many with a silent 'a.'

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