An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

You might need to run this through a translator

I bet you pronounce crayon wrong. YES, YOU. I’M LOOKING AT YOU.

Someone today (hi, Yao!) challenged me to participate in the new collaborative Flickr group called Word Time which was set up to, ahem, “share the variations in our pronunciations with weekly lists of words.” Which is an elaborate way of saying here, record yourself talking so we can sit at home and laugh at you. This week’s list of words can be seen here and it includes words like: barbiturate, diaphragm, and stethoscope. I know. Why not HAIRY BUTTOCK? Because with my accent those two words would have come out sounding like PARADISE.

So why not? Except, I couldn’t do it without having Jon do his own pronunciations, and then there’s all that email that goes, don’t you pronounce “crayon” funny? NO I DON’T. IN FACT, I PRONOUNCE IT ACCURATELY, PAY ATTENTION. So this video ended up being more than two minutes long. And then it was too long to put up on Flickr, so instead we had to put it up on Vimeo, and the only reason we’re going through the trouble of all of this is because, this? This here thing here? Yeah, if you’ve ever wondered what goes on in our house all day, just take this video and multiply it by about a million. Watch Coco get so fed up with my Southern accent that she CANNOT TAKE IT ANYMORE and jumps off the couch. Welcome to our home, Internet, please remove your pants before stepping through the doorway.

  • Anonymous

    “Cran” in Philly, too.

    I don’t remember you having such a strong Southern accent in some of your other videos.

  • Too funny. I definitely say it cray-on, not crown, but that whole debate reflects stuff that goes on in my house too!

  • i say “cran”

  • anne cunningham

    The lace-up shoe part of this was a riot, as well as the crayola crown segment.

    I know kids are notorious for mis-pronouncing words until they get them right, and it’s always sad once they say them the right way … some of my favorites from my kids:

    pellow instead of pillow
    livy room instead of living room
    ‘nomen for snowmen
    goggie for doggie

    Mommy I’m sitting in the livy room on a pellow watching the goggie play by the ‘noman.

    Anyways, this was a laugh, and since you didn’t have comments open on our morning show bit, I would like to wonder aloud … REALLY OUT LOUD!!!! … how Kathy Lee Gifford can pretend to be shy and distrusting of the internet, and a “non-user” when it would certainly make sense that she have a little education and internet skill since her precious offspring (the Cod-ster and Cass-attack) will be exposed to the internet often, and she should in the least bit learn to refrain from cowering from it with the “oh no, pedophiles!!!! everywhere!!! and porn, oh my!!!” distain to at least enough saavy to know what her kids are exposed to (in reality) on the net, and to help with homework, etc … since we all know she’s primo sit-down and be with the kids mom of all time … okay, I’m starting to make myself barf on that description so I must trail off now …

  • Amy K.

    In Connecticut we pronounce it “cran”.

    You’re absoultely right. Multi-syllabled words require WAY too much thought.

  • Sybann

    You guys are SO adorable.

  • Love the videos! Love all your recent media exposure too; you sooo deserve it. You are great! 🙂

  • alexlx

    Having been a Dooce fan for awhile, I knew you pronounced crayon as crown. It never made any sense to me until now, when I realized you pronounced “crown” which has an “ow!” in the middle, as a 2 syllable word pronouned “crow-on”. Awesome! You guys are the best.

    For the record, I’m a Minnesota gal, where “boat” is pronounced “boot”, and “crayon” is a 2 syllable word pronounced “cray-on”

  • folks, i’m going to have to go with cray-on. love the video, you guys are definitely entertaining.

  • It’s definitely Cray-on.

    But it’s also definitely PLAHHH-ZAH.

  • juliana

    i pronounce it CRAN like cranberry juice.

    i’m kinda sad now.

  • Auntie Dree

    Did you say Leta-er at the end??? OMG You guys are too cute!

  • I actually don’t even understand how you could possible get the pronunciation “crown” out of the word “crayon”. But then, I’m from Philadelphia, where the word is CRAN.

  • I actually don’t even understand how you could possibly get the pronunciation “crown” out of the word “crayon”. But then, I’m from Philadelphia, where the word is CRAN.

  • Heaven bless accents. I’m from Oregon where we say weird things like soda and Pecific (Pacific) and Or-y-gun (Oregon) Yeah, we think we’re pretty cool.

  • lola271

    I am a northeast Ohioan born and raised and I just took a poll in the office and we all say CRAN.

  • Kerry


    This is why I’m totally fine with saying “full” like “fool”, no matter how much shit I get about it. Go screw, pronunciation police.

  • Alli

    I agree with Jon: Cray. On.

    Heather, you are hilarious – I have been reading your blog for a while now but this is my first time to comment. I am so happy for you and all the exposure you have been getting recently – although Kathy Lee can take her lack of knowledge about “computers” and SUCK IT!! (Nightline was great though!)

    Love seeing photos of Coco in the daily Chuck too – my husband and I have a blue merle Australian Shepherd who we just love!! Such a smart breed. (Chuck rocks too!)

    Keep up the awesome work!! 🙂

  • Carrie

    Woohoo! Jon pronounces caramel like I do. My husband and friends always make fun of me for pronouncing the “extra A”. 🙂


  • But, more importantly, how do you pronounce W-A-S-H ???
    (Was it just me, or did Heather’s accent get way more pronounced at the end?)

  • Jennifer

    Now even my 3 yr old son likes you. He came in the room while I was watching this video clip and he wants me to play it over and over. And, as I’m typing this, he is sitting in a little kid size rocking chair and he is pretending to read your book. He just may be your youngest fan. 🙂

  • Heather, how would you pronounce crayfish?

  • i am so in love with you its not even funny.
    i have a non sexual crush.
    i say CRAN.

  • Dawn

    It’s cray-on in Toronto, too. But what do we know, we call our own city Terronno.

    I love how you say toilet, btw 😛

  • Hayley

    I call them colors.

  • I call the shoes that lace up ‘tennis shoes’. Which is probably stupid, because I don’t even play tennis. Anyway, my daughter pronounces crayon as ‘cray-round’, because that’s what thinking about the two syllables does to a human being. But me, I’m pretty convinced they’re crowns, but I’m from Kentucky so my opinion might not count.

  • This has been a constant battle of mine ever since moving to Texas from Cleveland via northern England. John, dude, you’re right — it’s CRAY-ON. And if I ever hear a person pronounce cement “SEE-ment” again my ears will burst into flames, leap off my head and start attacking the speaker.

    It’s been a gradual transition.

  • And then you thought of various ways in which to massacre each other.

    Hey, I got my book today!

  • Up here in Downeast Maine we say:
    cran (crayon) and they’ah; as in “You can’t get they’ah from he’ya”.

  • Laura

    I love how Jon says (more than once) “This is way longer than 90 seconds.” And he’s right. It’s cray-on.

  • Mandy

    You two just cracked my shit up.

    Yup, that’s how we talk in Oregon. That’s Ore-ee-gone.

  • HAHAHAHA! My step-daughter used to always say, “crown,” and I got the biggest kick out of that! (I’m WAY Southern, by the way. She’s not.) Up until now, I thought she was alone in that. Shoulda known better! 😉

  • Mandy

    Or rather, if you’re from here, it’s pronounced:


  • Crown? Like, Wanna knock the fuckin’ crown offa Kathie Lee’s fluffy head? I wrote about *it* too…entitled something like “Hog tie KLG to Paula Deen and drag ’em both through the cold Spring Mud.”

    Pronounced Mud. Like Dud. Which you may color with a brown CRAY-ON. Dammit.


    Drink more, it’ll sound better. Try it with clogs in your mouth, yeah, that’ll do it.

  • A childhood memory burned into my memory:

    My mother refused to buy my younger sister crayons until she pronounced them correctly. (NOT LIKE CROWN.)

    Mom’s sickly sweet patient voice, “I will buy them for you as soon as you say them right. Cray-on. You can do it! Craaayyyyy-onnnnn”

    “Crown! Mama, it’s crown!” Tears. Sobs. “Crown!”

    She never recovered from that traumatic day. My mom, that is.

  • megan

    My fiancee is from the greater Pittsburgh area. I am from Indiana. We have a constant battle over the word that is spelled “roof”. He contends that the double O makes it sound like “ough” as in “through”. I am correct in that the double O is pronounced in “roof” the same way it is in “book”.

    Then again, this is the same man who says “Thursday” as if it were spelled “Thursdee”.

    Clearly, I am right.

  • Crayon is pronounced “crown” and wolf is pronounced “woof”. I really hope that teachers are reading so that they can adjust their phonics curriculum.

    Thank you Heather, for shedding light on yet another dark, little secret the English language has been trying to cover up!

  • RzDrms

    heather, how do you and jon say height? it’s HI-TAH! HIGH-TA! HIIIGH-TAAAH! not heigth. sigh.

    (“way Jerusaleum” is my verification word)

  • HAHA I love how you dive into the Southern drawl full force by the end. I totally go into my Tennessee mountain voice anytime I have to lay the smack down on my boyfriend’s Boston pronounciation of “drawer.”

  • You could just stop the fight and call them colors. Thats what we say.
    “Can I see the colors?”

    But they are pronouced cray ons!
    Pronunciation[krey-on, -uhn]
    check out to hear and see the truth!

  • Jeff

    I have to say, I’ve lived in the Memphis area for about 13 years (Collierville) and I have yet to hear someone pronounce crayon the way you do. Though my wife, a native Memphian, pronounces mirror “mirrah,” and she’s teacing my kids to say it that way which drives me nuts. Is that something you do, too?

  • Like any true and proper Southern girl… “crown” all the way.

    My word for you is this one… SYRUP. This word has caused screaming and cussing matches between my southern mother and my northern father for years.

  • kelly

    heather, you so put lipgloss on just for that video, didn’t you? you are truly a southern lady.
    (from kelly in mississippi)

  • Jeff

    But I’m totally with you on caramel. It’s “Carmel”!

  • Heather, the longer you talk the more you sound like Britney Spears. You didn’t sound like that on the Today show? Oh yeah, Kathie Lee didn’t really let you say much… And yes, John is pronouncing Cray-on core-rect-lee! 🙂

  • I love how obviously self-conscious/shy you are to be filming yourself, contrasted with your ability to be totally confident to let it all hang out in your writing. It is endearing.

  • What about Cran (with a long a: “Craaaaan”)? I can’t put the effort into two syllables either. Is it a hybrid word? Why am I so worried? Ahhhh.

  • Tara

    I’m originally from eastern Kentucky (which is surprisingly more rural than the rest of Kentucky).

    there = thar
    lace-up shoes = tennis shoes
    crayon = cray-on

  • NellieV

    Yea, Jon! CRAY-ON!

    Finally. Someone who pronounces the word correctly. My husband says CROWN, my kids say CRAN.

    And those things on your feet? They’re SNEAKERS.

  • GauchoAmigo

    Finally I am vindicated. Born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley, never even thought about how I pronounced the word for waxed coloring instruments until one day in college I was loudly ridiculed for my royal, one syllable pronunciation.

    I should never have doubted my southern man upbringing

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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