8 Southern Sweets Y’all Are Saying All Wrong

published Feb 21, 2017
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(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

Southerners are known for their sweetness, and so are Southern desserts. But if you’re going to pay a visit south of the Mason-Dixon line, you’d best be sure you’re calling our sweet treats by their real names.

Here are eight favorite treats that all y’all up north tend to mispronounce, fixed up real good with a guide for getting it right. And remember: Savor each of those vowels like a fine bourbon. We’re in no hurry.

How y’all say it: PRAY-leen
How we say it: PRAWL-een
The sweets — and the pronunciation — should melt in your mouth. Just like the “a” in y’all.

2. Ambrosia

How ya’ll say it: am-BRO-zee-uh
How we say it: am-BRO-zhuh
Canned fruit, marshmallows, coconut, and whipped cream — what could go wrong? Nothing, as long as you say it right!

3. Coke

How y’all say it: Soda
How we say it: Coke
Yeah, it’s confusing. Whatever you do, just don’t call it pop!

(Image credit: Tara Donne)

4. Beignet

How y’all say it: Big net
How we say it: ben-YAY
Emphasis on the “yay.”

5. Caramel

How y’all say it: CAR-muhl
How we say it: CAR-uh-muhl
As a rule of thumb, when in doubt, add a syllable. Which reminds us …

6. Molasses

How y’all say it: moll-ASS-ez
How we say it: muuuhlaaahhhyyyyuhhsez
Take your sweet time.

7. Chocolate pie

How y’all say it: Boston cream
How we say it: Mississippi mud
Ours has a rich and storied history. Yours isn’t even a pie.

8. Pecan pie

How y’all say it: PEE-can pie

How we say it: pee-KAHN pah

Please repeat after me: When you say PEE-can, you sound ridiculous.

Did we make y’all hungry? Here are 3 Southern cakes guaranteed to please.