ANSWERS: 28
  • Very much so. For us New Englanders, the letter R is rarely spoken.
  • It is mostly a regional thing. Particular to the Midwest, especially Indiana and parts of Illinois.
  • I think it's an age thing. I live in Washington state and the only people I have heard pronounce it that way were my grandmother and this really old lady who worked at the bakery in the neighborhood I lived in as a child. My grandmother also pronounced diaper "di-uh-per"
  • It's Regional, but with people moving around the way they do you can somtimes tell where they are from by how they say a word or what words they use.
  • i'm gonna say it's regional and really, really annoying! i live one state south of washington, i and rarely hear it pronounced with an 'r'.
  • Definitely regional. Everyone on my mom's side of the family pronounces it "Warshington", as well as saying they're going to "warsh" their hands with some "warter". They're from the area around D.C. -- Maryland and Virginia.
  • WaRshington. That sounds more like a drunk thing than a regional dialect.
  • Who are these people? Where do they live? I pronounce it: Wah-shing-ton.
  • LOL...I just pronounced it out loud to see how I say it and darned if I don't say Warshington! I live about 45 minutes away so I guess it's regional. Saying Washington sounds foreign to me....real la de da sounding:)
  • I think it's regional. We have the same thing in England where some people say Bath and others say Barth, whether they are speaking of the beautiful city of that name or the thing you put water in.
  • I believe it's pure illiteracy and annoying. There is no 'R' in Washington. Well Golly Gee Jim Bob.
  • Ever since I moved away from my numerous family members (many from the Midwest) who pronounce it (as I do) "Warshington," I've been hearing about it. Saying "Wah-shing-ton" just does not roll off my tongue, and now that I live in New England, I have to take pains to enunciate it...as in "yeah, WAH-shing-ton, you now, the Nation's Capital." Othewise, I get a blank stare.
  • I'm a native Seattle-ite and a 4th generation north-westerner on both sides and no one in the family ever said "warsh" or "Warshington." A friend from Colorado has a very hard R and throws them in where they don't belong. It has to be a regional and perhaps age related as well. Perhaps in rural parts of the state but I've never heard it from someone born and raised in the Puget Sound metro area.
  • It's definitely a DC area thing. I make fun of people from Murraland in that accent (e.g. "Yip, got me a boert doern on the werter, rill clorse to Warshington.") The local Virginians mostly have more typical southern accents, but I'm sure the ones that live close to the werter are guilty of it too.
  • The linguistic phenomenon is called "rhoticization" or "r-coloring," and it happens when the tip of the tongue curls back slightly at the end of a vowel, especially if just before a sound which is called a "fricative" like [sh] or [th]. (I also have friends who say HaRthorne, instead of Hawthorne). Jargon aside, I think it's both regional and an age thing. I think it sounds funny, too.
  • Wow, I don't know whether to feel insulted or old. I put the r in wash, Washington, gosh and squash. I am from the Midwest and not so old - I vote regional. For those that find it annoying - sorry. Wonder what speech pattern you have that annoys others.
  • I just had a huge debate on whether or not WaRshington was a correct pronunciation or not so if someone with superior knowledge could answer that question for me it would be appreciated.
  • If you ask me... calling Washington, WARshington sounds pretty appropriate under the current presidency. It is regional and age related. I've heard it in New York City, mostly by the Old New York wealthy types. I think they mostly pronounce words different like this because like most things in their lives, their grammar distinguishes them as being from a higher social level. Regionally, America is known to have many different dialects of English, travel South and you have pronunciations of words that are so different than what is spoken in the MidWest, you'd think they were two totally different languages. Sometimes even in the same States the difference between inner-city dialects and rural dialects can be dramatically different. I say that this is a combination of age and region because although some Old Timers may know that WARshington isn't the correct Webster's pronunciation, they are too set in their ways to change it.
  • Regional dialect. It's a shame that people are intolerant of a dialect. I think it's nice that we don't all have the same bland cookie-cutter accents.
  • I've only heard Republicans say it.
  • Regional...like Bwahston for Boston..or Noo Yawk for New York....
  • As a native Northwesterner, my experience has been the "r" pronunciation is found in family clusters. Since there is no R in the spelling, it must have been learned from a family member. I was mortified when I first met my husband and he proudly said "WaRshington". He was born and raised in the state, so imagine my wonder. While we're at it, why is Illinois pronounced without the S? Illinoy is how it's pronounced. All I want to know is, how difficult is it to just learn the correct way to say something and pretend to have some higher education?
  • English English-speakers would say Woshington cf Wosh your hands and face.
  • LOL, I say that, no matter how I try to change it, it keeps slipping out, I am in the midwest and many people say it here, so I dont think it is age related.
  • I vote that it began colloquially probably in the 1700s to 1800s, eliminated mostly by education, but older folk who did not need to go to college continued these types of pronunciations and their families kept it up, spreading it around the US as they moved.
  • I don't think it's age, because I knew someone that said it when he was young.
  • A regional thing, I should imagine.
  • It's just lazy speech or red neck pronunciation. It doesn't have to do with regional anything.. Saying you are going to worsh your face or worsh the clothes ranks right in there with saying ain't. If you want to sound totally illiterate say, "I ain't got time to worsh the clothes." There is no letter R in the word wash.

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