Is KC responsible for Missouri being pronounced ‘Missourah’ ?

  • Flickr: Hey Paul Studios
  • Maybe the ‘I’ should just be silent.

The New York Times uncovered a startling truth Friday: Missouri has two different in-state pronunciations. In a piece that looked at how politicians appeal to the common Missourian via the last syllable of the state’s name, the Times suggests that Kansas City might be responsible for the “uh” in “Missourah.”

Some believe it started as an east-west split, with St. Louis favoring “ee” and Kansas City “uh.” Popular belief holds that the southern half of the state is “Missourah,” with Highway 70 serving as a sort of Mason-Dixon line, and still others contend that “Missouree” is city, “Missouruh” is country.

Do you lend any credence to the idea that Kansas City helped fuel the debate, or does another one of the explanations hold more water as to why we say Missouree or Missourah?

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