Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 01-22-2013, 03:22 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 9,977
Whats with the pronunciation of "heroin"?

My entire life, including 3+ decades in law enforcement, it's been pronounced HAIR-OH-IN .

In about the last 2 years or so I've been hearing it pronounced "HAR-OH-IN", "HAR-OH-INE", "HUR-WINE", "HORE-WIN", and even "HORE-OH-WINE".

I want to stress that this isn't meant as slang and isn't accented dialect. This is pronunciation I heard from judges and attorneys in court. Yesterday I heard a radio add for a rehab center and the voice over pronounced it "HAR-YOU-IN" (rhymed with ARE YOU IN).

I first started noticing this in about January of 2011 when a new officer had found a tiny baggy on someone he searched incident to arrest and he said "I think this is HARWIN". I said "It's what?". He said "I bet when it's tested it's HARWIN. Isn't that how it's said? HARWIN?"

Ever since then I've been noticing the odd pronunciations for it from all types of people. And it's not just me. I've had other veterans mention how people are saying it. This shits been around forever. Why all of a sudden are people unsure how it's pronounced.?

Last edited by pkbites; 01-22-2013 at 03:27 PM. Reason: Had to fix
#2
Old 01-22-2013, 03:30 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: U.K.
Posts: 12,068
HEH-row*-in

*As in "the boat".
#3
Old 01-22-2013, 09:31 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: NJ, USA ♂
Posts: 4,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by njtt View Post
HEH-row*-in

*As in "the boat".
Yeah, that's the pronunciation I've heard for 40 years in the greater NY region.

Considering the OP's location, I could imagine that the OP has lifelong heard HAIR-owe-in, dontchya know now, dair.
#4
Old 01-22-2013, 09:37 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 67,135
Quote:
Originally Posted by njtt View Post
HEH-row*-in

*As in "the boat".
This. Or, as the OED has it:
Quote:
/ˈherō-in/
#5
Old 01-22-2013, 10:07 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 9,977
Quote:
Originally Posted by njtt View Post
HEH-row*-in

*As in "the boat".
HEH-row-in and HAIR-OH-IN are pronounced identical. I just put the hyphens in differently than you.

And it doesn't explain the way some people around here have been pronouncing it lately. I heard an ADA a few days ago pronounce it "Hare-o-ween". WTH?
#6
Old 01-22-2013, 10:29 PM
BANNED
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 8,596
In two decades in the drug culture I have never, ever heard HAR-WIN, it is pronounced just like a female hero, heroine.

*It was named after heroine due to its amazing ability to kill pain.
#7
Old 01-22-2013, 10:32 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 5,770
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
HEH-row-in and HAIR-OH-IN are pronounced identical.
Maybe to you, it certainly isn't here.
#8
Old 01-22-2013, 10:42 PM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Missoula, Montana, USA
Posts: 19,825
/ˈhɛroʊɪn/ is the only way I've ever heard it.
#9
Old 01-22-2013, 10:52 PM
BANNED
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 28
horse
#10
Old 01-22-2013, 10:56 PM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 27,035
Another effect of narcotic use.
#11
Old 01-22-2013, 10:58 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 8,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by grude View Post
In two decades in the drug culture I have never, ever heard HAR-WIN, it is pronounced just like a female hero, heroine.

*It was named after heroine due to its amazing ability to kill pain.
I knew a guy in college who was seriously addicted to heroine, stories involving girl protagonists. It was better than heroin - legal and doesn't mess you up so much.
#12
Old 01-22-2013, 11:03 PM
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 37,512
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
HEH-row-in and HAIR-OH-IN are pronounced identical. I just put the hyphens in differently than you.
Those spellings indicate quite different pronunciations, especially in the vowels. If you think they are the same, we probably can't predict what pronunciations you intend to indicate by your own spellings.
#13
Old 01-23-2013, 12:08 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,915
That's what I thought when I read it, but saying it out loud - they seem the same to me.

Maybe I'm reading it/saying it wrong
#14
Old 01-23-2013, 12:27 AM
Guest
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 309
I have heard "HAIR-on" or "HURR-on" a few times. Almost like the bird. Pretty much only from somewhat uneducated black people in the South, though. I would certainly expect a cop to pronounce the word in a more standard manner.
#15
Old 01-23-2013, 01:54 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: NJ, USA ♂
Posts: 4,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by DataX View Post
That's what I thought when I read it, but saying it out loud - they seem the same to me.

Maybe I'm reading it/saying it wrong
The standard pronunciation does not have an 'r-controlled' vowel. It is not:

her rowin'
hair rowin'

It is:

heh rowin

(Accent all on the first syllable.)
#16
Old 01-23-2013, 02:49 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 8,281
Quote:
Originally Posted by moriah View Post
The standard pronunciation does not have an 'r-controlled' vowel. It is not:

her rowin'
hair rowin'

It is:

heh rowin

(Accent all on the first syllable.)
I disagree with you and Colibri, and agree with DataX. In my accent (suburbs of New York City), it's impossible to pronounce your first example differently than your third one. The two IPA renderings given by others in this thread are pronounced very similarly, and both seem to me to be equally represented by your first and third renditions.
#17
Old 01-23-2013, 03:14 AM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: "Hicksville", Ark.
Posts: 32,961
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
Those spellings indicate quite different pronunciations, especially in the vowels. If you think they are the same, we probably can't predict what pronunciations you intend to indicate by your own spellings.
You can if you know anything about English pronunciation and the Mary, merry, marry merger. The fact that you don't know this probably indicates that you are not going to be able to answer the question factually, although you might be able to add IMHO-style anecdotes.

What's really funny are people who have the merger but still insist they sound different.

I personally cannot find a pronunciation in a dictionary that is not caused by a known merger or variation (such as the British variation on the long O). I could maybe understand a two syllable version that sounded like HERR-win or HAIR-win, where the reduced vowel in the middle is elided, but that's about it.
#18
Old 01-23-2013, 03:39 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: The Mitt
Posts: 14,062
I've only heard it pronounced exactly as heard by the nice lady who lives inside the Merriam-Webster website:

"Heroin." \ˈher-ə-wən, ˈhe-rə-\

I'm from the Detroit area.

Last edited by cmyk; 01-23-2013 at 03:41 AM.
#19
Old 01-23-2013, 05:57 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 41,894
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKellyMap View Post
I disagree with you and Colibri, and agree with DataX. In my accent (suburbs of New York City), it's impossible to pronounce your first example differently than your third one. The two IPA renderings given by others in this thread are pronounced very similarly, and both seem to me to be equally represented by your first and third renditions.
Her-rowin, hair-rowin', and heh rowin', all have three distinct vowels to me, with the first and last being the most distinct in my dialect (I'm wondering what vowel the speakers who pronounce them the same merge them to.) "Her" sound like "hurr," which is to say /ɜ/ is the vowel in IPA. In "heh," the vowel is /ɛ/, or what we called a "short e" in grammar school. "Hair" has the diphthong /ɛə/, although in my Chicago accent, the vowel is probably closer to //. It's sometimes a bit difficult to hear what you're pronouncing in your own accent. My accent does merge Mary-merry-marry, but I am able to pronounce them distinctly if I want to. It's just terribly unnatural for me.
#20
Old 01-23-2013, 07:24 AM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 27,035
What's going on that all y'all keep hearing the word "heroin", and with varying pronounciations?
#21
Old 01-23-2013, 09:59 AM
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 37,512
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKellyMap View Post
In my accent (suburbs of New York City), it's impossible to pronounce your first example differently than your third one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
You can if you know anything about English pronunciation and the Mary, merry, marry merger. The fact that you don't know this probably indicates that you are not going to be able to answer the question factually, although you might be able to add IMHO-style anecdotes.
BigT, your comment makes no sense. The fact that I made the distinction between those vowels should make it obvious that I know about it. I'm from the Bronx, and am quite familiar with the difference between Mary, marry, and merry. I pronounce these words differently, and can hear the distinction when it is made by others. Just because some dialects of English don't make the distinction doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I'm more surprised that JKellyMap doesn't recognize the distinction, which is a well-known feature of the dialects of the area.

"Heh" and "hai" indicate different vowel sounds, even if some dialects of English merge them. Besides that, the two spellings represent a different syllabification and pronunciation of the last part of the word.

Last edited by Colibri; 01-23-2013 at 10:02 AM.
#22
Old 01-23-2013, 02:33 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,182
Many of the junkies, I mean substance abusers, I used to deal with referred to it as "hair on". But then their suppliers drove Alfalfa Romeos and packed nine million meter pistols.
#23
Old 01-23-2013, 02:49 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 8,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Her-rowin, hair-rowin', and heh rowin', all have three distinct vowels to me, with the first and last being the most distinct in my dialect (I'm wondering what vowel the speakers who pronounce them the same merge them to.) "Her" sound like "hurr," which is to say /ɜ/ is the vowel in IPA. In "heh," the vowel is /ɛ/, or what we called a "short e" in grammar school. "Hair" has the diphthong /ɛə/, although in my Chicago accent, the vowel is probably closer to //. It's sometimes a bit difficult to hear what you're pronouncing in your own accent. My accent does merge Mary-merry-marry, but I am able to pronounce them distinctly if I want to. It's just terribly unnatural for me.
I do not have any form of the Mary-merry-marry merger and grew up in the South and Midwest, but my parents were from the NYC metro area and I may have picked it up from them.

Heroin and heroine, to me, are pronounced exactly alike.
#24
Old 01-23-2013, 03:01 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 2,713
Have never heard anything other thab hair-oh-in.
#25
Old 01-23-2013, 03:19 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: In my head
Posts: 12,078
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
Many of the junkies, I mean substance abusers, I used to deal with referred to it as "hair on". But then their suppliers drove Alfalfa Romeos and packed nine million meter pistols.
Yep, I've heard this from users and dealers in my area too (Flint, Detroit area).


ETA: That is, when they aren't calling it "boy".

Last edited by Ambivalid; 01-23-2013 at 03:21 PM.
#26
Old 01-23-2013, 03:42 PM
bup bup is offline
Guest
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: glenview,il,usa
Posts: 11,905
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
and even "HORE-OH-WINE".
I can only hear that pronunciation in Cleveland's voice (from The Cleveland Show).
#27
Old 01-23-2013, 04:26 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: NJ, USA ♂
Posts: 4,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKellyMap View Post
I disagree with you and Colibri, and agree with DataX. In my accent (suburbs of New York City), it's impossible to pronounce your first example differently than your third one. The two IPA renderings given by others in this thread are pronounced very similarly, and both seem to me to be equally represented by your first and third renditions.

Hmm... let's try this then:
I see her on that news, Fox's

I see heron that knew foxes.
Do you hear a difference between "her on" and the bird, "heron"? If so, that's the difference between "eh" being 'r-controlled' or not. Which is the difference between 'her - rowin' and 'heh - rowin.'

Say this aloud: "her heh her heh her heh."

Now this: "her-rowin heh-rowin her-rowin heh-rowin."
#28
Old 01-23-2013, 06:24 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Glasgow, UK
Posts: 8
The worst thing I've ever seen regarding this word was some awful girl on a youtube video claiming that Heroin was called Heroin because "it makes you feel like a hero when you take it". Seriously. I could not detect any irony in her presentation, and I try to avoid reading the comments underneath any Youtube video, so I'm unsure what the consensus was regarding the sincerity of her comments, but as far as I could make out, she was 100% serious.
#29
Old 01-23-2013, 06:33 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Flatlander in NH
Posts: 24,758
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKellyMap View Post
I disagree with you and Colibri, and agree with DataX. In my accent (suburbs of New York City), it's impossible to pronounce your first example differently than your third one.
(referring to her rowin and heh rowin)

Do these two es sound different from each other to you:

perfect

pet

?

ETA: Heroin and heroine are both "heh-rowin" to me.

Last edited by gigi; 01-23-2013 at 06:34 PM.
#30
Old 01-23-2013, 06:36 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Glasgow, UK
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcyarc View Post
The worst thing I've ever seen regarding this word was some awful girl on a youtube video claiming that Heroin was called Heroin because "it makes you feel like a hero when you take it". Seriously. I could not detect any irony in her presentation, and I try to avoid reading the comments underneath any Youtube video, so I'm unsure what the consensus was regarding the sincerity of her comments, but as far as I could make out, she was 100% serious.
Actually, now that I think about how I worded this post, the worst thing I've ever seen regarding this word is the documentary "Ben: Diary of a Heroin Addict". I can hand-on-heart say I've never seen anything so brutally & painfully real. It should be essential viewing for any drug education class.
It's on Youtube in it's entirety here.
#31
Old 01-24-2013, 05:35 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 41,894
Quote:
Originally Posted by robert_columbia View Post
Heroin and heroine, to me, are pronounced exactly alike.
Same here. But I wasn't addressing that, was I? I don't see anyone in this thread saying those are pronounced differently.

Last edited by pulykamell; 01-24-2013 at 05:36 AM.
#32
Old 01-24-2013, 07:57 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 21,423
I pronounce it like Lou Reed does.
#33
Old 01-24-2013, 08:05 AM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 27,035
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
I pronounce it like Lou Reed does.
Classic argument from authority ((argumentum ad verecundiam)!
#34
Old 01-24-2013, 08:25 AM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 909
Stewie Griffin calls it "hair-o-ween." I think the joke here is that he is just guessing at how to pronounce it, but I suppose it could be a foreign or archaic pronunciation he picked up somehow.
#35
Old 01-24-2013, 08:27 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Altered States of America
Posts: 12,523
I used to have a record with "Heroin Blues," where the singer went: "HEE-royn is no one's friend."

/ˈhiː.rojn/

Last edited by Johanna; 01-24-2013 at 08:30 AM.
#36
Old 01-24-2013, 08:39 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Altered States of America
Posts: 12,523
I looked it up—actually, the title was "Got the Monkey on My Back" by Olive Brown where she sang "HEE-royn." And that was recorded sometimes in the 1960s, I think.
#37
Old 01-24-2013, 11:52 AM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcyarc View Post
The worst thing I've ever seen regarding this word was some awful girl on a youtube video claiming that Heroin was called Heroin because "it makes you feel like a hero when you take it". Seriously. I could not detect any irony in her presentation, and I try to avoid reading the comments underneath any Youtube video, so I'm unsure what the consensus was regarding the sincerity of her comments, but as far as I could make out, she was 100% serious.
Um...

etymology

more etymology

yet more etymology
#38
Old 01-24-2013, 11:53 AM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 641
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
Many of the junkies, I mean substance abusers, I used to deal with referred to it as "hair on". But then their suppliers drove Alfalfa Romeos and packed nine million meter pistols.
Along those lines, I believe that's how it's pronounced in The Transplant's Diamonds and Guns (1:40 mark. Lyrics NSFW). I always assumed it was just an artifact of Tim Armstrong's inability to sing clearly and not actually a thing.
#39
Old 01-24-2013, 01:54 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Land of Smiles
Posts: 14,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
I pronounce it like Lou Reed does.
I came to post the same thing, but linking to Reed's pronunciation.

I've listened to the song plenty times, but just now notice he doesn't even say "heroin" until more than 4 minutes into the song!

Last edited by septimus; 01-24-2013 at 01:58 PM.
#40
Old 01-24-2013, 04:49 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 57,678
I used to work with a woman who pronounced it 'hair-on'. (And she lived in Hor-thorne.)
#41
Old 01-24-2013, 06:47 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: 小浜国
Posts: 6,447
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
Many of the junkies, I mean substance abusers, I used to deal with referred to it as "hair on". But then their suppliers drove Alfalfa Romeos and packed nine million meter pistols.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
I used to work with a woman who pronounced it 'hair-on'. (And she lived in Hor-thorne.)
I see that MikeF and Johnny L.A. beat me to what I came in to state. Anyone who I've heard mispronounce heroin pronounced it "hairon".

I have never heard any of the other (mis)pronunciations stated in this thread.

Last edited by Onomatopoeia; 01-24-2013 at 06:48 PM.
#42
Old 01-24-2013, 11:43 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Land of Smiles
Posts: 14,881
I had a friend who talked about heroin frequently. He pronounced it both ways, in different contexts. "her-un" is almost just "her-o-in" said quickly and slurred.
#43
Old 01-25-2013, 11:58 AM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onomatopoeia View Post
Anyone who I've heard mispronounce heroin pronounced it "hairon".
Did anyone else reading this think...

APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE VEIN!
APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE VEIN!
APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE VEIN!
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:40 AM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: six legged spiders sampson option tinted green incall services bill budd define ther warped cast iron fantasy aliens grade 13 non competitive jobs best affordable cognac cartman hitler march diy liposuction house autopsy ceteris paribus pronunciation tampon invention ipass transponder replacement cowboy bebop firefly small urinal gor women us citizen gifts wireless tv router zut allure hillbilly brothers ip c pump start card mailbox placement driveway propane baseboard heater animation motors diplomatic bag slippery wood floor 9 foot ceiling 19mm = in gin makes a man mean my kitten won't eat 3 year old wont go to bed how to stop wasps from coming back pet friendly mouse killer priority mail vs media mail effective range of a longbow hugh quarshie star wars what causes sore throats at night how old are you in the 2nd grade who invented pita bread can a lab tell the difference between poppy seeds and opiates black vs jet black hair difference between squad and truck fastest way to bleed out explain why it is said that the sun never set on the spanish empire paypal wont let me confirm my bank account instantly where are these moths coming from how to block a floyd rose tremolo does pure oxygen make you high what is uptown and downtown toronto to chicago driving 10 pence coin value line of sight internet open a comic book store why were computers beige it is by my will alone i set my mind in motion shelf pegs home depot fried foods and diarrhea cheap ways to heat a pool generator run time per gallon what is a broadcasting institution well qualified buyers credit score does bobcat goldthwait really talk like that