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View Full Version : How do YOU pronounce "coyote"?


OpalCat
05-05-2010, 09:38 AM
So I'm reading this book, and I come across this:

"...They keep us leashed as tightly as you keep your coyote." He used the Spanish pronunciation, three syllables rather than two.

This led me to a big WTF moment. I've only ever heard "coyote" pronounced as three syllables. ki-OH-tee. Is there some other way to pronounce it? The only thing I can think of is "ki-oat" but that just sounds ridiculous. I'm not even sure what syllable would get the emphasis. M-w.com lists that as an alternate pronunciation but I've *never* heard anyone say it that way.

So is my perception off by being raised in Arizona? How do YOU pronounce "coyote"? Is the way I say it really the "foreign" way and not the normal way*?



*the book takes place in the US

badbadrubberpiggy
05-05-2010, 09:43 AM
I pronounce it the way you do, with three syllables, and I'm from New Hampshire.

I've heard it pronounces "KAI-ote", but I don't know what region of the US uses that pronounciation regularly.

dangermom
05-05-2010, 09:44 AM
I've heard a few people say ky-oat but only in a sort of joking way. No one I know would actually think that's the normal way to pronounce it. But then I'm in California.

Machine Elf
05-05-2010, 09:50 AM
I've always said it as three syllables, though the dictionary (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/coyote) lists both pronunciations.

The word has Spanish/Mexican origins, so it's probably correct to refer to the three-syllable pronunciation - with a hard "t" sound, and the last syllable as an "eh" sound rather than an "ee" sound - as being "the Spanish pronunciation."

Electric Warrior
05-05-2010, 09:54 AM
From northern VA. "ki-OH-tee".
Edit: no, hold on. My 't' isn't a t, it's a tap. Like the 'd' in body or the 'tt' in butter.

The Spanish pronunciation: "co-YO-teh".

Mr. Excellent
05-05-2010, 09:54 AM
Three syllables: "Run away!"

What? Coyotes are scary.

EmAnJ
05-05-2010, 09:54 AM
I've heard Kai-ote, but pronounce it with three syllables.

OpalCat
05-05-2010, 09:56 AM
Joe: Now when you say "'eh' sound" do you mean it the Canadian way ("ay") or like "meh" and "heh" and so on?

JThunder
05-05-2010, 09:58 AM
Here is the definitive answer, straight from the coyote's mouth (http://youtube.com/watch?v=YIPr23xyoZg).

kayaker
05-05-2010, 09:58 AM
I've only ever heard "coyote" pronounced as three syllables. ki-OH-tee.

That's how I pronounce it. If you eat rattlesnake meat and shit, then you can say Ki-oat.

OpalCat
05-05-2010, 09:58 AM
Three syllables: "Run away!"

What? Coyotes are scary.

Coyotes are lovable bundles of snuggly goodness!!! (or at least they look like it. I'd like to think I'm not stupid enough to try.)

Anne Neville
05-05-2010, 10:01 AM
I pronounce it ki-OAT-ee (born in Maryland, lived there, in California, and in Pittsburgh). My grandfather, who was born in 1911 and was from Nebraska, pronounced it KI-oat. He would laugh at me when I said it.

lieu
05-05-2010, 10:04 AM
In reference to the wild animal 2 syllables; kai-yoat with a long o, "yoat" rhymes with coat. Half the time I hear people pronounce the e, for the other half it's silent. I'm Texan.

Interestingly though I'd offer that there appears to sometimes be a difference when using the word as a reference to those engaged in illegal immigrant smuggling. For them I often hear the word with a strong emphasis on the "e" at the end; kai-yo-tee.

campp
05-05-2010, 10:09 AM
From the American southwest: I usually say the americanized word ki-OH-tee. Although sometimes I get lazy and say ki-yote or ki-yotes. Really, either way works around here.

If it is referring to smugglers, it is usually in the spanish pronunciation, cah-YOAT-eh.

Some local often mis-pronounced words include saugaro, Mogollon, Mazatals, and even Tucson.

Colibri
05-05-2010, 10:09 AM
I think the two syllable pronunciation was more common in the past. When I was a kid growing up in the 50s, I recall hearing it that way often in Westerns and cartoons. It's possible that as Spanish has become more widespread and common in the US, the original Spanish three-syllable pronunciation has become the norm.

blondebear
05-05-2010, 10:10 AM
I use both pronunciations; I don't think of either one as being "right". (native Californian)

sandra_nz
05-05-2010, 10:14 AM
Oh dear, i think I've been pronouncing it wrong all my life! Not that it's a word I use that often...

I say coy - oh - tee.

MeanOldLady
05-05-2010, 10:17 AM
Oh dear, i think I've been pronouncing it wrong all my life! Not that it's a word I use that often...

I say coy - oh - tee.That's actually pretty cute. You get to do that, being from NZ and all. Anyhoo, I've never heard it pronounces with two syllables.

Wile E
05-05-2010, 10:21 AM
Three syllables: "Run away!"

What? Coyotes are scary.

*steeples fingers* Excellent!

Here is the definitive answer, straight from the coyote's mouth (http://youtube.com/watch?v=YIPr23xyoZg).

As JThunder as pointed out, it is three syllables and ends with an "E" sound, as in "Wile E".

PlainJain
05-05-2010, 10:25 AM
As a native Texan I've heard it both ways. However in regards to the OP, the Spanish pronounciation is ko-YO-teh in my experience.

lieu
05-05-2010, 10:29 AM
Granted I know NOTHING about word construction but if you look at other words ending in 'ote' like dote, note, rote, tote and vote, none of them pronounce the e. So why coyote? Because of the Spanish influence?

OpalCat
05-05-2010, 10:30 AM
Some local often mis-pronounced words include saugaro, Mogollon, Mazatals, and even Tucson.

saguaro
(sorry, couldn't resist)

Leaffan
05-05-2010, 10:37 AM
Granted I know NOTHING about word construction but if you look at other words ending in 'ote' like dote, note, rote, tote and vote, none of them pronounce the e. So why coyote? Because of the Spanish influence?

Epitome
Hyperbole

Machine Elf
05-05-2010, 10:40 AM
Joe: Now when you say "'eh' sound" do you mean it the Canadian way ("ay") or like "meh" and "heh" and so on?

Meh. English speakers tend anglicize the pronunciation of foreign words that end with a short "e" sound, rendering it as either a long e sound or a long a sound. The Japanese word "Kamikaze" is a classic case, usually pronounced by native English speakers as "kah mi kah zee", when it should properly be pronounced "kah mee kah zeh".

If you listen to a native Spanish speaker, you'll hear a number of Spanish-language words spelled with an "e" ending that are pronounced with a short "e" sound rather than an "ay" sound. "Cenote" and "Quixote" come to mind.

Acsenray
05-05-2010, 10:40 AM
The guys in the old westerns always said [kaI jot], but I've always said [kaI jo ti]. I don't know what the Spanish pronunciation is.

John DiFool
05-05-2010, 10:51 AM
As JThunder as pointed out, it is three syllables and ends with an "E" sound, as in "Wile E".

But don't YOU say is as, "I am Wy-l-E Ki-oh-tay, super genius!" :cool:

Barking Dog
05-05-2010, 10:56 AM
I always preferred to be called by the two-syllable pronunciation best.

Chefguy
05-05-2010, 11:04 AM
Granted I know NOTHING about word construction but if you look at other words ending in 'ote' like dote, note, rote, tote and vote, none of them pronounce the e. So why coyote? Because of the Spanish influence?

Short answer: yes.

ShibbOleth
05-05-2010, 11:05 AM
That's how I pronounce it. If you eat rattlesnake meat and shit, then you can say Ki-oat.

I can't possibly be parsing this sentence correctly. I hope.

statsman1982
05-05-2010, 11:09 AM
I'm often made fun of for saying it like the OP does. I grew up in eastern New Mexico and now live in West Texas. Around these parts, it's definitely "kai-ote."

Roswell, NM, where I spent my formative years, has a high school with a coyote mascot. It was always, always, "the Roswell Kai-otes."

Barking Dog
05-05-2010, 11:14 AM
I can't possibly be parsing this sentence correctly. I hope.

You're right. I think he meant "eat rattlesnake meat and kick shit."

kayaker
05-05-2010, 11:17 AM
That's how I pronounce it. If you eat rattlesnake meat and shit, then you can say Ki-oat.
I can't possibly be parsing this sentence correctly. I hope.

Sorry. Forgot a comma.


That's how I pronounce it. If you eat rattlesnake meat, and shit, then you can say Ki-oat.

levdrakon
05-05-2010, 11:21 AM
Growing up in Wisconsin, I think we said "ki-oat." Ki-oat-ee always sounded like a charming cowboy/southernism. Never really thought about it before, but I think I'd still say ki-oat.

redtail23
05-05-2010, 11:25 AM
kai (rhymes with EYE) - YOH (long 0) - tee (almost a D instead of a T)

or

KAI - yote (rhymes with COAT)

or just

YOTE

Oklahoma, born and bred. I've used/heard the first two interchangeably my whole life.

I'm not sure where I picked up the last one, it was as an adult. I don't hear it as much, but everyone understands if you say it.

NinjaChick
05-05-2010, 11:25 AM
Northern New Mexico here, and I'd say there's probably a 50/50 split in how I've heard it pronounced. Many, but certainly not all, locals go with the two-syllable pronunciation.

Personally, I'm one of those goddamn easterners, so I say kai-yo-teh. I'm pretty sure that if I heard an elderly local who's lived here for twice my lifespan say it that way, it would freak me out.

campp
05-05-2010, 11:25 AM
saguaro
(sorry, couldn't resist)

Yeah, even me :rollseyes: I need some coffee!

Chronos
05-05-2010, 11:47 AM
In my childhood in the East, it was always three syllables, but around here, two seems to be more common. I just figured that the folks around here would know better, and that two was therefore "correct", but it doesn't look like there's consensus on that.

DiosaBellissima
05-05-2010, 12:13 PM
The guys in the old westerns always said [kaI jot], but I've always said [kaI jo ti]. I don't know what the Spanish pronunciation is.

The country folk where I live all say kaI jot. I say kaI jo ti though (which is the Spanish).

Elendil's Heir
05-05-2010, 12:17 PM
...That's how I pronounce it. If you eat rattlesnake meat, and shit, then you can say Ki-oat.

Yup. Or if you're in a Western.

JKellyMap
05-05-2010, 12:32 PM
If you listen to a native Spanish speaker, you'll hear a number of Spanish-language words spelled with an "e" ending that are pronounced with a short "e" sound rather than an "ay" sound. "Cenote" and "Quixote" come to mind.

Unless I am misunderstanding this, this is misleading. The last vowel in "cenote" and "Quijote", by any Spanish speaker, are definitely pronounced with the sound which sounds closest to the English "ay" (as in "say"), but without the palatized dipthong -- (i.e., without the "ee" English speakers put at the end of the vowel.) I guess the sound may sound somewhat close to the short "e" in English to some ears, but really the short "e" in English is not a Spanish sound, which is why Spanish speakers have trouble pronouncing it when they are first learning English.

Also, I find it interesting that one poster associated the three-syllable "coyote" with country/cowboys, while everyone else associated the two-syllable version with this.

At least it seems the OP has been answered -- two-syllable is standard across the Great Plains and into the Southwest, from Nebraska to New Mexico.

Dallas Jones
05-05-2010, 12:38 PM
Northern Oregon. Definately ki-oat.

Nava
05-05-2010, 12:39 PM
In Spanish, coyote. In English, apparently it's something like kayoht or kayohte, but I've only heard it pronounced by people from areas where coyotes could only be found in the zoo.

Inigo Montoya
05-05-2010, 12:48 PM
In Spanish, coyote. In English, apparently it's something like kayoht or kayohte, but I've only heard it pronounced by people from areas where coyotes could only be found in the zoo.There are places where the little bastards don't run free?

3 syllables. Kai-YO-dy

Anne Neville
05-05-2010, 01:04 PM
There are places where the little bastards don't run free?

3 syllables. Kai-YO-dy

I say it in 3 syllables, and there are wild coyotes here (http://thepittsburghchannel.com/news/23289210/detail.html).

UncaStuart
05-05-2010, 01:11 PM
3 syllables. Kai-YO-dy

Same here. Californian.

Gorsnak
05-05-2010, 01:27 PM
2 syllables for me, and that's the predominant pronunciation in these parts (western Canada). Not that anyone would look at you askance if you tagged an -ee on the end of it. And there are plenty of coyotes in the area, as well.

ftg
05-05-2010, 02:35 PM
It was only the 3-syllable version for me for the longest time. Ryhmes with "Wiley" of course.

But then, I noticed some of my rural western US relatives started using the short version. Even the old, old guys. People who have actually had to shoot coyotes to protect their calves. Weird. I suspect it's something to do with deliberately trying to sound more 'Merican than Mexican.

And now that's how Mrs. FtG pronounces it. Ugh. (She sees them when she's out walking in the early am in the neighborhood. I only hear them. Nobody can let their cats or small dogs out anymore.)

Wiley Kai-yote? Puhleeze.

pravnik
05-05-2010, 02:40 PM
Texan - I hear it said (and say it myself) about 50/50 between ki-YO-tee and ki-YOAT. I concur that a smuggler of illegal immigrants is said with the spanish pronunciation, coy-YO-teh.

AClockworkMelon
05-05-2010, 02:54 PM
I think the two syllable pronunciation was more common in the past. When I was a kid growing up in the 50s, I recall hearing it that way often in Westerns and cartoons. It's possible that as Spanish has become more widespread and common in the US, the original Spanish three-syllable pronunciation has become the norm.This sounds like the most reasonable explanation.

I use "kai-yo-tay" except when I'm talking to my family who lives in Pittsburgh. They're all very fascinated by Arizona and I use "kai-yoat" when talking with them. Makes me seem more impressive to them. :p

may_be_ignorant
05-05-2010, 02:56 PM
We say KI-OAT here, 2 syllables.

"Hey Cole, we still gonna go coyote huntin' tonight?"

Yeah, we're rednecks. Indiana.

Colophon
05-05-2010, 02:56 PM
Oh dear, i think I've been pronouncing it wrong all my life! Not that it's a word I use that often...

I say coy - oh - tee.

Me too, and that's the only pronunciation I've ever heard in the UK. Actually I think it's more like "coy - YO - tee". Definitely not "Kai" for the first syllable, though.

I just looked it up in my dictionary (Collins) and it gave three alternatives, in IPA:

'kɔɪəʊt

kɔɪ'əʊt

kɔɪ'əʊtɪ

In other words, COY-oat, coy-OAT or coy-OATy. Among native British speakers, I've only ever heard the third.

ShibbOleth
05-05-2010, 03:07 PM
There are places where the little bastards don't run free?



Nava is in Spain. They're not commonly found roaming the streets there.

panache45
05-05-2010, 03:33 PM
Ky-OH-tee. For some reason I associate the other pronunciation with less-than-literate people.

Kiyoshi
05-05-2010, 03:34 PM
I'm British and I pronounce it /kaɪ'əʊ.ti/ - I assume that this pronunciation came from Warner Brothers, because Wile E is the only coyote I've ever heard of. To be honest, it didn't even occur to me until now that it was a real animal...

AClockworkMelon
05-05-2010, 03:36 PM
To be honest, it didn't even occur to me until now that it was a real animal...Really? :eek:

Chefguy
05-05-2010, 03:45 PM
I'm British and I pronounce it /kaɪ'əʊ.ti/ - I assume that this pronunciation came from Warner Brothers, because Wile E is the only coyote I've ever heard of. To be honest, it didn't even occur to me until now that it was a real animal...

Perhaps you thought they were mangling Wile E. Kiyoshi?

Inigo Montoya
05-05-2010, 04:11 PM
To be honest, it didn't even occur to me until now that it was a real animal...Oh, they're real alright (http://cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/10/29/canada.singer.killed/index.html). Funny they should be interbreeding with wolves though. I was under the impression that wolves generally regarded them as food. But you can get bobcat/housecat mixes so I guess human's aren't the only species that "plays with its food" from time to time.

Autolycus
05-05-2010, 04:16 PM
kai-YO-tee

And if that's wrong, then fuck everything.

Inigo Montoya
05-05-2010, 04:18 PM
Missed the edit...Northeastern Coywolves (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coyote#Attacks_on_humans)

AHunter3
05-05-2010, 04:53 PM
In English: kaI ot (accent on the 1st syllable)

En Español: kɔI o te (accent on the middle syllable)

In neither one or anywhere else legitimately, AFAIK: kaI o ti

Acsenray
05-05-2010, 04:58 PM
In neither one or anywhere else legitimately, AFAIK: kaI o ti

:dubious:

What is your standard for "legitimate"? I believe others in this thread have already cited to dictionaries that note this pronunciation, indeed as the first pronunciation.

AHunter3
05-05-2010, 04:59 PM
ETooLateA: The WB theme song (http://youtube.com/watch?v=k9aoVRKeyZs) seems a bit divided on the subject:

Road runner, the "ky oat" is after you...

That "ky yo tee" is really a crazy clown

AHunter3
05-05-2010, 05:00 PM
:dubious:

What is your standard for "legitimate"? I believe others in this thread have already cited to dictionaries that note this pronunciation, indeed as the first pronunciation.

That's just wrong, son.

[/Foghorn]

Acsenray
05-05-2010, 05:04 PM
[/Foghorn]

Is that your "I'm jus' bein' an ornery so-and-so" so don't take me seriously tag?

ftg
05-05-2010, 05:10 PM
Funny they should be interbreeding with wolves though. I was under the impression that wolves generally regarded them as food. But you can get bobcat/housecat mixes so I guess human's aren't the only species that "plays with its food" from time to time.

Sex beats eating. Always.

Autolycus
05-05-2010, 05:13 PM
Sex beats eating. Always.

Clearly you've never had a good lobster bisque.

Ibanez
05-05-2010, 05:47 PM
Ka-yo-tee

AHunter3
05-05-2010, 06:35 PM
Is that your "I'm jus' bein' an ornery so-and-so" so don't take me seriously tag?[/QUOTE]

That, I say, that, is my tag by which I say, as I said before, that as far as I know, there ain't but one legitimate way in English to say it, which is as I said it, just like I said.

And I did say as far as I know, and don't you go saying otherwise, now, you hear?

wolfman
05-05-2010, 06:39 PM
I love saying the indiginous 'tl' (probably very poorly, but who cares?) It's just a fun sound that isn't used in normal words*. So most of the time. unless around people who I don't want to realize my wierdness,I say Coyotl, In my best guess at the original way. Avocotl too. Don't get to say Quetzalcoatl very often

*or at least I used to seldom get to, of course these days I get to say Chipotle all the time. so my need is somewhat assuaged.

Chipotle,Chipotle,Chipotle,Chipotle,Chipotle,Chipotle :)

MeanOldLady
05-05-2010, 07:40 PM
Ka-yo-teeYes. I don't say kai.

cochrane
05-05-2010, 07:56 PM
ETooLateA: The WB theme song (http://youtube.com/watch?v=k9aoVRKeyZs) seems a bit divided on the subject:

Road runner, the "ky oat" is after you...

That "ky yo tee" is really a crazy clown
I've always heard it as the "ky yo tee's after you."

I say it with three syllables, too, but I sometimes hear it as "ky-oat" on nature shows, such as on Animal Planet. It's uncommon enough here (I'm also in Arizona) so as to make me go, "Huh?"

TreacherousCretin
05-06-2010, 12:29 AM
I pronounce it "kie YO tee" out of lifelong habit. Can't bother making the effort to pronounce it (more) correctly, which I assume is "coy YO tay."

And "kie YOAT" is for hillbillies.

Nava
05-06-2010, 01:43 AM
Nava is in Spain. They're not commonly found roaming the streets there.

Well, I happen to be in Spain today, but the Americans I've heard say coyote were from Philadelphia.

In English: kaI ot (accent on the 1st syllable)

En Español: kɔI o te (accent on the middle syllable)

In neither one or anywhere else legitimately, AFAIK: kaI o ti


That would be kɔ Io te; the y is considered a consonant and part of the second syllable, in Spanish (the only case where "y" is considered to represent a vowel sound is in the word "y", meaning "and").

Wolverine
05-06-2010, 02:43 AM
kai yo tee

Born and raised in Michigan.

Harmonious Discord
05-06-2010, 07:30 AM
Wisconsin. People around here use both pronunciations. I hear and use the three syllable pronunciation the most.

Inigo Montoya
05-06-2010, 10:59 AM
Chipotle,Chipotle,Chipotle,Chipotle,Chipotle,Chipotle :)
Dude, don't get me started!

You've just ruined my latest attempt to lose weight, by the way.

SMullen
05-06-2010, 11:18 AM
I'm from Southeastern Washington State, and have always said "kai-YO-tee". I usually feel a little awkward with that, but "KAI-ote" feels more awkward. As in interesting side note, people where I grew up would say a shy person was being "kai", as in, behaving like a coyote.

Dangerosa
05-06-2010, 12:06 PM
Well, I happen to be in Spain today, but the Americans I've heard say coyote were from Philadelphia.



Coyotes are found throughout the continental U.S. There isn't a state that doesn't have them. Although few people see them in the wild. Then again, our zoo has them, and you can't often see them in the zoo either (they and the wolves both like to hide back in the brush).

ki YO tay

koeeoaddi
05-06-2010, 12:56 PM
I rhyme it with my user name. :)

elfkin477
05-08-2010, 10:29 AM
I pronounce it the way you do, with three syllables, and I'm from New Hampshire. Me too, but there are people here who say it with two syllables too, kind of like Ki-oat, so it's not just a regional thing. It always confuses me for a second when they do.

CoyoteHuskerCyclone
10-01-2010, 06:45 PM
Sorry to resurrect this thread, but it is a topic that interests me greatly. As you may have discerned from my name, I have ties to three Midwestern colleges. I am a native South Dakotan from Rapid City (western part, Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore). I am an alumnus of both the University of South Dakota and Iowa State University, and am a big fan of the Huskers (University of Nebraska).

The athletics teams from USD are called the Coyotes (kai-yot) or the "Yotes" (yots). Our cheer was "Go Yotes!". In my experience Western South Dakotans say kai-otes, and in the east it is kind of split, with the more urban areas saying kai-ot-ees. My friend from Fargo says kai-ot-ees. most people in Minnesota, Iowa and Eastern Nebraska say kai-ot-ees.

This has been more on my mind lately, with both USD and their rival SDSU being more noticed on a national scale since their recent switch to Division I football. It is interesting that things like how we pronounce our state capitol, Pierre (pier) are largely unknown to the rest of the mainstream US.

I would just say that pronunciation should be thought of in relative terms. Things evolve and change. This wouldn't be the first time a foreign word was anglicized and it is not just backwards rednecks who say it. Think of it as a link to our past. Regionalism can be fun, and adds to diversity. Urban culture tends to make everything the same. For example, People from large southern cities often have less of a southern accent. Does that make them better?

Khadaji
10-01-2010, 06:57 PM
Here is the definitive answer, straight from the coyote's mouth (http://youtube.com/watch?v=YIPr23xyoZg).
Yes, this is how I say and the source of where I learned to say it.

Raygun99
10-01-2010, 07:25 PM
Western Canadian born and raised: the word is 'kai-ute', with a long u.

crowmanyclouds
10-01-2010, 08:09 PM
...That's how I pronounce it. If you eat rattlesnake meat, and shit, then you can say Ki-oat.

Yup. Or if you're in a Western.Or your Perry Como singing Deep in The Heart of Texas (http://youtube.com/watch?v=HitppPcYGdY&feature=related) (~1:20) in 1941!

CMC fnord!

BigT
10-01-2010, 08:48 PM
If there's a way to pronounce a word that does not sound like a hick affectation, I take it. Pronouncing the e as a separate syllable definitely sounds like a hick affectation.

If I was going to go for the Spanish pronunciation, I'd say it right: co yo te (like tay but without the dipthong). But seeing as affecting a Spanish accent is generally frowned upon in normal speech, I stick with the shorter pronunciation.

If it were acceptable, I'd say hyper-bowl and epi-tome. The others just sound hickish.

I do say Wile E. Coyote and Coyote Ugly correctly, just like I say Pirates of the Carribean correctly, despite preferring the more English sound of accenting the antepenultimate syllable.

OpalCat
10-01-2010, 11:05 PM
To me "kai-ote" sounds hickish.

CoyoteHuskerCyclone
10-02-2010, 12:01 PM
If there's a way to pronounce a word that does not sound like a hick affectation, I take it. Pronouncing the e as a separate syllable definitely sounds like a hick affectation.

If I was going to go for the Spanish pronunciation, I'd say it right: co yo te (like tay but without the dipthong). But seeing as affecting a Spanish accent is generally frowned upon in normal speech, I stick with the shorter pronunciation.

If it were acceptable, I'd say hyper-bowl and epi-tome. The others just sound hickish.

I do say Wile E. Coyote and Coyote Ugly correctly, just like I say Pirates of the Carribean correctly, despite preferring the more English sound of accenting the antepenultimate syllable.

I accept your perspective when you say " to me..." or " sounds like..." because it is relative to your experience. Correctness as it relates to pronunciation is a moving target. Dictionaries are constantly changing to reflect what is generally accepted as "correct". If something is generally accepted in a wide region over a long period of time, it is just as correct as what was accepted before, even if it started out as a "hick affectation" or a mispronunciation of a foreign word. The funny part of this argument is that those who steadfastly say that "kai-ot-ee" is the only correct way are forgetting that even this is an anglicized version of a Spanish word.

From the sound of it, the current range of "kai-ote" is the mountain west and western great plains (both extending into Canada), with fuzzy edges in the southwest, west coast, and midwest. It may have had a larger range in the past, though.

Another interesting thing to note is that the original pre-modern range of the Coyote was western North America (Arctic to Central America). Starting in the early 19th century, the Coyote has extended its range eastward in response to two things: Successful adaptation to human-altered landscapes (see Raccoons, skunks, opossum, etc), and the extermination of the Coyote's natural predator, the wolf. As an example, when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park, the Coyote populations took a nose-dive.

So I guess I would argue that the "most correct" name for the animal would be the names various Native American Tribes had for it, and the "most correct way to pronounce Coyote would be the Spanish way "coy-o-tay". The Spanish encountered this animal before english-speakers did. So, between the 2 or 3 Anglicized versions, I would lean towards the one most dominant in the animal's original range. "kai-ote". Go Yotes!

Oh, and thank you to all contributors to this thread, you have illuminated something that i have wondered about for a long time.

Chopper9760
10-04-2010, 12:23 PM
I know it's just a regional thing but the three-syllable pronunciation of coyote is like a cheese grater to the brain.

"I saw some kai-o-tees out by the creeeeek." No, you saw some kai-otes by the crick. Now explain why you weren't shooting at them.

I love regional differences but this one gives me a strong knee-jerk reaction. I can't hear coyote in three syllables without thinking the speaker is a moron. Then I dial it back and remember that colloquial differences are FUN. :)

Enderw24
10-04-2010, 12:27 PM
I've heard a few people say ky-oat but only in a sort of joking way. No one I know would actually think that's the normal way to pronounce it. But then I'm in California.

Cal-i-forn-ee?

Looey
10-04-2010, 01:57 PM
Montana native here, and it's definitely KAI-oat to me. My high school mascot was the coyote, and all the cheers used two syllables.

They are viewed as being somewhat akin to vermin. My father was a farmer not a rancher, and we generally left them alone if they left us alone because they eat the rodents that eat the crops. However if over population or close proximity threatened our pets, my dad and brothers were out there hunting them down to eliminate the nuisance. They are generally pretty nasty, mangy critters.

Oh yeah, I've never eaten rattlesnake or shit, though you have my invitation to do so if you like. :)

Nunavut Boy
10-04-2010, 02:21 PM
2 syllables for me, and that's the predominant pronunciation in these parts (western Canada). Not that anyone would look at you askance if you tagged an -ee on the end of it. And there are plenty of coyotes in the area, as well.

I grew up in Alberta, and I approve this message.

SCSimmons
10-04-2010, 03:42 PM
"I saw some kai-o-tees out by the creeeeek." No, you saw some kai-otes by the crick. Now explain why you weren't shooting at them.
Great, now we have a new regionalism to discuss.

Actually, I'm a bit curious about the overlap of these now. Where I grew up, in northern Illinois, it was 'kai-oh-tee' and 'crick'. Down here in north Texas, the natives seem to use 'kai-ote' and 'creek'. So, where are you from, where it's apparently 'kai-ote' and 'crick'? (Honestly, I've hardly ever heard anyone use 'crick'--people from all over the country hear me use that term and go, "What's a crick?")

stw004
10-04-2010, 08:00 PM
Texan here

A kai-yot is the nasty ass animal which eats everything.

A coy-o-teh is a gentleman/lady who's profession involves getting people from one side of the border to the other

ExTank
10-04-2010, 08:37 PM
That's how I pronounce it. If you eat rattlesnake meat and shit, then you can say Ki-oat.

Well, I've had the rattlesnake (breaded and pan fried on one occasion, and sauteed with butter and garlic on another), and I've had food that might colloquially be referred to as shit, but I still use the three syllable pronunciation.

Pai325
10-04-2010, 08:47 PM
I pronounce it the same way as the OP. Born in the suburbs of Chicago.

Yookeroo
10-04-2010, 09:24 PM
The first time I heard it pronounced kai•ote was courtesy of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (http://youtube.com/watch?v=0F7M0oqJR08).

Baker
10-05-2010, 12:26 PM
Kansan here, and I've always said, and heard, KAI- yote. The only time I hear the 3-part pronunciation is in connection with roadrunners.

Chopper9760
10-05-2010, 01:19 PM
"I saw some kai-o-tees out by the creeeeek." No, you saw some kai-otes by the crick. Now explain why you weren't shooting at them.
Great, now we have a new regionalism to discuss.

Actually, I'm a bit curious about the overlap of these now. Where I grew up, in northern Illinois, it was 'kai-oh-tee' and 'crick'. Down here in north Texas, the natives seem to use 'kai-ote' and 'creek'. So, where are you from, where it's apparently 'kai-ote' and 'crick'? (Honestly, I've hardly ever heard anyone use 'crick'--people from all over the country hear me use that term and go, "What's a crick?")

Northern Idaho. Creek and coyote are big red flags around here. We were sitting through a boring weekly meeting and our newish boss said creeeeek. No one said anything but we must have visibly reacted because he actually stopped and asked what happened.

We also say coon or coons instead of raccoons. I've occasionally heard people on t.v. pronounce it RUH-coons, if we bother to say the whole word it's always rack-oons. How 'bout y'all?

Northern Piper
10-09-2010, 02:46 AM
2 syllables for me, and that's the predominant pronunciation in these parts (western Canada). Not that anyone would look at you askance if you tagged an -ee on the end of it. And there are plenty of coyotes in the area, as well.

I concur with my learned friend from Toontown.

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