We all know the English language has some funky words out there like “moist” and “bamboozled,” but there are some words we just don't know if we're pronouncing right. Although you may think you pronounce everything correctly, let’s see if you know how to pronounce almond the right way.

Almond appears to be a pretty straightforward word, but is it pronounced ahl-mend or al-mond, or something entirely different? Knowing the correct pronunciation will not only help you when you order that delicious vanilla almond latte, but it will also help you put to rest the warring debates among you and your friends. Let’s go back to the beginning, shall we?

Almond's Origins

nut, almond, walnut
Torey Walsh

The word 'almond' comes from the Old French almande, amande, or alemondle. Earlier almond comes from the Latin amendla, and from the Greek amygdalos. The French had the original pronunciation of ah-mond dating back to the 14th century, but how do people pronounce it in the English language? 

Almond Nut Latte, Please

coffee, cappuccino, espresso, mocha, chocolate, milk, cream
Allie Hicks

As an individual who has lived half her life in the north and half her life in the south, I have to say I haven’t always known if I pronounce 'almond' correctly or not. I've always said al-mond, but living in the south I often hear ahl-mend with a thick southern drawl. However, I discovered that there are even more pronunciations of the nutty word.

Almond farms are a huge thing in California and while reading through an interview with a Californian Almond Farmer, I came to find out that most people there pronounce it am-end. Wait, what? At first I didn’t even catch that she was referring to the same thing that I call an al-mond

According to a Stanford study, people from Northern California say am-end, while people from Southern California say al-mond. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that many of these growers have been here for a while and as a result have derived am-end from the French immigrants that settled there many years ago.

During the 1800s, many immigrants from Europe came to California to grow almonds. The immigrants used different names for the nut like the French amande, the Portuguese amendoa, or the Spanish almendra. Somehow the am-end stuck with the Northern Californians. Despite these different pronunciations, there can only be one winner right?

So Who's Right?

chocolate, candy, cake, sweet, pastry, goody
Angela Pizzimenti

It turns out that Merriam Webster is more accepting than we may have thought. Both al-mond and am-end are correct pronunciations of the nut. It even says that ahl-mend is an acceptable pronunciation. It looks like we can all say the word how we like according to our accents. Frustrating, I know, but no one wins this battle.

If you’re looking to start a war over this pronunciation, go ahead. Just don’t tell your friends that you’re both right or they may get mad at you. As for me, I’m going to stick with “al-mond” because I’ve said it my whole life and I’m afraid people won’t understand me if I suddenly drop the “l.”

Now you can order that almond latte with confidence and defend your pronunciation when your friends make fun of you. Oh, and if you really want to impress them, try making this delicious almond olive oil cake.