Friday, July 14th 2006
Beans and Lentils

Anyone know how to pronounce the word ‘legume?’ I’m looking for the most common pronunciation in the States.

HolySister says, "Leg-Yoom," but it must also be pointed out that HolySister has lived in various countries around the world and her accent and pronunciation of some words tends to reflect this. 

HolySister says ‘herbs’ WITH  the H. Ahem.

Although yesterday when I asked her, she was kind enough to look it up in THREE different dictionaries for me, and then told me I was then obligated to accept her "Leg-Yoom" assessment, since she 1) I asked HER and 2) she went to some trouble.

So, what do y’all think?


35 Comments on “Beans and Lentils”

July 14th, 2006
11:38 am

“Legume” is a French word, and Holysister is definitely pronouncing it correctly…in French. Here is the good ‘ol US of A, most people say LAY-GOOM. 8^)

July 14th, 2006
12:28 pm

I pronounce it like HolySister. Herbs with the H? Just weird. But not as weird as the native Houstonians around here who don’t pronounce the H. Yoo-ston. Weirder.

July 14th, 2006
12:36 pm

I’ve always just said it Leh-goom. Maybe I’m completely wrong, though. Good question.

July 14th, 2006
12:47 pm

Lay goom. Hard g.Or just beans.

July 14th, 2006
12:50 pm

I say it Lay-joom

Well, I don’t actually ever remember SAYING it but thats how I hear it in my head.

And Herbs?

Erbs to me.

Shannon @ Rocks in my Dryer
July 14th, 2006
12:54 pm

I thought it was leh-ZHOOM

July 14th, 2006
1:33 pm

We don’t allow fancy-dancy talk like that in our house. Beans will do nicely thank you.

But my dictionary also says this: legyoom.

Oh, but we do talk fancy with the “erbs”. She’s just plain wrong on that one…

I think that should make it clear as mud for you. And we pronounce that as m-uh-d. Just trying to help.

July 14th, 2006
2:19 pm

Legyoom. Erb. Yooston. That’s how we do those words around here. :) Then again, sometimes your favorite store is Tar-jhay.

July 14th, 2006
3:49 pm

I would like to point out that when one has lived on 3 continents, one is likely to have accent blur. I would also like to point out that I’m pretty sure ‘leg-yoom’ is not one of my blurry words. (Unlike herbs!)

What HolyMama has failed to tell you is that after I consulted my library of dictionaries on her behalf, and we had kicked around the idea that just possibly my pronunciation was a little more Queens English than most Americans’, AND after pointing out that 2 of the 3 dictionaries I consulted were American and still agreed with me – after all that, HolyMama still wouldn’t actually say the word out loud. She would argue with me, but she wouldn’t actually use the word. I coaxed it out of her eventually, but it was pretty pitiful. Kind of a wimpy little whisper. “Leg-yoom” in the voice of delicate little blossom.

I’m still Texan enough to agree that ‘beans’ would probably fit any known *need* for this word in conversation. I can’t remember ever being stuck for this particular word!

July 14th, 2006
5:08 pm

Here in the Deep South, its lah-goom. The keyword in that sentence is *Deep South*. If you were to ask any random person on the street here, you would likely be laughed at and told, “I don’t speak Spain-ish. Where you from anyhow?” So.Not.Spanish. *Sigh* Then again, a local road named Houston Valley is pronounced House-ton Valley. Yep. And if you pronounce it like Hou-ston, you would be quickly corrected. You-ston sounds better than House-ton any day.

Just for the record, here in the South herb is pronounced with the H. Just.Plain.Wrong. I refuse to conform. Everyone knows the H is silent. Duh. :)

July 14th, 2006
8:00 pm

Hi Holy Daughters,
My question is why do you want to know how to pronounce the L word?
It was very entertaining to read this sisterly discussion – deja vu* back to our Crosswind house listening to the two of you on opposite sides of a topic. (*pronounce this phrase any way you like). Love, J-mom

July 15th, 2006
12:02 am

Lay-goom. That’s Texan for leg-yoom.

July 15th, 2006
12:06 am

Leg-Yoom. Totally correct.

Herb with an H? Reserved for balding men over the age of 65.

julie carobini
July 15th, 2006
12:38 am

Frijoles. Oh, wait. I’m Mexican–sorry. It’s “Lay-goom”, although I’ve never actually said it outloud (unless it was part of a riddle or something :-)

July 15th, 2006
2:00 am

I’m actually with Holysister on this one Kelsey. Sorry about that : )

July 15th, 2006
8:26 am

If pressed, I would have to be in the leg-YOOM camp. However, I prefer PEAS.

July 15th, 2006
8:51 am

I’m with the “beans” contingent. I’ve never actually said the word legume out loud. Although, as an English teacher, (albeit jobless currently) I bemoan the fact that we are losing the use of many specific words in favor of a few general words.
Texas-speak is a world unto itself. A town named La Mesa, but pronounced La Meeesa. A town named Mexia, pronounced by the locals Ma-hair. Bidness. Nucular. Y’all.

July 15th, 2006
10:05 am

I’ve always said leh-goom, when I’ve said the word. Usually it’s only pronounced in my mind when I’m doing crossword puzzles, however. I’m also from the South (although brought up with a completely different Southern language known as Arkansan), and as a kid I hated all the strange pronunciations by my family members. After studying a little linguistics in college, however, I find it kind of fun.
Never heard of House-ton, Daisy, but when we lived in southern Missouri, my pet peeve was the pronunciation of New Madrid (MAD-rid).
BTW, on a lark, I looked up legume on the SparkPeople Nutrients page, and it didn’t know what in the world I was talking about. It did, however, know what a bean is.

July 15th, 2006
12:35 pm

If you grow ‘erbs, are you an ‘erbalist, or a Herbalist? Pronouncing it ‘erbs (whether it’s correct or not) sounds like you need tutoring from Dr. ‘enry ‘iggins.

Re: Legumes, if the word is french, you give it the french pronunciation; saying “This is how we say it in America” just sounds pretentious, especially when you bastardize Grand Prix. It’s either Gron Pree, or Grand Pricks; don’t go saying Grand Pree.

July 15th, 2006
2:46 pm

Hi Kelsey! Well, even though I’m a native New Englander, I’ve never had a regional accent. Go figure. Anyway, I’ve always pronounced it leh-GOOM and since my family has often accused me of being a walking dictionary, I never bothered looking it up which I shall now do. Hm. My Webster’s gives LEG-oom as the only pronunciation. I like mine better. :)

July 15th, 2006
2:54 pm

i say le-goom. yeah. when i say it. mostly i say beans, too.

July 15th, 2006
3:25 pm

i say it like this, “thingthatmakesonefartalot” ;-)

July 15th, 2006
5:36 pm

Well, first of all, I think HolySister’s logic is a bit faulty. (Sorry, HS.) The two reasons she cited are neither sufficient arguements nor relevant to the matter. The manner of one’s request and the effort put forth to fulfill such a request do not change or even have bearing on the pronunciation of the word.

That said, HolySister is right. According to Merriam-Webster, the pronunciation is indeed ‘le-”gyüm. The only possible question is whether the first or the second syllable should be accented. While both are acceptable, accenting the first syllable is preferred.

Personally, though, I think legume is one of those words that should be spoken as rarely as possible, like “moisture” or “utensil”. It’s just not a pretty word.

July 15th, 2006
8:03 pm


Le…like LET us spray
gu…like what’s that GOO between your toes
me…like MMMMMM that taste’s good

Smiles… and yes, I will need your help in getting the counter up…thanks for the offer

July 15th, 2006
8:37 pm

How about the word “bean”. It works for me!

If you are talking about actual herbs, I leave off the “h” sound. But if a man is named Herb, i pronounce the “H” sound. i think Erb would be a funny first name, don’t you think?

July 15th, 2006
9:10 pm

Funny you posted this Kelsey, I just purchased my first bag of lentils a.k.a. “legumes”. I’ve never really said this word either, I totally cracked up at Angie’s comment though, good one:))

July 16th, 2006
11:49 pm

Leg-Ume. I concur!

July 17th, 2006
9:07 am

I don’t say it a lot, but I generally say it like Holy Sister if I do!

July 17th, 2006
10:37 am

I think it’s pronounced Lejoomee! J.K.
I think sis is right! I wanted to say thank you for referring the spark site! I love it and needed it! very cool. good luck!

July 17th, 2006
11:15 am

Just say beans or musical fruit! Then you don’t have to worry how to pronounce it! :)

July 17th, 2006
11:23 am

I would say it like Kristen, but like Mary, I’ve only said it in my head! I’ve never had any either! I don’t even know what they look like!!!!! But I have seen them written in recipes, maybe I should be adventurous and give em a try!

July 17th, 2006
4:40 pm

HM -

It’s ‘Leg-Yoom’. And ‘herbs’ with the ‘h’ is a bit unusual but I’ve heard it before. Here in NashVegas we have folks that pronounce ‘humble’ withOUT the ‘h’ and ‘mirror’ without the ‘or’. It comes out ‘mirra’ and I had to ask what they were talking about the first time I heard it.

Of course, we could always just call potatoes potatoes or whatever other legume we are discussing by name and dispense with the legume thing all together … not as fun, though.



Patrick B
July 18th, 2006
1:57 am

I’m with HS on both counts. I also pronounce the h on herbs but with very little accent.

In the south US it is beans, Only up north do they bother with “kinds” of beans.

Same thing with “greens”

grafted branch
July 18th, 2006
10:09 pm

Yeah…Martha says herbs with the “h” too…and we all know how she ended.

How about, “lay-ju-mey.” Sounds very french, no?

moon shine
April 12th, 2007
5:57 am

i say herbs withs an h erb just doesnt sound right! :)

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