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How Do You Pronounce Coupon?

A few weeks ago, I asked on Instagram how people pronounce the word “coupon”. The results of the poll were so interesting:

For the record, I say “Q-pon”. I’m originally from Kansas and it seems like most people there say it that way. (At least the people I was around!)

However, when I started doing radio and magazine interviews, I noticed that it always seemed like the people in media said, “Coo-pon”. I started to wonder if I was the one who had always pronounced it incorrectly.

Come to find out, you can pronounce it either way and both are correct, at least according to Merriam-Webster.

By the way, I thought this pronunciation note on was funny…

I guess I follow the American pronunciation and am an “educated speaker”. 😉

How do YOU pronounce coupon? Do you think it’s a regional thing or based on something else? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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  • Karen Lyons says:

    I pronounce it coo- pon! Interesting that I haven’t heard people call it Q- Pon.

  • kim says:

    I pronounce it both ways, without paying attention to which one I’m using….but I think I grew up saying q-pon.

  • Lisa says:

    Growing up in Michigan I said Q-pon, but now living in Arizona for the past 15 years, I made the switch to coo-pon. 😁🤷‍♀️

  • Gina says:

    Ha ha! I’m sure this is a regional thing! My grandma always said “q-pon” but here in New England is usually “coo-pon.” I have to admit, I cringe a bit every time you say it with a Q. 😂😂

  • Julia says:

    I grew up in MD, lived in PA and IN, and have always pronounced it coo-pon.

    • Jordan says:

      Thanks for sharing! It’s interesting to see if it changes based on where someone has moved! -Jordan, MSM Team

  • Kimberly says:

    I pronounce it Q-pun and even my fellow Alabamians are like, “What did you just say?” I think it is just the way people from my small town pronounced it and it has always stuck with me. After all, I was a cashier at our local grocery store🙂

  • Lauri Everlove says:

    Grew up in CA and have always said q pon…

  • Jamie says:

    I’ve always lived in Virginia and it seems to vary among people here, but I say coupon with a q sound. It’s funny how many people dislike hearing it said the opposite of their pronunciation. Same here!

  • Christine says:

    I love this post! Team Q-pon! 🙂

  • RV says:

    Y’all need to read the book Speaking American by Josh Katz. He maps how we use different words for the same idea by region (like takeout vs. carry-out or skillet vs. frying pan or soda vs. pop vs. coke). There is also a section on how to pronounce different words by region (coupon, pecan, route, candidate, and more). It is the best coffee table book ever.

  • Diane says:

    Growing up in NY, it was definitely Coo-pon for me, but having moved to the midwest, I now say “Q-pon” because that’s how most people around here seem to say it. I admit that when I started couponing about 15 years ago, I was confused by the abbreviation “Q” for coupon, because I hadn’t heard it said that way! But now it makes perfect sense.

  • Melissa Muir says:

    Ohio gal here. My dad was a high school physics teacher and very educated. He always said coo-pon. I felt like it sounded so formal and fancy so I always said Q-pon, and still do! Most people in my circle say q-pon.

  • Melissa says:

    Coo-pon, and yes the Q sound makes me cringe. I grew up in IL.

  • Robin Y. says:

    Former French teacher here! In French, “couper” (rhymes with hooray) = to cut. Coupon means a clipped thing. So I have to go with Team Coo-pon!

    Incidentally, I find the same either/or with “bouquet”. Originally intended to be pronounced “boo-quet” 🙂

    • Jordan says:

      That’s really interesting! Thanks for the etymology lesson. I always love learning new things! -Jordan, MSM Team

  • Erin says:

    Q-pon! I live in Nebraska and have only heard coo-pon on tv, never, ever in real life 🙂

  • Alli says:

    PA Gal…q-pon.
    PA Gal’s husband (PA too)…coo-pon. HA!

    • Jordan says:

      Bwhahaha! That’s too funny that you both pronounce it differently! I know I say a lot of things like someone from the southeast but then occasionally something I learned from my mom (originally from the midwest) will slip in. Maybe that’s what going on? -Jordan, MSM Team

  • Beth says:

    Yeah, it’s Q-pon here in Wichita and if someone says koo-pon, you know they’re not from around here. My husband also says it’s kind of high-falutin’ to call our current nightly bug visitors fireflies, as they are apparently lightning bugs. Also, there’s a weird little quirk in Wichita about how you pronounce Greenwich, a street here in town. It’s an easy tell for out of towners.

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