How is stirrup pronounced?


Help me with a totally nonscientific survey of accents: how do you pronounce the word stirrup? (As in stirrup pants, as in part of a saddle. Stirrup.) And where did you grow up?

Ciro and I say the word differently enough that he has trouble identifying that I’m saying the word. (He says “stir up” and I say “steer up.”) I’m trying to figure out how this could have happened, and whether either of our pronunciations is in fact odd. I suspect both are correct, and his is more common, but where on earth did I get mine from? It’s not like that’s how it’s spelled.


About 35 people responded, mostly from the U.S. and Canada, and basically all of them say stir-up. Only a handful had heard steer-up before, either in northern England or from some older North Texans. A costumer agreed with me that stirrup pants need to make a comeback. We noted the multiple pronunciations of syrup, and how appropriate it seems that syrup pronunciations seem to flow all kinds of different directions.