I have often heard the pronunciation stereotype for Canadians which states we pronounce the word “about” as “aboot.” But I always wondered where that came from since I certainly had never heard that. And recently, I came across the following article which backs me up on this.

I imagine the perception actually comes from our Scottish immigration. Scots do often use the “aboot” pronunciation. Here’s a little child’s poem pronounced as follows:

Roon aboot, roon aboot, roon a wee moose, up a bit, up a bit, to his wee hoose. (Run about, run about, run a week mouse, up abit, up a bit, to his wee house.)


Canadian Raising: Nobody says “Aboot”

by Ben Trawick-Smith

A point of clarification: Canadians do not say aboot.

Canadian English features something called Canadian Raising, which basically means that the diphthong in “now” is raised before t, s or other voiceless consonants (i.e. before words like about and house).

What does this mean?  In most Canadian accents, about sounds a bit like American a-boat (IPA əbʌʊt).

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