How do you pronounce "calm" in English?

I was reading the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) entry on words ending in '-alm' in English. It said that they were pronounced so as to rhyme with "bomb". This surprised me, since as a native speaker of American English, I've never heard anyone pronounce it like that. I and everyone I've known have pronounced the 'L', which means the word is pronounced the same as "call", but with an -m at the end. Do any other native English speakers pronounce it so as to rhyme with "bomb", or did the IPA make a mistake?

Update:

To Bella Cullen <3 Twilight, it's a rather short 'L' sound, but I still pronounce it. So it's not like "call-'em" since I still pronounce it as one syllable, but there is an 'L' sound in there with the 'a'.

And for the regional thing, I was raised in Anchorage Alaska, and then moved to Tampa Florida.

16 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I am from London England, and I don't pronounce it with an 'L' sound. I pronounce it like "kaam" or "kahm" . I pronounce bomb as "bom", so no they do not rhyme.

    To my ears, the way an American says calm and bomb do rhyme pretty much "kaam/kahm" and "baam/bahm" but I guess an American would know better.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No, not a mistake. To me, it *does* rhyme with "bomb". Though a fellow native speaker of American English, I'm the opposite of you: I've never heard anyone pronounce the "L" in "calm". I grew up in California and Virginia. Maybe it's a regional thing?

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  • kirst
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Pronunciation Of Calm

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  • 6 years ago

    I think pronouncing it with the "L" is just as bad as saying, "Jack invited Jill and I for dinner." Nobody knows English anymore!

    It's "Jack invited Jill and me for dinner." - take the word Jill out and see what that sentence would be.

    Its "he's stronger than I [am}."

    Its "if I WERE elected."

    It's "if George Washington HAD NOT BEEN elected."

    What are they teaching in school?

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  • 1 decade ago

    I pronounce it so it rhymes with bomb, and nobody I know pronounces the "L". It could be a regional difference. (I live in the state of New York)

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  • 1 decade ago

    It depends how fast you say it.

    For example:

    Person 1: Stop getting stressed out!!

    Person 2: I'm calm (I'm com!)

    or (I'm carm).

    Where I live it's a matter of speed and/or how much effort you feel is necessary to be put into proper pronunciation.

    With 'bomb', some people might say it like 'balm' (barm), with a kind of drawling sound. Again dependent on speed/area/how you've been raised to say it.

    'call-m' sounds really dodgy to me, but I'm English. I've never heard anyone say it like that. Does that 'call-m' sound a bit more like 'carl-m'?

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  • 1 decade ago

    I'm from Canada, and I pronounce it without the L sound, although I think it's a slightly longer ahh than in my pronunciation of "bomb".

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  • 1 decade ago

    In British/Irish English it would be pronounced the same as "palm"

    "Bomb" is a different pronounciation altogether

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  • 1 decade ago

    calm

    balm

    psalm

    can all be pronounced the same way, except, of course, for the initial consonant.

    There's no one right way. Your way is as good as any other. The IPA is descriptive, not prescriptive.

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  • Indigo
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    More than likely regional. Northern Delaware, L renouncer. My "calm" almost rhymes with bomb, but not quite.

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