Crappie are amongst the most popular panfish in North America. Known for their delicious flavour, fishing for crappie is a favourite pastime for anglers up and down the country, with the freshwater fish being viewed as great fun to fish and cook.
The widespread popularity of crappie fishing has led to a rather interesting development however, with two prominent pronunciations of the word crappie. For most, the word crappie isn’t pronounced as it is spelled, like countless words in the English language, instead be pronounced ‘croppie’.
Many feel this is the official pronunciation of crappie, with it being widely used throughout parts of the country. Yet there are many angler’s that are adamant crappie is pronounced exactly as it is spelled.
You can visit various freshwater crappie hotspots and never hear one mention of ‘croppie’, so there it’s quite confusing for anyone trying to understand the correct pronunciation and why there are two different options. So exactly is right or wrong?
Why is crappie pronounced croppie despite its spelling?
Let’s take a closer look to see if we can uncover some answers.
To understand the pronunciation of crappie it helps to know where the word derives from. Firstly, crappie is just a common name given to this species, which is actually officially known by their genus name Pomoxis.
Pomoxis derives from the Greek words πώμα (cap) and (οξύς 9sharp), which doesn’t have much influence on the common word used today, which has its roots in French Canadian.
The word crappie derives from the French-Canadian word crapet, a term used to describe various fish from the sunfish family of which crappie belongs to. Crapet is pronounced krah pay in French Canadian, yet in English that can be pronounced either crop A or crap E.
Basically, the English pronunciation of the French-Canadian term for crappie has resulted in two different pronunciations.
That said, if using the French-Canadian pronunciation, the correct pronunciation is croppie/croppee. As this is where the name crappie originates from, then croppie is technically the correct pronunciation.
Why Do Some People Still Pronounce It Crappie?
Like any word, crappie has variations to its pronunciation, often influenced by region and the general spelling of the word. For example, anyone that doesn’t fish or haven’t eaten crappie before probably think it is pronounced as it is spelled – we’re sure an angler will be happy to correct them should the opportunity arise!
Another interesting part of the crappie/croppie debate is that different parts of the countries use different pronunciations. Regional dialects greatly influence the pronunciation of countless words, so it’s not unusual to hear different pronunciations for many words, and crappie is no different.
For example, many parts of the southern United States use the crappie pronunciation, while northern parts of the country are more likely to use the croppie pronunciation.
So, officially crappie is pronounced croppie due to the French Canadian origins of the word, but that doesn’t mean everyone sticks to the rules – the joys of the English language!