How Do You Pronounce “Almond”?

Posted on : September 26th, 2019

Shaking the Almond Trees
Shaking the “l” out of the almonds

Silly question. You pronounce it “all-mond, right?” Well, maybe, if you live almost everywhere in the United States. But not if you live in Chico, CA! Here we say “am-end” with “am” pronounced like “Sam.”

Where on earth did that come from? If you ask farmers, they’ll pretty much tell you the same joke: that when they shake the almonds out of the trees at harvest time, they shake the “l” out of them!

Okay, but really, where does it come from? Nobody knows for sure but it appears that the farmers who have been working with almonds the longest—for example, Maisie Jane’s family has farmed almonds for four generations—are the most likely to use this pronunciation.

One theory is that it has to do with the immigrants who brought almonds to the United States and how they referred to the nuts in their native language. Almonds were first introduced by Spanish missionaries, and they called them almendras (pronounced with the “l”). People in southern California use the “l” in how they pronounce it. However, those almond trees did not succeed. Later immigrants from France and Portugal, brought almond tress to Central and northern California and in those languages the nut was called amandola and amande. That’s quite similar to how it is pronounced here today.

The history of names for almond goes back much further than that however. In late Latin, the word was amandula. That was derived from the ancient Greek amygdalos which meant “almond tree.” Late Old English used the word amygdales, again, quite similar.

Interestingly, in Italy, the “a’ is dropped altogether. The Italian word for almond is mandorla. And that is also similar to the name used by German, Dutch or Jewish people: mandel or mandl. Again, “man” pronounced like “Sam.”

So how should you really pronounce it? Anyway you like—we won’t be insulted.

Maisie Jane’s California Sunshine Products, Inc. was founded on strong beliefs and passion for offering unique, flavorful, top-quality, nut products. We strongly believe in earth-friendly practices that start on our family owned and operated orchards. We use Organic farming practices and continue in the process by using all-natural ingredients with no preservatives or GMOs. We believe in honest, friendly and helpful customer relations at all levels. We take pride in every task, every day, with every person.