Journey of Colonel Being Pronounced As Ker’nel


If you think that English is a funny and weird language, then you are not alone. Most the non-native speakers feel the same. The language has endless exceptions which make one go crazy. And the number of silent words and anarchic spellings make the game even more difficult.

We have unlimited examples that make us go off. For example, the fridge has “D” but why not it is present in the refrigerator? In Skoda, there is no ‘h’ still it is pronounced as Shkoda. Even the word pronunciation gives a headache when pronouncing it rightly. Similarly, another word that creates confusion in its pronunciation is colonel.

Colonel is pronounced ker’nel. The main reason being the development of origin. The pronunciation of a word depends on that. In this case, the evolution and origin are involved in colonel is pronounced ker’nel.

Also Read: Meaning Of Colonel

Why Is Colonel Pronounced Ker’nel?

Colonel is a military official, marine corps, or army force’s officer. Most of the Americans have a different way of uttering words and one of them is this word. Rather simply saying it colonel, they add an ‘r’ in it which makes it kernel. The reason of confusion being kernel is itself a word and most importantly, it has several meanings on its own.

There are no set rules in English when it comes to spelling and pronouncing words. It gets really difficult to make even a guess because the word contains two l’s and two O’s can give a r sound. Our heads also started shaking until we reached to the right researching platform.

Link of Italy With The Word Colonel

In the 15th century, the word was used for the first time in Italy when the Italian Renaissance dominated Europe. Italians were the reigning experts and most of the words were stemming as per their means. Those were spreading in the European region very rapidly. At that time, the word was correctly pronounced, and it was derived from the word ‘colonna’ which has the meaning; column. The reason being the bestowment of the rank upon the commander of the troops. Colonel means a column of soldiers similarly as the brigadier is linked with the brigade. No, it is not the end of the journey of colonel pronounced kernel.

Link of French On the Word Colonel

French community then adopted the word and it was the first time when it started stumbling. They wanted to translate the word into their own language and it converted from ‘colonnello’ to coronel. Dissemination is the process involved that resulted in the colonel being pronounced as ker’nel. The procedure happens because when two instances of the same sound occur very closely to one other then people are very likely to change the instances to something else.

Influence Of English on The Word Colonel

Colonel has made very different versions in different languages and regions. After the Italian influence, it started using the letter ‘l’ and after French, then ‘r’. During that time, the English already started using the word coronel and yes, they added their own essence and brought it close to the pronunciation as ‘kernel.’ By the 17th century, in Europe, the word colonel began to appear in military treaties and therefore, the written form of the word that was used was a colonel and on the other hand, kernel was the spoken form. Scholars of the English region produced translations of the old Italian treatises.

The combination in the English language won out and hence, the word began to be used like this-

Spelling- c-o-l-n-e-l and pronunciation as kernel. In this “simple” way, Colonel pronounced as kernel came to existence gradually.

Hope you still like English language and keep on learning new words and their pronunciation. Stay connected.

Also Read: Meaning Of Irony