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September 14th, 2002


A handy word for your own, personal usage:

melk (mehlk) n.: 1. Any spoiled or expired dairy product. i.e., That’s not milk, it’s melk. 2. Any item or object past its prime. i.e., Netscape 4.7 is a bunch of melk. [Attribution: Gregory Becker, 2000]

Posted in Food and Beverage

EJ September 11, 2006, 8:53 pm

Maybe it’s a Cleveland-area thing. My Cleveland-raised parents and grandparents said “melk.” I did it until I got older, moved to another part of the country, and realized I was mispronouncing it.

Monique January 11, 2008, 10:31 pm

I’m from California [bay area] and I say melk. Everyone’s always made fun of me for it but it feels unnatural to say MILK. I have to think about it. I’m not going to be like “can you pass me the *MILK*” when it comes more naturally to say *MELK*. I have no idea where I picked this up.

Oliver April 26, 2008, 1:21 pm

I suspect you can trace the milk/melk thing back a long way. I live in Bristol, England. I don’t have a strong regional accent* but my friend does. I say Milk and she says melk.

* I mean not strong for here, that is you would probably say I do have a strong accent. However, you would be able to understand me, wheras my friend with the strong accent you would probably not understand. How can I describe this region’s accent? You know how pirates talk in the old films, well it’s pretty much like that. The reason being that alot of real pirates came from Bristol.

marissa February 14, 2009, 12:16 am

me and all of my friends have a huge fight about this so, i was looking it up to see what people say. i say ‘milk’ and some of my friends say ‘melk’ we live in New York. maybe it depends where you grow up.

Lynn July 18, 2010, 5:23 am

I grew up in New Jersey and then NW Ohio and never heard this. I now live in SE Michigan where I know a number of locals who say not only melk for milk, but eff for if. Other local phenomena include using the possessive for any company name, and adding “over” to the preposition “to” relating to travel. So instead of “if you go to Kmart, get some milk” you would have “eff you go over to Kmart’s, get some melk.” Also, “he works over to Ford’s.” I find it all fascinating.

Julian November 18, 2010, 9:01 am

Maybe I could shed some light on this:
Here in Norway we say Melk, many norwegians emigrated to the US, we probably brought it with us. But you’re lucky that they didn’t bring the other pronounciation we have: mjølk

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