Caulk of the Walk

I'm here today to talk about caulk. And if you pronounce it like 95% of the rest of the world seems to, that sentence probably sounds really dirty.

Yeah, read it again, I'll wait.

It's a weird blog topic, I know. But the general pronunciation of "caulk" really grinds my gears ... in the same absurd way as people calling gum a snack. You know what caulk is, right? The gummy waterproof sealant for cracks and seams? Sold at hardware stores, comes in a tube? Yeah. And even though there is clearly an "L" right in the middle of the word - cauLk - the vast majority of people I've heard talk about it (mostly dudes, uncomfortably enough) pronounce it COCK. *shudder*

Now that's all fine and dandy if you hear "cock" and automatically think of roosters. Because, I mean, cock is technically another name for rooster. Let's face it, though: when that word comes up in conversation, poultry is the furthest thing from my mind. I mean, "ass" is technically another name for donkey, too, but who thinks of donkeys when someone says it? Not I, friends. Not. I.

There are other words in the English language with silent-L's. Like "calf." Or "half." Nobody (well, nobody American anyway) says call-f or hall-f; it's caff and haff. So I guess it stands to reason that people don't wanna pronounce the L in caulk. BUT. Need I remind everyone that taking the L out of "calf" doesn't turn it into a dirty-word soundalike you could make someone blush with?

You'd think people would be more careful before slinging (hehe ... no pun intended) such a word around. But no. I know guys who are so homophobic it's not even funny, yet will mention caulk in conversation with other men, freely mispronouncing it. "Yeah dude, I needed some caulk, so I just used my girlfriend's brother's."

If you pronounce it "that" way (and you're, like, slightly immature like me), the word caulk can turn the normal into the hilarious (and pervy). Take, for example, this step that I actually lifted - word-for-word - from a "how to caulk your bathtub" tutorial:

9. If the caulk still seems uneven, don’t be afraid to drag a wet finger across it before it dries. This will help smooth it out.  Make sure that your finger is wet, however.  Caulk likes a wet finger.

Bahahahahahahaha!!!!! *snort*

A wet finger, indeed.

It can also be cringe-worthy, though, when the word "caulk" comes out of the mouth of someone whose bits you reeeeeally don't want to envision. A suspender-wearing, buttcrack-baring apartment maintenance man who comes over to repair your shower, for example. Which makes me kinda glad that I a.) don't rent, and b.) have no idea about things like caulk and drywall and, um, spackle and therefore have to depend on my husband for such things.

Although I have to admit, it would be really funny to go to a hardware store, flag down an employee and be all, "Yes, hello. I'm looking for caulk. Can you tell me where to find some? ... Oh, that's great, thanks. Now would you mind telling me, in your opinion, what's the best type of caulk? ... Do I need thick caulk? ... How much caulk would really get the job done? ... Wow, this is expensive. I've never paid for caulk in my life ..."


  1. Thanks for that. I needed someone to ask me if they needed thick caulk. It did make my Monday better! :D The caulk DOES like a wet finger. hahahhahahaha

  2. not sure the brand but at work the maintenance man had some caulk that had "industrial strength jail caulk" on the label to seal the wall in the rec yard. i guess jail requires a caulk that is more durable.

  3. I truely had no idea what you ment by caulk being a dirty word until i read further. I live in Michigan and the worst i hear is people calling it "cawk".
    I will forever listen more closely in the hardware store to see how people pronounce it though, now that you brought it up.

  4. I, like Lisa, also pronounce it caWk. I forgot that this is how most pronounce it... HA!

  5. I used to live in the Norfolk, Virginia area. By looking at it, you would think it would be pronounced "Nor-foke" but nooooo! It's "Nor-fuk." I avoided saying it for 15 years. It just seemed tacky.

  6. lmao! so, do YOU pronounce it? I've never heard the L enunciated before, but always knew it could be;) I say it cawk, like the ladies above. Perhaps it's a midwestern thing?? I'm from IN.

  7. Since I'm the one who taught you to TALK, I'm not surprised you pronounce it CAULK. I've always enunciated the L in MILK, also, though lots of folks don't. The word that always makes me cringe is PEANUTS, which so many people very nearly pronounce PENIS! LOL

  8. My son says "cock" for certain words. It is hilarious.

  9. FYI - The L is silent in caulk. Look it up. It is supposed to be pronounced like hawk.


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