Notes: All authorities consulted prefer the pronunciation mih-ZUR-ee.
An alternate pronounciation preferred by some Missourians is mih-ZUR-uh.
In The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations, Charles Elster discusses in detail the ongoing debate about the correct pronunciation of the last syllable Missouri. Is it -ee or -uh? In June 1976 and again in 1989 the Midwest Motorist magazine conducted a poll of Missourians from all over the state for their preferred pronunciation of their state.
In 1976, 60 percent of Missourians chose -ee as preferred.
In 1989, 66 percent of Missourians chose -ee as preferred.