How many syllables in “squirrel”?

I was browsing around yesterday to see if there are any new comic books that I need to look out for. (For values of “need.”) I’m most excited about volume 1 of Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones’s Howard The Duck, but that’s not out until May. Volume 2 of Ryan North and Erica Henderson’s Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is out already, though. With the subtitle, “Squirrel You Know It’s True”

Huh, I thought. “Squirrel You Know It’s True” sounds like a play on Milli Vanilli’s 1989 hit “Girl You Know It’s True”. It’s pretty close, but it would be better if “squirrel” sounded more like…OH WAIT.

I pronounce “squirrel” with two syllables, but some people pronounce it with only one, to rhyme with “pearl” or “twirl”1, and if you do that then it’s a perfect piece of wordplay. In fact, the name “Squirrel Girl” becomes a rhyme in itself! And the subtitle of volume 1, “Squirrel Power” makes much more sense now too! I’m going to have to go re-read it to see what else I missed.

Lucky 10,000

1 Of course, in some Scottish accents the words “pearl” and “twirl” don’t rhyme with each other, and are pronounced with two syllables. And sometimes the word “girl” is pronounced as “gurrull”. (Epenthesis.) Actually, that makes “squirrel gurrull” rhyme again. Huh.