Exclusive Video: Sleepy Hollow Stars, EP Parse Ichabod's Special Name for Abbie

If you’re puzzled when you hear Sleepy Hollows Ichabod Crane call Abigail Mills “Leftenant,” you’re in good company.

The first time star Tom Mison used the term on set, “I called cut,” EP/director Len Wiseman says in this exclusive video.

RELATEDSleepy Hollow Taps Hunger Games Actress — Whom Will She Play?

Wiseman soon learned that the pronunciation of “lieutenant” is correct for Crane’s era. Or, as Mison cheekily notes, “It’s just English… It’s one of those weird things we do.”

Press PLAY on the clip below to hear Wiseman, Mison and co-star Nicole Beharie discuss the moniker, which has become Ichabod’s nickname for Abbie… er, Miss Mills. (We wouldn’t want to be too forward.)

Sleepy Hollow returns with new episodes on Monday, Nov. 4 (Fox, 9/8c).

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Annie says:

    Seriously? They hadn’t seen any period English piece about war, ever? LOL

    • JLK says:

      No kidding. I was actually impressed with the fact that they added the f sound to the word. Good for Mison for knowing that. I actually thought the writers had written the script that way because they’d researched the era and seen some of the writings in which people phonetically spell lieutenant with an f. I clearly gave them too much credit. :)

    • Rosemarie says:

      I agree Annie…not to mention didn’t any of these people study any kind of history in school??

      • Annie says:

        You guys are totally renewing my faith in humanity. As soon as I posted that, I thought “Now here come all the ‘HEY I HAD NO IDEA SO SHUT UP MEANYHEAD’ posts.” ;)

    • Nia says:

      No one needs to see any period piece or even study history. Its just British English. US English is easy. You read the way you spell the word. I guess that is why everyone seems so confused here. Also, Ichabod needs to go shopping with Abbie.

  2. iMember says:

    So that’s what Ichabod would look like with a haircut and some new clothes.

    • Gwen says:

      I, for one, think he looks totally handsome in the hair and clothes of the character! It fits in the concept of the character being “out of time” in the present day. If he shows up in a suit and tie and a “modern” haircut (or even worse, khakis and a polo shirt!), I think it would ruin the whole premise of the show.

      • Dempsey says:

        I so agree with you! I think updating the clothes and hair would somehow alter the character. He needs to be the “fish out of water”. Plus, he’s pretty hot the way he is! ; )

        • Alichat says:

          I’m wondering if they will eventually have a moment on the show where people say he should alter his clothing or ask that he modernizes, but he chooses not to as they’ve become a sort of security blanket for him…..and anchor to who he is and where he’s from.

          • meem says:

            They did that last week. He asked Abby if she thought he fit in in this world, and she said something along the lines of “well, a change of clothes wouldn’t hurt.” But then he didn’t change his clothes. I know he washed them in the 2nd episode, but those duds have got to be RANK by now. As long as he keeps the coat, I’m good with him changing pants and shirt.

          • Alichat says:

            Meem – I was imagining a more formal conversation…..perhaps from Capt Irving, stating that it would raise fewer questions about Ichabod if he altered his clothing. Then have Ichabod think about it, and maybe even try some new clothes, but then decide to go back to his period clothing because it feels more real to him or more true. Then they contact a tailor who specializes in clothing from his period to get him some more pants and shirts….and perhaps another jacket….then they decide to tell the curiosity seekers that he’s just eccentric and enjoys dressing in period clothing. Annnnnd end scene! You’re welcome Sleepy Hollow writers….I’ll be looking for my check in the mail!

          • meem says:

            That would probably take up too much precious episode time, Alichat. Unfortunately. I was actually surprised they established that he washed his clothes. But then we got the added benefit of seeing him experience a blow dryer.

          • j says:

            It wasn’t that unusual for people of that time to just wear the same garment until it fell apart and had to be replaced (after being repaired umpteen times). So your scenario would work.

          • I think when LUKE (Abbie’s Ex) confronts Ichabod about his clothing, he will then be self conscious since he will see LUKE more as a rival.

          • J.K. says:

            Ichabod still seems too conflcted/overwhelmed about his feelings for Abbie to consider Luke as a rival at this point (same goes for his clothes, it reminds him where he comes from, that he’s married). The thought Abbie was “sullied” by her ex might set him off faster than his outfit would. After all, Ichabod is an 18th century man, he has no idea how a man and a woman date in this era.

        • Amanda says:

          They are dealing with apocalyptic things. I think a trip to the salon for a haircut would be pretty low on the list of priorities.

          • JLK says:

            Until his one and only outfit gets destroyed in one of these epic battles. Then it’s going to have to tick up the list a bit. I’m hoping that they’ll hit a costume shop and keep him in period clothes while giving him some darn variety so I can stop wondering if the guy’s washing those clothes out every night in the sink or what. :)

        • August says:

          I know they are trying to keep his character as a fish out of water but are we expected to believe that his leather boots lasted 200 years in the ground with out rotting or that his clothes don’t have holes in them and smell terrible? There is bound to be a way to keep his character distinct without having him wear the EXACT same outfit for the next however many years the show is on.

          • Alichat says:

            Well, let’s not forget that his wife cast a spell on him. Perhaps the spell protected his clothing too?? He didn’t rot, so he clothes didn’t either. Plus, leather garments do not rot easily if properly treated. There were leather bags and shoes found at the Titanic site after 85+ years on the ocean floor. The oils and tannic acids used in processing leather make them resistant to microorganisms.

          • Rosemarie says:

            August….are we to believe that after 200 years he actually rose out of the ground? Are we to believe that there is a headless horseman running around chopping peoples heads off if Sleepy Hollow? It’s a TV show!!

          • August says:

            @Rosemarie – Ha! OK, fair enough. It is a TV show and a fantasy one at that. Still…it’s little things like this that I find distracting. I can’t help it. (and clearly I’m not the only one.)

          • Don Richards says:

            Hahahahaha! Anything and everything is possible in a fantasy, what you seem to be lacking is iminagination, hahahaha! Thanks for the laugh!!!!!

        • I agree completely. I like the scruffy look. :)

      • KCC says:

        I’m sure that the actor can pull it off, regardless of what he’s wearing

      • Aimee says:

        He doesn’t have to cut his hair but he is wearing the same close he was buried in for 200 YEARS! I would imagine the would be quite ragged (and smell!). It’s not about updating his look, it’s about not having holes and dirt and blood stains and also not smelling like crap.

      • Me too, I like him better with the longer hair.

      • connie says:

        I agree it wouldn’t have the same impact

      • jazzyt2u says:

        OMG I just had an awesome thought. Or at least I think so lol. There should be an episode where she or the captain complain about his clothes so he updates his wardrobe only to then come across a Revolutionary War reenactment camp or people on their way to one and he gets confused…. And then tells them they’ve got a lot of it wrong… LOL

    • MelindaB says:

      I’ll be honest, I think that he looks great with the longer hair and period clothes. While he could find some new clothes similar to what he’s wearing, he must keep the coat and boots, IMO. But I hope that they don’t “modern him up” too much. And no haircut for Ichabod.

    • jenferner8 says:

      You really need to see the movie Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. He plays Emily Blunt’s military boyfriend and he’s just as good looking in that as he is as Ichabod, and the accent is just as hot.

  3. Sharon says:

    PS – it’s Canadian as well, and Australian and New Zealander. In fact, Loo-tenant is used only in America, I think.

    • Alichat says:

      I’m surprised people are puzzled by that pronunciation. It didn’t faze me at all, and I found it endearing and spot on that he said it. Wiseman’s wife is English, so it’s odd to me that he didn’t know that pronunciation.

      • Stormy says:

        Me too. as far back as 1966 in a film called Assault On The Queen [Frank Sinatra film], Tony Franciosa pronounces it loo-tenant and the Brit Captain assumes he’s Canadian. Most people, I think , would know that’s the Brit RP.

        • cathy says:

          Canadians pronounce it Lef-tenant too – unless they’ve oversaturated themselves with American pronunciations – so that Sinatra film is obviously American and got it totally wrong – no Canadian in the 60s was saying Loo-tenant.

      • Marc says:

        Growing up in the Caribbean where the education system is modeled after the British, I was very pleased to find that Crane was sticking to the British pronounciation. What is puzzling to me is that Len Wiseman wasn’t even aware of this. Kate Beckinsale has NEVER had a reason to say lieutenant?

    • Elle says:

      According to the Longman Pronounciation Dictionary it is pronounced “leftenant”. Yeah, Loo-tenant is used in the States

    • Geraldine Frost says:

      Absolutely. We pronounce it the British way. It’s like clerk which is pronounced differently in Britain and Australia

  4. Aprilcot says:

    Wow, he is actually quite handsome!

  5. Patrick says:

    If you wondered about that, you are a moron.

    • Ann Callis says:

      I guess I’m a moron…I wondered. I even asked a friend who has a degree in English Lit. But not British Lit or History, so, my apologies for being the fool. At least I know now & am educated on the matter!

  6. Canuck says:

    Canadian’s use Leftenant as well. So glad Ichabod uses it.

  7. dude says:

    Leftenant is still used here in Canada. I think it’s used most places.

  8. luvndahouse says:

    I just adore Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie’s chemistry as Ichabod and Abbie. They are an awesome duo.

  9. sanna_o75 says:

    The video doesn’t work for me but it seems like I’m the only one??

  10. the girl says:

    Nicole Beharie looks GORGEOUS in that dress.

  11. erin says:

    Not all Canadians pronounce it “leftenant.”

    • JLK says:

      Thank you! In 20 years, I’ve never heard my husband or in-laws say lieutenant that way. Seems like the kind of thing that we’d have stumbled across by now. And I tend to remember the little quirks because we get inquiries from school quite a bit. “Dear Parent, Your daughter insists that been rhymes with long e words like see. Please work with her on this.” “Dear Teacher, I’m sorry. My husband’s Canadian. It does rhyme with see in his world, which is apparently confusing our children.” :)

      • Katherine215 says:

        Hahaha, I love this story. I never really thought much about the effect two different pronunciations in the house would have on kids. :)

    • missmiggles says:

      I’m Canadian, I’ve always pronounced it Leftenant … I don’t actually know anyone who doesn’t pronounce it that way.

  12. Jill says:

    He didn’t have to do RESEARCH to come up with the pronunciation. That’s just how they say it in England. Lol.

  13. Davey Elmer says:

    It’s not just a ‘period’ thing; it’s a British English thing in general. That is how people who speak British English pronounce the word.

    • Alex says:

      Not all British people say lef instead of loo, though.

      • britgirl says:

        If the word is being pronounced correctly in English rather than American it is indeed pronounced leftenant, I’ve never heard a Brit say lootenant, at least not one living in the UK. This is also the correct modern pronunciation.

  14. tp says:

    Nicole Beharie is so beautiful. This is a great show. This 3 week hiatus is killing me.

    • Alex says:

      What are you going to do when this season’s puny run of thirteen episodes ends and you have to wait many months for new installments? That’s what I hate about short runs. Not nearly enough show! I’d far rather have thirty episodes (I wish!) than a mere thirteen. Twenty-two episodes aren’t enough, either. Sad.

  15. ronnie says:

    Nicole is so great on this show. I hope its success will encourage more diversity in casting female lead roles in dramas.

  16. Maria says:

    What’s funnier about this is, isn’t Len Wiseman married to Kate Beckinsale? Or has she never said “lieutenant” around him or she pronounced it the American way?

  17. Bored Now says:

    Slightly ironic that the general conversation is about how a word is pronounced in the UK when the video can’t actually be viewed in the UK…

  18. Lea says:

    How am I German and know this, but these guys don’t? (I suppose it’s because I recently watched Parade’s End where Tom Mison sports a terrible mustache.)

    • Anon says:

      OMG THAT IS SO WEIRD! I have seen Parade’s End and totally didn’t connect him as that smarmy fellow. But it is him. Mind blown. He’s so charming and charasmatic on Sleepy Hollow that my mind must have rejected it.

  19. geminiwrites says:

    He can call me anything he wants. Rawwwwrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  20. Babybop says:

    I thought I was mis-hearing him… Now I’m embarrassed. Ha ha.

  21. Giana says:

    The two of them have amazing chemistry. This is totally my favorite show of the year!

  22. It was spelled with an F lieuftenant. Somewhere along the way the F got dropped.

    • “Lieutenant” comes from the French “lieu” meaning “place” and “tenant” meaning “holding.” Literally, lieutenants are place holders. The British originally corrupted the French pronounciation, pronouncing the word, “lieuftenant,” while Americans (probably because of French settler influence) maintained the original pronounciation.

  23. mia says:

    ABBIE, MY LOVE! Nicole is so gorgeous and talented! Tom too. They are perfect in this show!

  24. Drew says:

    Yeah, it’s a cool little detail for the show… but everything else he pronounces is still wrong since his accent didn’t exist until the next century.
    (Okay, last time I mention that. :) )

    Awesome show though.

  25. Kathleen says:

    Can’t watch this in Canada :-( Can someone recap?

  26. Kathleen says:

    Actually, it says “this content is currently unavailable”…:-(

  27. Farley Ong says:

    He is just way too sexy and it’s a good thing!

    • Colleen Herrel says:

      Crane is a hottie!!! He can whatever he wants!! :)

      • Chiang Meilin says:

        Tom Mison is so right for his role as Ichabod Crane. His British accent is quite attractive. I believe Ichabox Crane should not think of any feeling toward Abbie Mills but that as a working partner only. I think Tom Mison is very right with his screen wife Kate & the TV series should stick to it i.e Ichabod Crane to stay married to his wife . Love the show very much

  28. Kristi N says:

    TM’s accent is hot! Love the dynamic with Ichabbie!

  29. pfoggy says:

    I’m was glad to see the use of british idioms, though I can understand how it might through people off. It’s like when I head them pronounce “St. John” as “SinJin” ….

  30. Jesse says:

    Love this show and these two! They have such great chemistry. Nicole is so stunning!

  31. Sarah says:

    It’s not just historical. British people and Canadians say it that way these days too (at least that’s how they’re supposed to say it)

  32. Wendy Testaburger says:

    All this debate over the pronunciation of “lieutenant” is odd since I haven’t seen any quibbling posted over the use of Middle English in 1590 in the last episode. Middle English had died out over a century before the time setting of the colony depicted. I haven’t seen anyone question this online so far.

    • gdv says:

      My husband and I (both English majors) had the same debate during that episode. Like, wait, didn’t Middle English die out before the 1500s? Wouldn’t they have been speaking Elizabethan English? But, eh, it’s a good show regardless. I’m willing to let it slide for now.

      • Wendy Testaburger says:

        Yes, Elizebethan English would most certainly have been used. And I generally agree: I’ll let it slide because the show is so much fun. I just find it odd that people focus on the trees instead of the forest!

    • Drew says:

      While it isn’t widely known, the lost colony of Roanoke was founded primarily as a LARPing community. Ichabod was likely just respecting their wish to remain in character at all times.

      It is further theorized that the disappearance of the colony’s citizens happened when many of them decided that they needed to go home because they had to work on Monday. :)

    • Olivia says:

      You haven’t been frequenting the right places because IMDB, TWOP and tumblr are FULL of people moaning about the fact that Middle English wouldn’t have been spoken in the colony. It’s beyond discussed to death at this point and I’m sick of hearing about it lol. SH have played fast and loose with history already, there’s no point getting annoyed at this inaccuracy. Unless you think Washington really sent Ichabod to kill a headless horseman.

  33. Mikael says:

    I actually googled leftenant when I heard him say it, and I found out that it’s the old time pronounciation (and that some still say it today) But I must say, the way he says it is SO sexy…

  34. Charles_123 says:

    Man…those two sizzle just sitting next to each other on a couch!

  35. Cate Amos says:

    Love the show and Ichabod’s look. For those who question the cleanliness of his garments, you could ask the same thing about Abbie’s uniform. She has worn it more than once, but I haven’t seen her go to the dry cleaners at all. Get real people – you don’t need to get bogged down in mundane details like the last time Ichabod washed his clothes (or himself – I really want a repeat of the ep. 2 shower scene). Just sit back and enjoy the ride. The easy-on-the-eyes-with-a-charming-British-accent ride.

    • Olivia says:

      IKR? We’ve seen him clean his clothes once, so there’s no reason to expect that he hasn’t done it since then just because we haven’t seen him do it. Yeah, let’s waste precious minutes of the limited run of the season on him washing his clothes every episode, that makes sense.

  36. I just find it odd that to get us to read it the way it’s pronounced on the show, everyone has changed the spelling to leftenant.

  37. Znachki says:

    I also like that he calls Abbie “Miss Mills” and her younger sister “Miss Jennie”, which is also a nice little period detail. The oldest unmarred sister, versus the younger unmarried sister.

  38. Ron says:

    Why the HELL would he yell “cut”? Screw it being accurate for the time period, but that’s just how Brits pronounce it in general. Who doesn’t know this? I thought it was very common knowledge that that’s how they pronounce it. Everybody I know who watches the show, myself included, wasn’t phased in the slightest by his pronunciation of it because we’d expect him to pronounce it like that. As a matter of fact, I would have been highly phased (and highly disappointed) if he had pronounced it our American way. If he pronounced it “loo-,” I honestly would have said, “Why isn’t he saying ‘lef-‘”?

  39. I figured they all knew how to pronounce it. Now I am sad about the state of the world and the total lack of preparation people do for their jobs.

  40. JON says:

    Oh, that explains it. I was wondering about that too. Thought I missed something int he first episode or something. I’m from Asia so I didn’t know. (before anyone calls me stupid for not knowing)

  41. cg313 says:

    I got to admit. I never noticed the way he pronounced it. I more than likely will from this point on but before now nope.

    And really how can some one be stupid for not knowing this. I find it a cool fact, but not something that should be common knowledge.

  42. W. J. says:


    C’mon — didn’t you people ever watch ‘Due South’? ;-)

  43. Colleen Herrel says:

    I didn’t bat an eye when he said it—I recognized “leftenant” immediately as an old English term. Love it! Lovin’ this show!!!

  44. Kaylin says:

    seriously you guys never seen any British period war drama? or even just Pirates of the Caribbean?? Norrington uses it several times in the first POTC film, I know. It’s just the British pronunciation of the word (although, I will say, the American pronunciation is actually more correct than the British as compared to the original French pronunciation of the word).

  45. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find
    this matter to be really something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of

  46. I love it that he says that word as such, it gives it a more authentic feel to it :)
    Sadly i cannot watch the video, it it broken? Or is it because i’m european based?
    I would have loved to see he’s response.