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Jul 13, 2006 05:35 PM

How do you pronounce "sherbet?" [tangent from General Topics]

I am also curious... how do you all pronounce sherbet? (It's an ongoing discussion in our household!)

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  1. which is probably wrong...but I've always pronounced it that way.

    8 Replies
    1. re: davinagr

      See, this is the argument... I have always pronounced it sher-bet and my bf has always pronounced it like you! Surely there is no silent r?!

      1. re: Katie Nell

        Now I'm wondering if I'm one of those annoying "wash-wersh" people by calling the Sherbet, "Sherbert". Do you know what I mean?

        1. re: davinagr

          Oh, certainly! (My parents say "wersh"... well it's more like "worsh!" I always thought it was a Midwest thing!!) Hopefully others will weigh in on the "sherbert" thing!!

          1. re: davinagr

            No it's not you. I've always said/heard "sherbert" and I'm from up North (so I don't say "warsh").

            Merriam-Webster's lists "sherbet" (pronounced without the R) first, but spelling and pronouncing it sherbert is also acceptable. The definition also says "an ice with milk, egg white, or gelatin added" so I supposed it may be dairy-free (though not animal-free).

            1. re: Covert Ops

              I'm from New York, and I say "sher-bert." What's wrong with that? So what if there's no "r?" When has that ever stopped us English speakers? One of my favorite things to do with non-native English speakers is to show them the word "ghoti" and ask them how they think it's pronounced. Well, it's pronounced "fish." It has the "f" sound from "rouGH," the "ih" sound from "wOmen," and the "sh" sound from "naTIon." English is so much fun! Why try to make it rational?

            2. re: davinagr

              This reminds me of an Eddie Izzard routine about herbs, in which he pronounces the H. He said that someone asked him why he called them Herbs and he said, "Because there's a F**k**g H in it!"

              A few weeks ago, I was listening to an interview on Milwaukee Public Radio with someone who sells herbs and spices at a local farmer's market, and she regularly pronounced the H. The interviewer, walking into it, asked her why she pronounced the H, and the lady replied, "Because there's a [short pause] H in it!"

              Well, it was funny at the time.

              1. re: davinagr

                It was always sherbert in my family.

            3. re: davinagr

              The 1970s Australian pop group Sherbert "racked up nine consecutive gold albums and eighteen hit singles" in its native country according to the 1978 edition of the Rolling Stone Record Guide, but its US realeases on major-label MCA didn't go much of anywhere.

              I suppose they'd fall in the "sher-'bert" camp, though obviously with a different accent than the New England and Mid-Atlantic Americans here.

            4. cast another vote for sher-bert and warsh. not quite sure when sher-bert turned into sor-bay.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jfood

                That would be when they took the milk out of the sherbet. A sherbet has in it milk, fruit, and sugar; sorbet has just the fruit and sugar.

                1. re: MisterFister

                  I used to sell bedding plants. All the varieties have fancy names like Monarch Gold or Bingo Red with Wings. A line of violas was the 'Sorbet' series, and all my customers would call them Sore Butts. LOL!!

              2. Sher-bet and sorebay here ...

                1. It's sher-bet in my house.

                  Reminds me of my friend Joel, whose sister sent him off to buy some sherbet when he was a lad. She impressed upon him the importance of pronouncing the word correctly - sher-bet - and explained that there was only one R in the word. So when he got to the head of the line to order, he asked for raspberry sheb-ert.

                  1. I said sher-bert until my pastry chef sister finally cured me of it. She says there's no such thing as sher-bert - it's sher-bet. I trust her, and if you knew her credentials, you would, too.
                    But I'm still planning on naming my next pet Sherbert. And when she says there's no such thing - I will simply point and say, "Who's that, then?".