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How do YOU say it?

The "You say 'To-may-to'.... I say 'To-mah-to'" thread got me thinking. We have a couple running arguments in our family! How do you say:

Tomato - "To-may-to" for me
Orange - "Are" as opposed to "Or" for the first syllable
Syrup - "Sir-up" as opposed to "Cee-rup"


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  1. One more....

    Coupon - "Kew-pon" for me

    3 Replies
      1. re: Veggo

        I'm with Ron! And things aren't "kewl," either--they're COOL.

    1. Depends on where you grew up, no shame either way.

        1. re: porker

          I do NOT say it that way, but think it sounds oh-so-cool. Like JAG-you-ARR! ;)

          1. re: porker

            I'm sorry - alu MINI-um is so wrong. Unfortunately President Eisenhower pronounced it that way so many people followed suit.

            1. re: helou

              Why "unfortunately"? It is the usual pronunciation in the UK.

              1. re: helou

                I unconcsiously say alu-mih-num, but when trying to be snarky, use the English pronounciation.

                1. re: helou

                  Excuse me? "aL-U-minium" is the BRITISH pronunciation. Eisenhower spent a lot of time in England, where he picked it up. Who knows why he kept it when he returned Stateside. To the best of my knowledge, he gave up calling car hoods and trunks "bonnetts" and "boots" when he came back. I think most everyone who heard him use the Brit pronunciations knew what was going on.

                  1. re: helou

                    "I'm sorry - alu MINI-um is so wrong."

                    helou: do you realize in GB the word is spelled "aluminium?" So that pronunciation is indeed correct.

                  2. To-may-to



                    1. Lots of examples in these earlier threads that you might like to revisit:

                      Car-mel vs. cara-mel/Pee-can vs. Puh-cahn

                      How do you pronounce "OYSTER"?

                      How do you pronounce "praline"?

                      How do you pronounce "sherbet"?

                      How do you pronounce SUNDAE ( ice cream sundae)?

                      Hummus prefered [sic] pronounciation [sic

                      Correct pronounciation [sic] of the word "endive"

                      Plus many, many others about "bruschetta", "gyro", "pho", "gouda", "gabagool", etc., etc.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: DeppityDawg

                        Car-mel and Car-a-mel are two different things in my world. Car-mel is the sauce and car-a-mel is the candy. Don't ask me to explain that, though.

                        Sherbet = sher-bert (I know...adding that "r" in there.)

                        Sundae = Sunday (never heard it any other way)

                        Endive = Ahn-deeve

                        1. re: jbsiegel

                          Oh dear, we can't help you. ;P LOLOL "Sher-bert" would be your reply to Bert if he asked you if you'd like some ice cream. Would you like some, jbsiegel? Sure, Bert!

                          Though I love the commercial where the lady insists, "No, it is absolutely AHN-deeve!" and tries to start the flashy car instead of her own..."And then everyone has one of their own baby chickens!"

                          ETA: And no, Carmel is the place by the sea--caramel covers both syrup and candy...and the candy bar...CARAMELLO!

                            1. re: jbsiegel

                              These are really similar to my rules! Except the sauce is car-mul, the candy is care-a-mel, and the city is car-mel

                              1. re: jbsiegel

                                "Sorbet? No kids of mine will eat sor-bay! They will eat sherbet, pronounce it sherbert, and wish it was ice cream!" - Homer Simpson

                            2. I now live in New England. Where the letter "r" doesn't exist at the end of words that have them.

                              Bubblah = Bubbler (as in water bubbler, a.k.a. water fountain)
                              Draw = Drawer
                              Kegga = party that involves a keg of beer (or more)
                              Chowda = 'nuf said.

                              12 Replies
                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                I think those are Mass-specific. ;) We like our final Rs here in the Land of Steady Habits, south of you.

                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                  Believe me, I don't say any of these words as I spelled. My mother and both grandmothers (speech/English teachers, all) would never allow it. Nor would my English teacher at Katharine Gibbs, Mrs. Beck. :-)

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    It's funny how that particular accent takes Rs from where they DO belong and sticks them where they DON'T--(e.g. "Cuber" for Cuba).

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        Oh, I love it! I find the non-rhoticity in the Boston area to be charming.

                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                          That''s the Law of Conservations of Rs. It's a hallmark of Yankee thrift.

                                          1. re: Karl S

                                            HA HA HA! Yankee thrift indeed! And then they go on a "spending" frenzy with the rest of the Rs, inserting them with reckless abandon. ;)

                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                              No, what I meant is that the Rs are not wasted. Waste not, want not, use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                          Hearing Hahvad Yahd makes me roll my eyes a bit.

                                          On a related (non-MA specific) note, it still makes me frown a bit when I hear "wodder" and "Scoddy" instead of waTer and ScoTTy. Ditto for similar words.

                                          1. re: huiray

                                            On a TV show last night one of the actors continually used the word "budden" instead of "button"... It hurt my ears.

                                    1. Potato: puh-tay-tuh

                                      Pecan: pee-can

                                      Plantaine: plan-tin

                                      Those are just a few I can think of that have some pronunciation variation. The above are mine.

                                      8 Replies
                                        1. re: porker

                                          The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plan-tayne! I concur.

                                        2. re: Wawsanham

                                          Pecan: Pee-cahn

                                          My darned husband calls that drawer thing a draw as well. Born and raised in NJ, so I can't blame it on New England!

                                          That's the funny thing about some of them. My sister and I (who clearly grew up in the same household) actually say some of the thing differently.

                                          1. re: Wawsanham

                                            I say "ba-day-duh" (badada) instead of potato just to be silly. Talking to my uncle this weekend, I mentioned I was making badadas, and he said, "BADADAS? Uncle John used to call them that, but I'm pretty sure they're potatoes!" HA HA HA. And Uncle John was 100% Italian. I always thought badada was my Irish shining through. :)

                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                              Aww, my grandfather used to called them badadas as well!

                                          2. I like the way Bogart pronounces bourbon in Casablanca: boar-bun.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Veggo

                                              Funny, I always pronounce bourbon as "more, please"

                                              1. re: GirlyQ

                                                I am very much on board with THAT pronunciation. :)

                                            2. jal-a-pee-knows always kills me...
                                              occasionally hear jap-a-lee-knows ...eeeeek

                                              1. to-MAY-toe

                                                MY DH's great-uncle says "veg-a-tahble"
                                                also, non- food:
                                                ahn-juh-nuh = Angina
                                                uhnt= Aunt

                                                11 Replies
                                                1. re: JenJeninCT

                                                  You made me think of one more: restaurant. In our family, we've always said it as though it's two syllables (rest-raunt). I realize both pronunciations are correct, but when people say it as three syllables, it a) reminds me of Billy Joel and b) makes me think they're from New Yawk or NJ as people I know from that area say it that way, too. HA, not to mention "Brendar" and Eddie. ;)

                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                    I'm from Jersey and it's definitely rest-a-raunt for me! I've never really heard it any other way...

                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                        How do YOU say restaurant, wise@$$?!

                                                        ETA: Interesting discussion here. Still betting it's a regional difference:

                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                          Hey KE,, I hear many folks say "res-ter-ahwn".

                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                            It's a wonder we can find places to eat with so many different ways to pronounce them. ;)

                                                      2. re: jbsiegel

                                                        I'm going to play close attention in the days to come to see who else says it as we do in my fam. I'm betting it's one of those regional things. Like how folks in your neck of the woods say "avenue" as a-veh-nyew (right?). Oddly, my mom says it that way, too, but it's a-veh-noo for most around here. My mom has these funny "import" tendencies from neighboring states, HA HA.

                                                        1. re: jbsiegel

                                                          Rest-raunt to me...Wow, that's one I never thought about that I say it wrong. Oops!

                                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                                            Nope, not wrong, just different. ;) That's the beauty of it!

                                                        2. re: kattyeyes

                                                          Jersey Girl here. It's definitely still pronounced rest-ah-raunt. :-)

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit


                                                            Not many folks in these parts use the rest-a-raunt. The ones who do pronounce Sears as see-ers.

                                                      3. I tend to think more of British English versus USAmerican English differences. Some examples - water, schedule, aluminum/aluminium, (the letter) z, vase ...

                                                        In any case, I say your three examples as you do.

                                                        1. Chipotle

                                                          I say "chi-poat-lay" thanks to The Two Hot Tamales and the US restaurant chain.

                                                          The other day I heard an Australian friend (not having the same cultural references) say: "chi-poddle"

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: tamagoji

                                                            What I HATE is when someone says chip-ol-tay, putting the 'T" in the wrong place!

                                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                                              Kinda like tama's Aussie friend, I sometimes hear people say chi-patal

                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                I hate that too - or even worse, "chi-POL-tee". It's amazing to me how frequently I hear this.

                                                              2. re: tamagoji

                                                                What? Nobody is going to mention Bobby Flay's chi-pol-ti-lay?

                                                              3. A couple I tease Mrs. Porker with.

                                                                Awhile back, I was unaware that she was making a few items outta the Dinosaur BBQ cookbook. She made a BBQ sauce and said with a flourish "This is 'moth-a sauce' "
                                                                "Its WHAT-sauce?"
                                                                "Moth-a" (almost sounded like "martha"...)
                                                                "From where did you get this "moth-a" sauce?"
                                                                "Dinosaur BBQ cook book"
                                                                "Lemmee see."
                                                                So I check, and its Mutha Sauce. So I'm smiling (I admit, it took me a minute to figure out) and she's like "What, whats so funny?"
                                                                "Oh, nothing," I teased, "I just like your *MOTH-A* sauce!"
                                                                "What, what? Tell me, what's so funny?"
                                                                "Its MUTHA sauce, you know, like badass "mother", you know, how a biker might say "mother": MUTHA!"
                                                                We had a few laughs.

                                                                Another time, she was checking out a public transit map in Manhatten. She said something like
                                                                "Oh, the park is right next to the flatter-ron building"
                                                                Again, I was smiles and again she's saying "What?! Whats funny now?!"
                                                                "I believe its FLAT-IRON building...."

                                                                1. Another one I just heard someone say: AH-minnd (for almond). The "L" in almond is NOT silent for this kat. But I have certainly heard many say it as though it is.

                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                      :) Is it a NY/NJ thing? I always suspected so, but am not sure.

                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                        That I cannot tell you. But I've always said "Ah-mund" and "Ahl-mund" sounds funny to me.

                                                                        Dictionary.com pronunciation:

                                                                        al·mond   [ah-muhnd, am-uhnd; spelling pron. al-muhnd]


                                                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                            I can't hear the AIF file @ M-W, so my way stands. :-P

                                                                            Seriously, there are so many intonations and "dialects" throughout the U.S., a consensus is highly unlikely.

                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                              LOLOL...that's just it--vive la difference! :) It's all good in our respective hoods!

                                                                      2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                        I suppose you like macaldamia nuts, too.

                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                          Not particularly...especially those pesky ones with superfluous Ls! ;P

                                                                      3. Some other pronunciations that might not be so standard, but I say them:

                                                                        thyme (NOT time)


                                                                          1. re: porker

                                                                            Only for emphasis when in disgust! ;)

                                                                          2. Just remembered, lotsa folks in my small town say
                                                                            For years I'd lightheartedly say something like "you know its actually SAND-wich", but alas I have since given up.

                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: porker

                                                                              One of my kids called hamburgers hang-ga-burgers for a LONG time!

                                                                              1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                Well, sadly enough, many of the sang-wich people are long into adulthood.

                                                                                1. re: porker

                                                                                  HA HA HA to both of you--an old colleague's little boy used to say "fork chops." :) I trust he has outgrown it by now and is probably in college.

                                                                              2. re: porker

                                                                                Well, it's just a case of consonant assimilation--the ng sound is closer to w than d. The same phenomenon causes us to not pronounce the b in comb.

                                                                                1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                  I read your post carefully and more than once and I am not tracking. :)

                                                                                1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                  "Catch-up instead of kets-up."
                                                                                  The former is the preferred pronunciation over the latter as you can see below. :)

                                                                                  catsup |ˈke ch əp; ˈka ch əp; ˈkatsəp|
                                                                                  variant spelling of ketchup .
                                                                                  ketchup |ˈke ch əp| (also catsup pronunc. same or |ˈka ch əp; ˈkatsəp|)
                                                                                  a spicy sauce made chiefly from tomatoes and vinegar, used as a condiment.
                                                                                  ORIGIN late 17th cent.: perhaps from Chinese ( Cantonese dialect) k'ē chap ‘tomato juice.’

                                                                                  1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                    Well, in American usage, Ketch-up is the preferred usage. Can't say for outside the USA.

                                                                                  2. In Canada we say basil like this: ba, as in bat, not ba, as in bay.
                                                                                    Also what the hell is broccoli rabe? It's rapini, here.

                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Yongeman

                                                                                        I suspect one of the better Sherlock Holmes actors, Basil Rathbone, didn't appreciate being addressed as a garden item.

                                                                                        1. re: Yongeman

                                                                                          I live in canada, but everyone I know says bay-zil.
                                                                                          Agree with the rapini.

                                                                                          1. re: porker

                                                                                            Most Canadians I have met say "bag-el" instead of "bay-gel" for bagel.

                                                                                            1. re: porker

                                                                                              Wow...I'm an old-timer and have always said basil with a short 'a'. Do you also say, 'zee' for 'zed'?

                                                                                              1. re: Yongeman

                                                                                                I assume its said bag-el in TO? In Montreal its bay-gel (actually more like bay-gul). Interesting.
                                                                                                As for the Z...depends. I usually say zee as thats how I was taught growing up. However, when conveying difficult information (I dunno, zipcode over the telephone), I'll use the zed so not to be confused with something else.
                                                                                                We joke about the sodomizing, chopper-riding cop in Pulp Fiction: If he lived around here, the dialogue might have been different
                                                                                                "Who's motorcycle is this?"
                                                                                                "Its a chopper babe?"
                                                                                                "Who's chopper is this?"
                                                                                                "Its Zee's"
                                                                                                "Who's Zee?"
                                                                                                "Zee's dead, baby. Zee's dead."

                                                                                                1. re: porker

                                                                                                  Nope, it's bay-gul in Toronto, too, although I've heard casual bagel-eaters use the 'bag' pronunciation.

                                                                                                  1. re: Yongeman

                                                                                                    Maybe it's analogous to the different pronunciations you hear for "basil". Most people I know say "bay-zil", but you also hear "bah-zil".

                                                                                            2. re: Yongeman

                                                                                              Probably for the same reason Canadian rapeseed oil producers came up with canola ...

                                                                                            3. crepes- CRAYps vs CREPs

                                                                                              I say kyew-pon myself. But I don't say Grey Pyew-pon.
                                                                                              Wouldn't seem right unless it contained post-larval insects.

                                                                                              I've heard Brits saying ba-NAH-na. And folks who say to-MAH-to.
                                                                                              But I've still never heard of anyone who actually says po-TAH-to.

                                                                                              One of the major newspapers ran a contest some years ago where people were encouraged to submit new definitions for existing words. Two good ones that I can recall:

                                                                                              OYSTER: One who's in the habit of peppering their speech with Yiddish expressions
                                                                                              GARGOYLE: The latest in olive flavored mouthwash

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                                                                LOL on the Grey Pyew-pon, but I stand by kyew-pon!

                                                                                                I also say CRAYps, but I suspect the correct French pronounciation is CREPs...