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  #1  
Old 05-10-2002, 06:40 AM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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How do [i]you[/i] pronounce this?

from a making fun of Americans thread, andygirl pointed out that:
Quote:
The California (and West coast in general) accent is generally characterized by a loss of vowels. Marry, merry, and Mary are generally pronounced the same way by Californians, but with three different vowels by Northeasterners.
My response:
Quote:
I, as a born-n-raised Californian, must agree. I have only one question: How the hell do you pronounce those three words differently?

They, uh, all rhyme with bury, berry, and Barry, right?
So, dopers, let's hear it. How do you say the above three (or six) words? Is there a difference, or do those Noreasterners need to stop inventing vowel sounds? Is it just select words, or do Californians butcher vowels in a standard way?
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  #2  
Old 05-10-2002, 06:46 AM
Spritle Spritle is offline
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Barry

Me: Bear-ee
Mrs. S: Baa-ree (baa, as in what sheep say)

We each accuse the other of mispronouncing it (ain't we just the cutest couple ever?)

FTR, we were raised about 65 miles from each other.
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  #3  
Old 05-10-2002, 06:48 AM
Typo Negative Typo Negative is offline
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I pronounce them all the same. (at least I think I do)

I live in California, but I come from Ohio.
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2002, 06:58 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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You're kidding, right?


marry rhymes with carry

Mary rhymes with Kerry. They're both names. You don't pronounce "carry" and "Kerry" the same. None of my Western friends pronounced "marry" the same as "Mary".

Although my Utahn friends did pronounced "Spanish Fork" as if it was spelled "Spanish Fark".
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  #5  
Old 05-10-2002, 07:08 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Ummm...Chicago checking in...Speaking for myself:

Marry, Mary & Merry

I pronounce the first two the same, and the third with more of an "eh" than a short "a." But sometimes I pronounce all three the same.

I also pronounce "carry" and "kerry" the same; Here's the question: Do you pronounce "Carrie" and "Kerry" differently? I don't.

"bury" is "berry", but not "barry"

Incidentally, there are maps somewhere (I can't remember where I've seen them) mapping out the States and whether these words have one common pronunciation, or two or three different pronunciations.
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  #6  
Old 05-10-2002, 07:34 AM
robinc308 robinc308 is offline
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Marry rhymes with carry or tarry
Mary rhymes with hairy
merry rhymes with berry.
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  #7  
Old 05-10-2002, 08:55 AM
trishdish trishdish is offline
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What the hell?!? I'm so utterly confused.

"Marry me!" and "The Wind Cries Mary" are pronounced the same. "Merry Christmas" is different and the beginning sound is more like "Mir" as in the space station.

Who pronounces Barry as Bah-ree. Unless you're British or something. It's Bear-ee. Just like a raspberry.

And how are carry and kerry pronounced differently anyway?

If anything, this might be a midwestern thing. Because I've had to conciously teach myself that bin and ben are not pronounced exactly the same. Same for pin and pen.
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  #8  
Old 05-10-2002, 08:55 AM
istara istara is offline
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Ditto what robinc308 said.
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  #9  
Old 05-10-2002, 08:58 AM
trishdish trishdish is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by istara
Ditto what robinc308 said.
But carry, berry and hairy all rhyme with each other. So, that makes no sense. At least to me it doesn't.
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  #10  
Old 05-10-2002, 09:16 AM
Cougarfang Cougarfang is offline
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Mary and marry are the same: you pronounce the "a" sort of "ayh", not "ay" or "ah", but somewhere in between.
Merry has an "e" sound - "meh-rry".
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  #11  
Old 05-10-2002, 09:45 AM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by spooje
I pronounce them all the same. (at least I think I do)

I live in California, but I come from Ohio.
I pronounce them all the same (or extremely close to the same)

I live in Ohio, but I come from California.
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  #12  
Old 05-10-2002, 10:24 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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A few
sites worth reading.

Other questions...Do you pronounce "wear" and "where" the same? I do. Not everyone does. How 'bout "weary" and "wary"?
Is it a "pail" or a "bucket"..."See-saw" or "teeter-totter?" "Tap," "faucet" or "spigot"?

And let's not even get started on the variations of "submarine sandwich"...
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  #13  
Old 05-10-2002, 10:25 AM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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Central Indiana here. In my mouth, merry and Mary are just about the same. They rhyme with airy. Marry, though, gets a short a, almost like in bat. I know several people who say bury as "burr-y."
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  #14  
Old 05-10-2002, 10:28 AM
manwithaplan manwithaplan is offline
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The view from the old world is...

Marry = mar(as in spoil)-ee
Mary=mare(as in a female horse)-ee
Merry=mer (as in the second syllable of America)-ee

To me, this is also what robin308 said. But its great crack pronouncing carry, berry and hairy so that they all rhyme - when I do it I sound like your woman off 'Married with Children'.
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  #15  
Old 05-10-2002, 11:10 AM
Eliahna Eliahna is online now
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Australian checking in.

Marry: Maah-ry (Maa, like Baa)
Mary: Mare-y or M-heir-y (draw out the mare part)
Merry: Meh-ry (softer than Mary)

Barry: Baa-ry (like in Marry, like a sheep, baa).
Carry: Caa-ry (really nasal sounding "a")
Kerry: care-y or k-heir-y

Those last two can be confusing. Mum told me my Aunt moved to Mary Street and I couldn't find it on the map until she pointed out Merry Street. They're very close, just a slightly longer sound on Mary.
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  #16  
Old 05-10-2002, 11:22 AM
Eliahna Eliahna is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by pulykamell
A few
sites worth reading.

Other questions...Do you pronounce "wear" and "where" the same? I do. Not everyone does. How 'bout "weary" and "wary"?
Is it a "pail" or a "bucket"..."See-saw" or "teeter-totter?" "Tap," "faucet" or "spigot"?

And let's not even get started on the variations of "submarine sandwich"...
LOL, now this is fun

Wear and Where - yes, pretty much the same. Slightly more effort in Where to get the "h" sound in, but barely noticable.

Weary and Wary - nothing alike, not even close. Weeiry and wherey are the most accurate definitions I can make.

Not a pail - a bucket.

Not a teeter-totter - a see-saw.

Not a faucet or a spigot - a tap.

Not a diaper - a nappy.

Not a pacifier - a dummy

Not a bum - a tramp

Not a fanny - a bum

Don't use the word "fanny" in Australia - you're likely to offend someone. It's not a Fanny-Pak, it's a Bum-Bag. A fanny-pak would have to be exclusively female and sit in front if you get my drift...

Not a vacation - a holiday

Not a crib - a cot

Not a biscuit - a scone

Not a cookie - a biscuit

"Chook" is another word for "chicken". eg "We're having roast chook for dinner"

"Dunny" is another word for "toilet".

Every time I post to a message board, I have to translate from Australian into American. Sometimes it's easy, but sometimes it's harder because I have no idea that they don't have what I'm talking about, or that they have a different name for it. I'm getting there, though I'll never be able to hang out on US based recipe sites.
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  #17  
Old 05-10-2002, 11:43 AM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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What the OP is asking about is what phoneticists call "r-coloring." In English, the sound of [r] is made by a retroflex position of the tonguethe tip of the tongue bent up and a little backward. This placement of the tongue affects the vowel that precedes it. Some dialects have it, some don't. Some have it more, some have it less. This accounts for the variations described here.

Born and raised in Ohio, I pronounce all three the same. The vowel in all three is the open [E] as in "met." The r-coloring has reduced the originally 3 different vowels into one.

In Boston, so I understand,
"marry" has the flat [] sound as in "matter."
"Mary" has the close [] sound as in "mate".
"merry" has the open [E] sound as in "met".

The Allegheny Mountain ridge in central-western Pennsylvania has been identified as the boundary between the dialect areas where to the east the 3 vowels are different, and to the west they're all [E]. The r-coloring has moved the // sound forward, and the // sound downward, so that they meet in the middle which is [E].

When I drive on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I notice how Allegheny Mountain seems to form a natural boundary. After going through the tunnel, the weather is often different on one side from the other. Perhaps the flora and fauna are slightly different too. When you travel through there and see the lay of the land, you get a sense of how it could form a dialect boundary too.
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  #18  
Old 05-10-2002, 12:13 PM
Futile Gesture Futile Gesture is offline
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Scots:

Marry Barry Carry Marie = ahrry
Mary Hairy Fairy Dairy Wary = airry
Merry Berry Kerry Ferry = erry
Bury Hurry Furry Worry = urry
Weary Teary Eerie = eery

All different.
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  #19  
Old 05-10-2002, 12:16 PM
Strainger Strainger is offline
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I pronounce them all the same. The same way I pronounce "Murray".

What?
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  #20  
Old 05-10-2002, 01:09 PM
bordelond bordelond is offline
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Born and lived in New Orleans until age 29 :

marry => has the flat [] sound as in "matter."
Mary => has the open [E] sound as in "met".
merry => has the open [E] sound as in "met".

Barry => has the flat [] sound as in "batter."
bury => has the open [E] sound as in "bet".
berry => has the open [E] sound as in "bet".

....

Also:

where, ware, and wear are perfect homophones. Weary is "wee-ree", wary is "ware-ree".

Not a pail - a bucket.

Not a teeter-totter - a see-saw.

Not a tap or a spigot - a faucet .

Not a tramp - a bum

Not a fanny or a bum -- a butt or an ass

And most importantly ...

While one may "pop" a balloon, or take after one's "pop", one cannot drink "pop". There is no real generic name in New Orleans for "soda" or "pop" -- you must call either call it by brand name, or refer to them as "cold drinks".
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  #21  
Old 05-10-2002, 01:38 PM
amarinth amarinth is offline
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Born in CA and then moved to WA - as far as I can tell the only change in pronunciation was the word "almond."

But yes, marry, Mary, merry, berry, and Barry all rhyme. Bury sounds slightly different. Very, very, very (another word which rhymes with all of the above, btw) slightly and if I wanted to, I'd make it rhyme without a second thought.
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  #22  
Old 05-10-2002, 02:55 PM
scout1222 scout1222 is offline
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They all rhyme to me. But what do I know? I was born and raised in California.
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  #23  
Old 05-10-2002, 03:31 PM
zweisamkeit zweisamkeit is offline
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To me, Mary, merry, and marry sound just about identical. Occasionally 'merry' will have a 'meery' sound instead, but not all the time. Wary and weary are completely different. Wary is "ware-y" and wearing is "weer-y".

I'm from Detroit, and have (even to fellow Detroit-area people) an odd combination of accents. Some people have sworn that I'm actually from Ontario (southern), and other pronunciations that I use confuse others.

Oooh, and something about *my* vocabulary just stunned me while reading a post here:

Faucet, spigot, or tap: the actual thing is a faucet, but tap water comes out of the faucet. What sense does that make?
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  #24  
Old 05-10-2002, 05:04 PM
Cervaise Cervaise is offline
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I'm with those who distinguish between these sounds, based on "r-coloring," but then I've had a few years of speech training.
  • "Marry" = "ma" with a flat "a," like "mac," plus "ree."
  • "Merry" = "me" with a flat "e," like "men," plus "ree."
  • "Mary" = a blended sound, "mare," plus "ree."
I also distinguish between the four "ah"s --
  • "Hot" = short, and dark, but not as dark as
  • "All" = darker and longer (in British, it's very dark, like "awl")
  • "Father" = long and gentle
  • "Bath," "can't" = midway between flat a ("hat") and the "ah" in "father"
But like I said, I've had a lot of speech training. The effect of my differentiating between the various sounds above is that people who listen to me all think I come from somewhere else, but they can't quite pin it down. They just know I sound slightly different than they do.
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  #25  
Old 05-10-2002, 07:10 PM
fish in the sky fish in the sky is offline
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Born and raised in Wisconsin; it had never even occured to me before today that they could be pronounced differently.

The following words all rhyme, as far as I'm concerned:

Mary, marry, merry, Harry, hairy, carry, Kerry, airy, fairy, Barry, bury, berry, Jerry, Larry, Gary, Perry, tary, very, vary, wary, scary, cherry, dairy, prairie, nary.
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  #26  
Old 05-10-2002, 08:30 PM
Tsubaki Tsubaki is offline
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What cracks me up is when I hear you Merkins say "squirrel" or "mirror".

These words have TWO syllables, you know.
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  #27  
Old 05-10-2002, 09:57 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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[putz]Doh![/putz]

I, uh, take it that you can't use vB tags in titles. Oh well.

Thanks for all the replies. I now understand how the words could be pronounced differently, yet when I say them, even trying to get the different sounds, I still hear the same word. Maybe my mouth doesn't work right.

Thanks for the bit about r-coloring, Jomo. Interesting stuff.

Cervaise, I am amazed that you pronounce the ah's differently. The first three all sound the same to me.

Oh, and a faucet is inside (kitchen sink) while a spigot is outside (where you fill up the hose). Don't ask me why.
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  #28  
Old 05-10-2002, 10:27 PM
shrew shrew is offline
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Marry, Mary, and Merry are complete homophones around these parts.

Weary and Wary are nothing alike, and I do pronounce the "wh" in where more distinctly than the nonexistent H in wear.

Not a pail - a bucket.

Not a teeter-totter - a see-saw.

Faucet, tap,and spigot are interchangeable, but mostly only older people use the term spigot.

Diaper, much like soda, is often replaced by a brand name. For example, "Do you have a pamper?"

Besides the regular euphemisms for fanny such as ass, butt, rear end, etc., there is also one that I have no idea how to spell. I think it's hind end, but it comes out as high nin.
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  #29  
Old 05-11-2002, 03:02 AM
Katisha Katisha is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by zweisamkeit
Oooh, and something about *my* vocabulary just stunned me while reading a post here:

Faucet, spigot, or tap: the actual thing is a faucet, but tap water comes out of the faucet. What sense does that make?
None, I suppose, but that's the way I've always said it.

BTW, I grew up in Detroit, and I pronounce merry, marry, and Mary the same way, except when they occur in song lyrics (in which case slightly different pronunciations have been drummed into my head by choral directors, though they feel entirely too affected in everyday speech. Incidentally, my high school choir director had us pronounce Mary as something like "May-ry")

And I've never heard anyone pronounce "squirrel" as a monosyllable. "Mirror," maybe, but I think that as pronounced by most people it does have two syllables, although the second one is pretty weak. (Same goes for "fire.") At least, that's how I say it...
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  #30  
Old 05-11-2002, 04:29 AM
derTintenfisch derTintenfisch is offline
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Northeasterner (upstate New York) here - Mary, merry, marry are all the same for me, but I do use the two different sounds in cot ([a]) and caught ([er, the backwards c]) which I've been told is an Eastern (non-Californian) thing.

- A bucket is a plastic and a pail is metal.
- It's a see-saw.
- Spigot is outside - inside it's a tap I guess, but faucet doesn't sound really strange either.
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  #31  
Old 05-11-2002, 04:59 AM
Tsubaki Tsubaki is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Katisha
And I've never heard anyone pronounce "squirrel" as a monosyllable. "Mirror," maybe, but I think that as pronounced by most people it does have two syllables, although the second one is pretty weak. (Same goes for "fire.") At least, that's how I say it...
All the Merkins I've met have said squirrel as if it was spelt "squirl". Obviously that doesn't extrapolate to the entire Merkin population, but its a quirk I've never seen in Australia.

My Canadian friend says it that way, too.
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