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Old 03-29-2018, 12:01 PM
wolfman wolfman is online now
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Do you pronounce the first "r" in Turmeric?

I have always pronounced it, because it's fricken' spelled that way. But I have noticed that it seems everybody else when they say it( Not that it's a exactly daily topic of conversion, but TV cooking shows etc.) drops the r and says tumeric.

Am I that unusual in pronouncing it?

Last edited by wolfman; 03-29-2018 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 03-29-2018, 12:11 PM
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Old 03-29-2018, 12:12 PM
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It's acceptable either way.

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Old 03-29-2018, 12:28 PM
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  #5  
Old 03-29-2018, 12:41 PM
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How about, which syllable is accented? I used to say turMERic, but I think I've heard TURmeric
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Old 03-29-2018, 12:48 PM
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TER-mer-ik
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Old 03-29-2018, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solost View Post
How about, which syllable is accented? I used to say turMERic, but I think I've heard TURmeric
The latter is most common in the UK
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Old 03-29-2018, 01:05 PM
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I don't think I've ever said that word out loud in my entire life.
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Old 03-29-2018, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
TER-mer-ik
I guess that's how I pronounce it. I mean, I don't really stress the first syllable, but I definitely don't stress the second (or the third for that matter). I know this is probably a question for another thread, but is it possible to put the same amount of emphasis on all syllables? Also, I've never heard anyone leave out the "r". That just sounds wrong (unless they're British).
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Old 03-29-2018, 01:17 PM
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I usually call it borrie, the local name (Afrikaans, but also used by English-speaking Coloureds - it comes from the Malay boreh, which is a spiced paste for the skin/face mask), but if I'm talking to someone who doesn't know what that it, I'll pronounce the first r. But the no-r pronunciation is common here too - my wife says tyoomeric.

But then she also says "ungyun" for Allium cepa so she may not be that authoratative.

Last edited by MrDibble; 03-29-2018 at 01:20 PM.
  #11  
Old 03-29-2018, 01:21 PM
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I don't think I've ever even noticed it there.
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Old 03-29-2018, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
TER-mer-ik
This is what I say, too, for three primary reasons:

1. There's an R there!
2. I don't like being reminded of tumors at my meals.
3. My wife, who grew up eating turmeric-spiced meals probably every single day, says it that way.

Last edited by Defensive Indifference; 03-29-2018 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 03-29-2018, 01:44 PM
Rysto Rysto is online now
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There are two 'R's in tumeric?

Huh, TIL.
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Old 03-29-2018, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Rysto View Post
There are two 'R's in tumeric?

Huh, TIL.
What he said. I pronounce it TUMOR-ick. But then again, my Puerto Rican from The Bronx accent is amusing even to my own children, and they grew up in Brooklyn,
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Old 03-29-2018, 02:33 PM
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Yes...?

It has never occurred to me that the R wouldn't be pronounced..
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Old 03-29-2018, 03:07 PM
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Yes...?

It has never occurred to me that the R wouldn't be pronounced..
You must be a riot all February. Thankfully it only lasts 28 (or 29) days.
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Old 03-29-2018, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Rysto View Post
There are two 'R's in tumeric?

Huh, TIL.
Same here. And I use Tumeric (Turmeric?) all the time.
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Old 03-29-2018, 05:23 PM
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ETA: I lied, I think I say toomeric and didn't notice the first r.

How about kyoomin? Or is it coomin?

However, the Snickers commercial notwithstanding, it'a ah-mond. And also, sa-muhn.

Last edited by gigi; 03-29-2018 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 03-29-2018, 06:19 PM
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Dictionary says both ways are acceptable, but goddam it grates on my ears when I hear people say tumor-rick.
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Old 03-29-2018, 07:39 PM
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Dictionary says both ways are acceptable, but goddam it grates on my ears when I hear people say tumor-rick.
What are you tall king about?
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  #21  
Old 03-29-2018, 07:45 PM
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Yes. (Not that I can remember ever saying it out loud before.)
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Old 03-29-2018, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi View Post
ETA:
How about kyoomin? Or is it coomin?

However, the Snickers commercial notwithstanding, it'a ah-mond. And also, sa-muhn.
1. Either is fine.

2. No, it's not. It's regional, much like pecan.
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Last edited by Chefguy; 03-29-2018 at 09:18 PM.
  #23  
Old 03-29-2018, 11:28 PM
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Pronouncing the l in salmon is regional? I'll take your word for it on almond.
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Old 03-30-2018, 12:18 AM
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It's not a toomah...ric!
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Old 03-30-2018, 12:27 AM
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I didn't know there were two "r"'s until I saw this thread. Whoops.
  #26  
Old 03-30-2018, 01:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfman View Post
. . . because it's fricken' spelled that way.
You're probably not serious with this, but spelling doesn't dictate the pronunciation of the vast majority of language. Humans grow up pronouncing the bulk of their vocabulary long before they can read, without regard to spelling, (which doesn't always correspond phonetically in a consistent way). Even after that, for most people most new vocabulary is acquired aurally before it is seen in print.

If people depended on spelling to know how to pronounce words, then illiterate people would never be able to talk.

Last edited by guizot; 03-30-2018 at 01:38 AM.
  #27  
Old 03-30-2018, 03:00 AM
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I used to say TYU- merick, but switched to TUR-merick a couple of years ago after meeting people who both pronounced the R and used the stuff a lot more than me.

I'd never really noticed the R before then, if I'm honest, but it wasn't something I came across much in the villages I grew up in.
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:03 AM
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I've seen it spelled both ways, and didn't know which was right, let alone its pronunciation. Also, I don't even know what it is. Some kind of cooking ingredient I think.
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by guizot View Post
You're probably not serious with this, but spelling doesn't dictate the pronunciation of the vast majority of language. Humans grow up pronouncing the bulk of their vocabulary long before they can read, without regard to spelling, (which doesn't always correspond phonetically in a consistent way). Even after that, for most people most new vocabulary is acquired aurally before it is seen in print.

If people depended on spelling to know how to pronounce words, then illiterate people would never be able to talk.
I have a friend to whom I would like to show this post. He was taught at school, pretty much, that English spelling vis-a-vis pronunciation, function in a highly regular and consistent way. This is nonsense -- spelling dictates pronunciation less in English, than it does in many languages -- but he totally bought into it, and has continued to do so for more than half a century. The result is, that his way of pronouncing a good many words, is strange; but he's convinced that his pronunciation is correct, and that of almost everyone else, is wrong.
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Old 03-30-2018, 09:37 AM
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I tend to say "TOO-muh-rick" unless I'm being precise, in which case I will pronounce the first "r." It's just that "TER-mu-rick" doesn't roll off my tongue well in spontaneous speech, so I elide over the first "r." That said, the balance of "r"s in my speech is accounted for, with the missing "r" finding itself into the way "sherbet" (pronounced "sherbert.")
  #31  
Old 03-30-2018, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
I've seen it spelled both ways, and didn't know which was right, let alone its pronunciation. Also, I don't even know what it is. Some kind of cooking ingredient I think.
It's what makes curry powder yellow. It's a rhizome/root like ginger (but much smaller.) Very yellow/orange. Stains the shit out of everything you get it on (much in the same way beets do.) In America, it's also used in American ballpark mustard. It is most commonly found in its powdered form (at least in the West). Used commonly in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking (among others.) The fresh rhizome is also used commonly in Southeast Asian curries. Also, there's been a bit of a health food fad surrounding turmeric going on for the last couple of years here in the US. Like I can find fresh turmeric root at my local groceries, when ten years ago I had to go to the Thai/Vietnamese/Southeast Asian markets to have any hope in finding it.

Last edited by pulykamell; 03-30-2018 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 03-30-2018, 09:41 AM
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My wife and I don't but as we thought about it at least three of our parents did.
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Old 03-30-2018, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfman View Post
I have always pronounced it, because it's fricken' spelled that way. But I have noticed that it seems everybody else when they say it( Not that it's a exactly daily topic of conversion, but TV cooking shows etc.) drops the r and says tumeric.

Am I that unusual in pronouncing it?
No I don't.
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Old 03-30-2018, 07:41 PM
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I pronounce the first r. I don't care if you pronounce it or not. Just don't spell the word without it, because that is a misspelling.
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Old 03-30-2018, 11:08 PM
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I can't remember ever talking about turmeric with anyone who did not bring up the subject themselves, so I say it the way do.
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Old 03-31-2018, 12:22 AM
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There are three syllables? Huh. I always say it toom'rick.
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Old 03-31-2018, 02:05 AM
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I never have, to the point that I forget the R is there. The middle syllable is just an elongated R, though, and gets shorter the faster I say it, turning it into a two syllable word.
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Old 03-31-2018, 10:26 AM
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I never knew the first "r" was there and will go back to my unenlightened state momentarily. Damned spice stains everything.
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Old 03-31-2018, 12:14 PM
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I'm pretty sure I've never pronounced either R...or any of the other letters. I don't think I've ever spoken the word. Mentally I think of the first R as silent so call that a no.
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:19 AM
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These answers seem about evenly split between "Of course! There's an r there in plain sight, after all!" and "There's an r? TIL! Who could have guessed?"

This feeds my theory that many highly literate Dopers' primary interaction with language is the sight of the written word (myself included), while others are primarily tuned in to the sound of the spoken word.

Back in my college days I had a friend who also liked curry but pronounced "tumor ick," even though otherwise he spoke rhotic American English and read books. It puzzled me how that was even possible. Still does.
  #41  
Old 04-02-2018, 12:50 PM
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I read books and "see" text in my mind, but it wasn't till this board that I realized I was saying "comf-terble". And I just realized a couple of days ago that I say family "falmly"! Not a full-on ell, but the hint of one. Now how did that happen?
  #42  
Old 04-02-2018, 09:49 PM
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I have never before seen two rs in TUMERIC. You think you know something
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Old 04-02-2018, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backwater Under_Duck View Post
I have never before seen two rs in TUMERIC. You think you know something
I've always known it to be "turmeric," but that similar discovery happened when somebody pointed out there's no "r" in "sherbet." Literally everybody I know in my dialect says "sherbert" and I thought there was no way in hell it's spelled "sherbet" on the box and that whoever told me that was mistaken and conflating it with the word "sorbet," but, sure enough, it's "sherbet." I still cannot bring myself to say "sure-bit." That sounds all sorts of wrong to me.
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
I've always known it to be "turmeric," but that similar discovery happened when somebody pointed out there's no "r" in "sherbet." Literally everybody I know in my dialect says "sherbert" and I thought there was no way in hell it's spelled "sherbet" on the box and that whoever told me that was mistaken and conflating it with the word "sorbet," but, sure enough, it's "sherbet." I still cannot bring myself to say "sure-bit." That sounds all sorts of wrong to me.
And here I thought all along that people were taking the "r" out of "tumeric" to put it into "marscarpone"!
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  #45  
Old 04-05-2018, 02:15 PM
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Never noticed the extra "r" and I can't say I've ever said the word outloud.

But on the cooking show in my head, we say "too-mer-ick".
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Old 04-05-2018, 03:13 PM
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Never noticed the extra "r" and I can't say I've ever said the word outloud.
I'd never noticed either, but indeed this month's Cooks Illustrated has a little blurb on the spice, and that damned "r" jumped right out at me.
  #47  
Old 04-05-2018, 03:24 PM
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I read it with both "r"s when I'm reading it but say it with only one "r" out loud.
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Old 04-07-2018, 04:51 AM
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I got some turmeric when I got married and set up house in 1983. I think we still have pretty much all of it. Since I never use it I never talk about it. If someone were to ask me what it is, though, Id pronounce the R.

Because, as has been mentioned, its right THERE. I also pronounce the word comfort, when I say comfortable, though, so take that for what its worth.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:26 AM
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I think i say TER-meric, but I'm not 100% certain. I asked my husband about the yellow spice we use cooking lentils, and he pronounced the "r", but lightly. He was aware there is dispute re the pronunciation.
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