American pronuncation of "Bury" - Why did Pres. Obama pronounce it as "Burr-y"?

Why did President Obama mispronounce the word “bury” in this video?

He pronounced it as “burr-y” instead of “berry.” Am I the only American who finds this strange? From what I understand, the standard American pronunciation is “berry.”
Did he make a mistake? Or did he actually intend to pronounce it this way? Thanks

You need to get out more. “Berry” isn’t anywhere near “the” standard American pronunciation of that word. In reality, “burr-y” is closest to “the” standard American pronunciation.

Not according to OED it isn’t. Berry is the pronunciation given for both the UK and US.

Can you back that up? Wiktionary would say no.

So does

But my guess is that local variants would give a wide range of pronunciations, and that’s what Obama is giving.

I have never in my life heard anyone pronounce it “burry.” I live in Baltimore MD if that makes any difference. For that matter, never heard it pronounced like that on TV, either.

It’s almost certainly a regional thing. To me (Ohio with Appalachian roots), either sounds reasonable, but “burry” is more so. This probably means that I’m near a boundary between dialects, but I’m not sure which way that boundary would go.

It’s most often “burr-y” in Chicago. He wasn’t born and raised here, but he spent enough time here that his dialect is pretty Chicago. It’s perfectly normal to me, although I’m also familiar with “barry”. I just don’t use it. Burr-y 'em at their burr-ial.

“Bury” is indeed usually homophonous with “berry.” However, it appears that Mr. Obama has at least a partial furry-ferry merger. Wiki only mentions Philadelphia, but I’ve noticed it in Chicago accents as well. (And from some Texans, too.)

Huh. I’m from here and in my part of town, it rhymes with berry. I have heard “burr-y”, but I would have pegged that as “foreign.” But Chicago has at least a couple of accents, see the pronunciation of “Chicago,” for instance. (Shih - CAW vs CAH - go.).

“Barry”, as distinct from “berry”? :confused:

Is there such a beast as a caw-cah merger? Because I would pronounce both of those the exact same way.

Shih-CAW-go for me. But it’s a little fuzzy. Kind of between the two when I’m speaking at speed. (I also say Saw-sidge, for “sausage” not Sah-sidge. The SNL “Chicahgo” dialect sounds totally weird to me.)

No, not really. By the time I typed it, I forgot if the OP said “berry” or “barry”, and it was about (Barry) Obama, so my brain picked the wrong one and I didn’t bother to edit. “Berry” and “Barry” sound the same to me. Sorry to add to the confusion.

And this is why nobody can use SAMPA or IPA in these threads.

IOW, it’s ‘cot’ as opposed to ‘caught’; ‘Mary’, not ‘merry’; and ‘pin’, as distinct from ‘pen’.

Not sure why this is noteworthy.
If I listen to someone speak for more than a couple minutes I can often pick out one or two words that I would consider to have been strangely pronounced. And by strangely I mean “I’m not sure I’ve ever heard that word pronounced quite like that”.
That’s due to factors like growing up in a different place, in a different time, with a different class of education with/without the influence of foreign language(s), plus just individual quirkiness.

Yes, it’s the cot-caught merger. Chicago differentiates between the two.

Yeah, I grew up more with shih-CAH-go and sahsidge, although I will sometimes vacillate between the two. And also “aygs” for “eggs” (well, it’s probably more like “égs”–it’s not quite as long as a typical English “ay” sound.) although I’ve since (mostly) switched to “eggs.” “Burr-y” is kind of a new one for me, though, for Chicago area. Like I said, I’ve heard it, but always assumed it was like Indiana or father east or something.

I still don’t see how “Barry” is pronounced any different than “Berry”.

American English, as spoken in Hawaii, has a lot of local variation that puts it somewhat distinct from mainland English pronunciation. Is it possible that he’s bringing some of his Hawaiian dialect into his speech?

Do you pronounce “marry” and “merry” the same?

“Barry” uses a flat A sound, like in “cat”.

ETA: And my Nebraskan inlaws say “burr-y” for “bury”. “Syrup” is “surr-up”.