Is "heighth" a regionalism?

AFAIK most people pronounce the word “height” as /haɪt/, with some expected variation in the diphthong depending on regional accent. Sometimes I run into folks who say /haɪθ/ or /haɪtθ/. Two recent examples are a man from West Virginia and another from central Texas. What I’m wondering is if this is an established pronunciation in these or other regions, if these are isolated analogical pronunciations to “width” and “breadth” that pop up all over, or if there’s something else I haven’t thought of.

It’s a common mispronunciation in Ireland. Sometimes I catch myself saying it.

I guess it’s an unconscious transfer from the endings of length and width. Indeed, why isn’t it highth?

I didn’t do all my homework before starting this thread. I checked the OED and I see that it was híehþo back in Old English, from Old Low German *hôhitha.

The form ending with a stop rather than a fricative dates back to Middle English.

You hear it all acrosst the land.

Never attribute to regional linguistics that which can be explained by “jes’ not thinkin’, an’ soundin’ lahk a hick”.

Regretfully, the link I have spent over an hour tracking down ( ) (Dialect Survey Maps and Results) doesn’t have that specific word addressed, but there are quite a few other words, phrases and pronunciations that you may find of value. It was by way of the “cot” and “caught” distinction that I finally located this link.

There must be a similar analysis on the web somewhere that does address heighth, and maybe this one will spark somebody else’s memory of where that may be.

With nothing more than common sense to go by, I would suspect “heighth” to be less a regionalism than a function of education. A similar issue (for me) exists for the “strenth” pronunciation of “strength” or “lenth” for “length.” But I have heard educated people use those versions, so I’m just not sure.

Maybe “non-standard” is as far as you can go in labeling it.

Since you’ve been around the Dope for a while, I’m going to assume that you are kidding. Your comment does remind me of a family member who visited us from “up North” and complained that our Southern dialect gets on her nerves. We explained that she was the one with the accent here. She flatly denied having any accent at all. (She’s from New Jersey.)

We all speak in a dialect. Usually it’s the one that we heard when we were growing up. We make adjustments along the way if we see a reason to. If I remember to, I end height with the “t” sound. I was an English teacher and that is considered formal English. But I’ve been out of the classroom a long time and often I revert to what I heard growing up – the “th.” Maybe it was a combination of hearing it from some people and not noticing that it was different from width and length.

I love dialectical differences. I especially like to listen in on a group of men from Maine talking. They are absolutely charming! We need more of those men delivering the network news. It would somehow make me feel safer.

I use “height” and “height” differently, I can’t really figure out what rules I use for each (I rarely say heighth). I think I would say “At the right heighth” to describe when something needs to be raised or lowered down to be corrected, but how tall something is, is always height… I have no idea if anyone else does this.

I came to mention Ireland as well. My dad and his brothers were born and raised there and they all say it that way.

Lots of people say it. It matches up well with the words length, depth, breadth, and width. Maybe someone knows the roots of these words, and why height doesn’t follow the the same pattern.

I think I’ve seen it spelled that way in books once or twice. I thought “heighth” and “coolth” were just old-timey-isms.

People who say “heighth” and “acrost” also say “excape.”

I knew a guy from Pennsylvania who always ate “breakfixt.”

I agree with you totally. When people focus unfavourably on dialect and accent, it’s due to xenophobia or snobbery. And usually those have their roots in some form of inferiority complex.

Without accents and dialects, the world would be a grey and boring place. I am proud to have an Irish accent, and proud of the Hiberno-Irish words and phrases that we use (in private and among consenting adults when the rest of you are not around).

In Ireland and in the UK, the media used to hire people with “posh” voices - whose natural tones had been exterminated by elocution lessons. Now, those fake accents have been banned, and they don’t mind how you speak, so long as your speech is clear to listeners.

I really hope that’s a whoosh.

They’ve been banned?

I don’t think they are that closely correlated. I seem to hear “th” on height more often than “across[t]”, and far, far more often than “excape”. Falls in line, I suppose, with the fact that I use “th” on the end of height (with a t sound ahead of it, BTW), I may or may not put a t on across, and I never say “excape”. I think I say “acrosst” if I want to sound informal.

I was jesting - I’m sure there is no actual ban. However, they are no longer the norm in radio or television

It is clear that broadcasting stations no longer select for these accents, which they did when I was a child. Broadcasters were expected to talk with the kind of unnatural actor’s accent you can hear in British films up to the 1960s. Now it is normal to hear regional accents.

I have come across “coolth” in the context of thermodynamics, as a shorthand for “cooling effect”, by analogy with “warm” -> “warmth”.

When I google the word, almost all the results are referring to the word (definitions and such) rather than using it. This makes me think it’s very rare in actual use.

However, when I google {coolth absorption}, there are plenty of results using the term in the context of absorption chillers.

Never heard “heigth” in Massachusetts. I’ve come across “len-th” and “expecially” every now and then, though, especially (expecially?) with strong Boston accents.

A previous thread, in which you’ll find (among other things) Milton used “highth” in Paradise Lost.

Wow I really didn’t do my homework. Thanks for that.