Regina: Rhymes with?

See query. I checked Seinfeld and I suppose it must be in Dryden somewhere, and I could see if I get any clues. Plus I think there’s a city in the Northwest named that somewhere.

Any help, to avoid undoubted snickering?

If you’re speaking of the capital of Saskatchewan, it rhymes with vagina. I have only ever heard ladies with that name pronounce it to rhyme with canteena.

Northern Piper’s location field used to actually say “Rhymes with vagina”.


My google-fuing seems to tell me that the city is named Regina (Vagina rhyme) because it is named after Queen Victoria ie Victoria Regina which is from the Latin for Queen and uses the long i from the modern formal Latin. We still use that pronunciation when we say ‘Elizabeth Regina’.

The name Regina (Canteena) is from a Roman saint who lived in France. The name thus became popular in France (Still seen in many place names that use Ste-Reine.) It eventually migrated to Germany using the long e borrowed from the French and from there entered English. We know that it was in use as a girl’s name at least as long ago as Charlemagne since one of his baby-mamas was named that.

Like this.

Yes, the Saskatchewan city rhymes with vagina. I once dated a girl named Regina and she was often called Geena.

The head of state of the UK and many commonwealth countries is Elizabeth Ree-jine-ah

I don’t really know a heck of a whole lot about Latin, but by “long i” I assume you mean the sound in “vagina.” Would Latin really have used that sound and spelled it as a bare “i”? I would have assumed the sound “ee” /i:/ as “i” represents in most languages in Europe. I really can’t think of any other language off the top of my head where that sound is represented by a bare “i.” It’s usually “ai” or “ei” or “aj” or something of that nature. That is, if I’m understanding your post correctly.

I always assumed the long-i /aɪ̯/ in English versions of Latin words was just an Anglicization. Was it not?

You’re exactly right. The English long-i is the result of the Great Vowel Shift, where some vowels changed their pronunciation in certain ways. It happened just after spelling was mostly standardized. So English vowel spellings reflect how they were pronounced before the shift.

I was sure you were going to cite me this at 0:49 seconds in.

No wonder Geena Davis (or her parents) went to the trouble to spell it that way.

I’ve never known an English speaker with this name, but I’ve known several people from Latin American who have it, including a girlfriend from El Salvador, who pronounced it /re hi nɑ/, but just went by “Gina.”

That first vowel is interesting… No offense, but are you sure, as a general thing with newscasters, etc.?

ETA: I checked Dryden and came up empty. Nice research task, however. I’m sure I’ve seen it in an ode, or maybe a madrgal. And, since Victoria was mentioned, in one of the many god-awful British choral compositions of the mid 19th century, but I ain’t going there.

Related to the Seinfeld joke, there’s an old Chicago-based joke:

Q: What three Chicago streets rhyme with “vagina”?

A: Paulina, Melvina, and Lunt.

The unofficial motto of Regina is actually “The city that rhymes with fun.”

It’s not the kind of term that occurs much in newscasts. And it should be noted that in many contexts where “Regina” is written, “the Queen” or “the Crown” is spoken.

But you’re right. When the word is voiced in BrE, referring to the Queen, it’s not “ree-jine-ah”; it’s more like “r’jine-ah”

Not “Leveeosa”

According to “There are 217,975 people in the U.S. with the first name Regina.
Statistically the 313th most popular first name.”

I know several English speakers with the name, all of them in the New York City suburbs and all pronouncing it rhyming with “canteena”. Some of them are Irish and German, others are Italian. I know that it was a name given by Catholics because of one of the Latin titles for the Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven,“Regina Caeli”
According to
"Means “queen” in Latin (or Italian). It was in use as a Christian name from early times, and was borne by a 2nd-century saint. In England it was used during the Middle Ages in honour of the Virgin Mary, and it was later revived in the 19th century.

There was a grocer whose store was across the street from my grandmother’s house. The grocer and his wife had two daughters, the eldest named Regina. They pronounced it with the long “i”.

Well, another rhyming word is Jemima, as in Aunt.