Tomato and potato

Apart from that stupid song, have you ever once heard anyone pronounce the words tomato or potato as ‘to-mah-to’ or ‘po-tah-to’?

I seem to recall Bugs Bunny pronouncing the word tomahto in a couple of cartoons, but other than that I got nothin’

My MIL was English. She pronounced it to MAH to.

And how did she refer to starchy tubers?

My family is doing well to get past 'maters and 'taters.

Same here; all my Brit friends say to MAH to. I’ve never heard an American say it that way except as a joke. And also Bugs Bunny, as Cardigan mentioned . . .
“if anybody was to tell me my rabbit wasn’t mine, I’d tweak his pink to MAH to nose”
I’ve never heard anyone say po TAH to.

Yeah, toMAHto is the standard British pronunciation. But you can’t expect any consistency in pronunciation over here, so we say poTAYto.


Well, there’s also that other stupid song

Yes, to-mah-to is thestandard UK pronunciation.

Potato is pronounced basically the same in the US and the UK, although the Cambridge dictionary says there is a small difference in the vowel in the final syllable.

Po-tah-to was just a joke on the part of Gershwin, because he needed another line to go with to-mah-to. Nobody actually says it that way.

French fries and ketchup.

A guy from New Zealand I once worked with once asked me to pass the “Toe-Maaah-Toe soth” at breakfast… I thought he said Tabasco sauce (which there wasn’t any of). Took me a few seconds to realize he meant ketchup.

Tom ah to, pot ay to. Anything else is a bastardisation of the King’s English.


And the T is much harder in UK English, at least to my ears.

Car, Cars 2 and Cars 3 were all released before I realised Tow Mater was a pun, because T’-MAH-toe is my default pronunciation :slight_smile: