#1
Old 11-18-2009, 01:56 AM
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Broccoli pronunciation

Is there a regional or cultural distinction in the pronunciation of the word "broccoli" similar to the aych/haych pronunciation for the letter 'H'?

I say "broccolee" and so does a friend of mine, but a lot of other people say "broccolai" (especially where I'm living at the moment). It drives me nuts.

So is there a history to this split?
#2
Old 11-18-2009, 02:12 AM
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I've never heard anyone pronounce it "broccolai." Where are you?
#3
Old 11-18-2009, 02:22 AM
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In the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney, Australia. I grew up in the suburbs of Sydney, and so did my friend.

I know that's pretty obscure, but I'm wondering if the "broccolai" pronunciation exists anywhere else in the world (e.g. Ireland, say, or parts of the US).
#4
Old 11-18-2009, 03:54 AM
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When I saw that aitch/haitch distinction, I figured you were from Oz and either Catholic or Protestant with Catholic friends. I have a work mate who was schooled at a Catholic school and always pronounces it haitch.

Back to the OP. Generally as you pronounce it around here, although I have heard the other, but can't remember where or when.
#5
Old 11-18-2009, 04:18 AM
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Yes, while I'm not Catholic (or Protestant, for that matter -- I'm Orthodox), most of my friends were Catholics when I was young, and I so was bombarded with the "haitch" pronunciation regularly.

Maybe you heard "broccolai" from some Blue Mountains residents visiting NZ...
#6
Old 11-18-2009, 04:43 AM
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I've heard it pronounced broccol-eye but never with an 'ai' sound at the end. I'm a broccolee (but not a long ee sound) person, myself,
#7
Old 11-18-2009, 04:46 AM
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Just to clarify, by "broccolai" I mean "broccol-eye".
#8
Old 11-18-2009, 05:13 AM
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Never heard that, but I hear brock-lee (2 syllables) very commonly.
#9
Old 11-18-2009, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
Never heard that, but I hear brock-lee (2 syllables) very commonly.
Yeah, that's the one I thought he was going to be talking about. Hearing it pronounced brock-co-lee is like hearing chocolate pronounced chock-co-late (long a).
#10
Old 11-18-2009, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Fruit View Post
When I saw that aitch/haitch distinction, I figured you were from Oz and either Catholic or Protestant with Catholic friends.
Haitch is fairly common in the UK, albeit it is perceived as an incorrect pronunciation. I have never heard "broccol-eye" in either UK or US.
#11
Old 11-18-2009, 07:45 AM
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I'd say it's a regional Australian thing. I'm just back from visiting friends on the Gold Coast (southern Queensland) and they pronounced in Brocol-eye. It didn't strike me as particularly odd (although I obviously noted it), after all they call courgette's 'zucchini' and aubergines 'egg-plant'. Bloody strange, you colonials...

OB
#12
Old 11-18-2009, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Oswald Bastable View Post
after all they call courgette's 'zucchini' ...
Pronounced "zoosh-'n'-eye", of course.
#13
Old 11-18-2009, 08:56 AM
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'Merkin checking in. Broccoll-eye is not something I've ever heard in any part of the US.

The predominiant pronunciation here seems to be BROCK-lee or maybe BROCK-uh-lee where the middle uh sound is so minimal it's almost a schwa.
#14
Old 11-18-2009, 09:18 AM
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When my husband and I make dinner together we sometimes find ourselves choppin' broccoleye because this bit cracked us both up. We like broccolay, too.
#15
Old 11-19-2009, 09:50 AM
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Most people around here call it "broc-cull-ee" although it's not foreign to hear it referred to as "broc-coll-ee"
#16
Old 11-19-2009, 09:56 AM
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Metro NYC checking in: This thread is the first I've ever heard of either brockolai or haitch.

From the thread title, I thought the question was going to be about the "cc". Like someone thought it was "brotcholee" or something.
#17
Old 11-19-2009, 09:59 AM
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All I've ever heard, all my life, was either "BROCK-lee" or "BROCK-uh-lee" (which is how I say it). Of course, since I've moved to WV, I have heard it pronounced as "Yew know, that 'ere green vegeble what looks like trees; but I don' wan' it 'less it's real well-cooked".
#18
Old 11-19-2009, 01:16 PM
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It has to be some weird Australian quirk and yet... it's not universal, even down here. Weird.
#19
Old 11-19-2009, 05:41 PM
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Definitely 'Brock-lee' on Long Island (NY) - going to a chinese takeout for 'Beef & Broc-ca-lie' just doesn't work.. (and the & is pronounced 'en': Beef n Brock-lee...or Chicken n Brock-lee; alas the menu numbers aren't standardized to just say 'L9' at any chinese takeout and have it mean, say, Chicken n Cashews, unlike say Taco Bell or Wendy's.)

Last edited by SirRay; 11-19-2009 at 05:43 PM.
#20
Old 11-19-2009, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by SirRay View Post
Definitely 'Brock-lee' on Long Island (NY) - going to a chinese takeout for 'Beef & Broc-ca-lie' just doesn't work.. (and the & is pronounced 'en': Beef n Brock-lee...or Chicken n Brock-lee; alas the menu numbers aren't standardized to just say 'L9' at any chinese takeout and have it mean, say, Chicken n Cashews, unlike say Taco Bell or Wendy's.)
I'm from Long Island and I've always heard it as Brock-uh-lee, with the "uh" sound being very quick. Definitely more than just "brock-lee" though.
#21
Old 11-19-2009, 06:03 PM
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There's a Monty Python sketch where it's pronounced that way - it's the one where a guy goes to a funeral home and the funeral home guy convinces him that he should eat his dead mother with a bit of broccol-eye and stuffing.
#22
Old 11-20-2009, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobot View Post
In the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney, Australia. I grew up in the suburbs of Sydney, and so did my friend.

I know that's pretty obscure, but I'm wondering if the "broccolai" pronunciation exists anywhere else in the world (e.g. Ireland, say, or parts of the US).
Ireland checking in and it is pronounced "brocollee" here.
#23
Old 11-20-2009, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi Fruit View Post
When I saw that aitch/haitch distinction, I figured you were from Oz and either Catholic or Protestant with Catholic friends. I have a work mate who was schooled at a Catholic school and always pronounces it haitch.

Back to the OP. Generally as you pronounce it around here, although I have heard the other, but can't remember where or when.
Ha, ha, I didn't know they had that there too. It's a "true fact" that Catholics in Northern Ireland say "Haitch" while Protestants say "aitch".
#24
Old 11-20-2009, 09:02 PM
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Were it not for the Python reference, I'd be convinced it was unique to Australia at this point.
#25
Old 04-21-2013, 06:06 AM
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It as actually pronounced Broccol-eye as it is the plural of Brocoll (or Broccolo) which are the single florets. Delicious chocolate dipped believe it or not.
#26
Old 04-21-2013, 06:55 AM
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I remember having a bit of fun with folks when I moved from Oregon to Texas, and I tried to convince a few people that in Oregon we pronounce it bro-CHO-lee (like cho as in chosen).

But no, I've never heard it pronounced anything other than brock-lee or if I did maybe a 3 syllable version that sounds very similar to brock-lee.
#27
Old 04-21-2013, 07:08 AM
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My linguistic background is that my father was from upstate NY, as were both his parents, and my mother was from South Miami, father from Cincinnati, mother from Augusta KY.

I pronounce it 'BRA-gul-Lee.' With the 'gul' really having a schwa in it, like the second syllable of 'gargle.' I just find it hard to go from a voiced syllable to an unvoiced one, so 'broccoli' becomes 'broggoli.'
#28
Old 04-21-2013, 08:35 AM
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The brocco-lye pronunciation reminds me that although it started in jest, it seems everyone in my family now says asparagi (pronounced ass-par-i-guy). That is, of course, unless they're going to limit themselves to one piece (and this began decades before Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss)
#29
Old 04-21-2013, 09:55 AM
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I say /ˈbɹɑk.li/
I've heard some others say /ˈbɹɑ.kə.li/, but my two-syllable pronunciation seems more common in the US, unless you ASK people how they pronounce the word, then they affect a third syllable.
#30
Old 04-21-2013, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
I say /ˈbɹɑk.li/
I've heard some others say /ˈbɹɑ.kə.li/, but my two-syllable pronunciation seems more common in the US, unless you ASK people how they pronounce the word, then they affect a third syllable.
Just a friendly tip: there's no reason you can't just use /r/ in phonemic transcriptions for English. Just like you didn't use /ɒ/.

And, yes, asking people how they pronounce something is prone to error. When answering that question, be sure to wait a bit so you aren't thinking about the pronunciation, and then use it in a sentence you use a lot.
#31
Old 04-21-2013, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Just a friendly tip: there's no reason you can't just use /r/ in phonemic transcriptions for English. Just like you didn't use /ɒ/.
I didn't use /ɒ/ because there is no rounding. /ɑ/ (not /a/) seemed a better match.
#32
Old 04-21-2013, 12:37 PM
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brok-kuh-li

with the middle "u" devoiced so it sounds like 2 syllables
#33
Old 04-21-2013, 01:04 PM
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[Newman]Evil weed![/Newman]
#34
Old 04-21-2013, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Omee View Post
It as actually pronounced Broccol-eye as it is the plural of Brocoll (or Broccolo) which are the single florets. Delicious chocolate dipped believe it or not.
Only, if you're going to treat it as an Italian word (which is what you're doing there), in Italian they don't end it with that "eye/ai", it's "ee".
#35
Old 04-21-2013, 07:46 PM
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BRAHK-u-lee. Definitely 3 syllables.
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