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#1
Old 06-02-2004, 05:32 AM
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Why do so many people pronounce lozenge with an -r at the end?

Lozenger. WTF? Even though it's always written "lozenge," it seems like half the people pronounce it "lozenger." I've been hearing this for years. Just the other day I was listening to Faith Hill Unplugged, while introducing a song in concert she had a sore throat and said "I'm suckin' on my lozenger."

Why just this one word? There aren't any other words that get a ghost -r added on the end. Are there?
#2
Old 06-02-2004, 06:25 AM
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good question. Don't know the answer, but it seems to be creeping into normal usage. Even Smithklines website http://auravita.com/products/AURA/SMKL10450.asp uses lozenger (though no dictionary that I have found lists it)

Perhaps lozenger sounds more "active". Another alternative is that it is close to the way it is pronounced in another language, and that it crossed over into english
#3
Old 06-02-2004, 06:56 AM
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I've never heard anyone pronounce lozenge with an R at the end.
#4
Old 06-02-2004, 07:37 AM
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Whist probably not too common, there are sweets in the UK that actually write "cinnamon lozengers" * on the packet. perhaps some people have been influenced (or reinforced) in their pronunciation of the word by this packaging.

* Of course, there is no mention of this product on line, but I know I have some at home.
#5
Old 06-02-2004, 07:51 AM
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One other minor point, it isn't always spelt or written solely as "lozenge", as you can see here.

'Lozengers' seem to be a generic term for a particualr type of boiled sweet or medicine sold in a particular form.
#6
Old 06-02-2004, 08:03 AM
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Don't forget that to actually pronounce that 'e' on the end, it was be pronounced Lozeng-a, not Lozeng. Heck, really there is no point for that last 'e'. The English language is so screwed up.
#7
Old 06-02-2004, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nocturnal_tick
Don't forget that to actually pronounce that 'e' on the end, it was be pronounced Lozeng-a, not Lozeng. Heck, really there is no point for that last 'e'.
Sure there is. Silent E, as Sesame Street teaches us, can turn "can" into "cane", or "man" into "mane" - or "sing" into "singe". Here it turns the hard G sound in "law-zeng" into the J sound in "law-zenj".
#8
Old 06-02-2004, 08:41 AM
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I agree with Mr2001.

As for the OP, I have NEVER heard anyone pronounce it with an -r at the end (thankfully).
#9
Old 06-02-2004, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trigonal Planar
I agree with Mr2001.

As for the OP, I have NEVER heard anyone pronounce it with an -r at the end (thankfully).
When I was a kid about 30 years ago we said it "lozenger," but when I got old enough I began to pronounce it correctly. BTW, I have found no source that supports the claim that the final "e" is pronounced.
#10
Old 06-02-2004, 09:28 AM
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Out of curiosity, do these same people tack the r onto words that end in vowel sounds? (This is something that seems to be common in the Northeast--it used to drive me batshit to hear Rick Pitino talking about playing Georger and Alabamer.)

At any rate, it's possible that the lozenge thing is just an extension of that. Lozenge ends in a "juh" sort of sound. Most people I know pronounce it so that the "uh" part is very faint, almost swallowed, but other people enunciate that part a bit more. It seems reasonable that someone who a)prounounces the 'uh" sound at the end of lozenge and b)tacks r's onto the ends of words that end in vowel sounds would prounounce it lozenger.
#11
Old 06-02-2004, 09:31 AM
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I've also never heard lozenger or lozeng-a.

The final e was pronounced in English once, but not for the last several hundred years. Lozenge is very old but not old enough. The OED doesn't support either alternate pronunciation.
#12
Old 06-02-2004, 09:39 AM
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I suppose this is a useless post, but I wanted to go on record as saying I've never heard either "lozenger" or "lozeng-a" as a pronunciation.



BTW, isn't it weird how the noun form of "pronounce" is "pronunciation" rather than "pronounciation"?
#13
Old 06-02-2004, 09:40 AM
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For those who haven't heard it used, I can verify (in a anecdotal way) that "Lozenger" definitely has majority use over here (Northern Ireland), rather than the correct "lozenge".

What I do wonder though, is whether or not it is actually an incorrect pronunciation, or merely a use of a less common (albeit not appearing in [m]any dictionaries) word which is being confused with another similar one. There certainly seem to be some legitimate uses for "lozengers" in speech, or maybe the word has 'slipped' into common usage due to constant and repeated mispronunciation over many years.
#14
Old 06-02-2004, 09:47 AM
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Ok. So where exactly do people use "Lozenger"?
Never heard it once in the American Southeast. Never heard it here in the American Midwest, either, since I moved here 3 years ago.
#15
Old 06-02-2004, 09:58 AM
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I've never heard "lozenger" either, but may I gripe here about "larnyx"? I've even heard people who have studied anatomy say that instead of "larynx". People seem to have problems when those letters come together in a word.
#16
Old 06-02-2004, 10:12 AM
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I am in western Pennsylvania, and often hear people say "lozenger". I also cringe over "larnyx". The word "salve" makes me wince..."ointment" just sounds so much more refined.
#17
Old 06-02-2004, 10:28 AM
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I never realized it was lozenge until I was old enough to buy my own!

I grew up saying Lozenger.

I'm 31 and grew up in southern Massachusetts with a heavy New Bedford/Fall River influence in how I speak (for those of you who know the area)
#18
Old 06-02-2004, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jomo Mojo
Lozenger. WTF? Even though it's always written "lozenge," it seems like half the people pronounce it "lozenger." I've been hearing this for years. Just the other day I was listening to Faith Hill Unplugged, while introducing a song in concert she had a sore throat and said "I'm suckin' on my lozenger."

Why just this one word? There aren't any other words that get a ghost -r added on the end. Are there?
Faith Hill, IIRC, was born in Mississippi and raised in Louisiana -- both of which are my stomping grounds. I can't recall ever hearing "lozenge" pronounced as "lozenger". Actually, I'm sure I can count the times I've heard someone here say "lozenge" on one hand.

The fact that Hill used the word "lozenge" is a little suspect. Down here, they're almost invariably called "cough drops" or just "drops". I think Hill learned to use "lozenge" in casual conversation only as an adult. I'm confident in saying she did not grow up saying it.

...................

As for the "lozenge/lozenger" quandary: I'd bet a dollar to a doughnut that it's a back formation from the plural form "lozenges". In some isolated pockets of English speakers -- probably simultaneously in both the UK and USA -- the logical singular form of "lozenges" came to be regarded as "lozenger". Spelling be damned ... this is a case where the ear called the tongue's dance.

...................

Jomo Mojo, the word "idea" commonly gets the ghost "r" at the end ... I think in some parts of the northeastern US. There are more words like this: my wife's grandmother (from Cajun Country, Louisiana) pronounces "Tina" as "Teener" and "tuna" as "tooner". However, this usage is not universal among Cajuns.
#19
Old 06-02-2004, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bordelond
The fact that Hill used the word "lozenge" is a little suspect. Down here, they're almost invariably called "cough drops" or just "drops". I think Hill learned to use "lozenge" in casual conversation only as an adult. I'm confident in saying she did not grow up saying it.
Around here lozenges were specifically for sore throats - mostly I call Sucrets lozenges - but cough drops were for coughs - like the Halls or Ludens cough drops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bordelond
Jomo Mojo, the word "idea" commonly gets the ghost "r" at the end ... I think in some parts of the northeastern US. There are more words like this: my wife's grandmother (from Cajun Country, Louisiana) pronounces "Tina" as "Teener" and "tuna" as "tooner". However, this usage is not universal among Cajuns.
My father in law says "idear" - I know we add an R to a lot of things but since they are so natural to our speaking I'm having trouble thinking them up off hand. He grew up in New Jersey.
#20
Old 06-02-2004, 10:57 AM
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Add me to the list of folks who've never heard it called lozenger or logenja or anything other than lozenge.
#21
Old 06-02-2004, 10:58 AM
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On my undergrad engineering senior project, one of my partners was from Long Island. It took me a while to get straight his interchanged pronunciations of the thing that that tuned the frequency (the tuner) and the canned fish I that I ate a lot of at the time (tuna).

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady
Out of curiosity, do these same people tack the r onto words that end in vowel sounds? (This is something that seems to be common in the Northeast--it used to drive me batshit to hear Rick Pitino talking about playing Georger and Alabamer.)

At any rate, it's possible that the lozenge thing is just an extension of that. Lozenge ends in a "juh" sort of sound. Most people I know pronounce it so that the "uh" part is very faint, almost swallowed, but other people enunciate that part a bit more. It seems reasonable that someone who a)prounounces the 'uh" sound at the end of lozenge and b)tacks r's onto the ends of words that end in vowel sounds would prounounce it lozenger.
#22
Old 06-02-2004, 11:11 PM
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I made a mistake: it was Lauryn Hill I heard saying "lozenger", not Faith Hill. (I knew it was one of those gals named Hill, but my brain wasn't up to remembering these trivia details so early in the morning when I posted.) I looked up where Lauryn Hill comes from: South Orange, New Jersey.

I searched on Google for "lozenger" and found a site listing the funny ways people talk in Pittsburgh. "Lozenger" was one of the entries. My grandmother was born in Homestead right next to Pittsburgh, and my mom lived in Erie when she was a kid. It was my mom I first heard "lozenger" from, but when I asked she couldn't explain why she said it that way.

Where the word actually comes from...

If you ever go into an Indian grocery, look if they sell freshly made Indian sweets. One type of Indian sweet is made from nuts (either almonds or cashews) ground with sugar into a paste, which is pressed into a flat rectangular pan where it sets. Then it's cut into diamond-shaped pieces with a knife, by making a series of diagonal cuts across it, then another series of diagonal cuts at an angle that produces diamond-shaped pieces. This is why the diamond shape is called a "lozenge."

This type of sweet originally came from Iran. The Arabic word for almond is lawz. In Persian it's pronounced loz (sounds like the English word "lows" in the phrase "highs and lows"). The Persian suffix -inah after a suffix means 'made from...', so lawzinah means 'made from almonds'. The final -j is a Persian diminutive suffix. So lawzinaj means literally 'a small thing made from almonds'. The word lozenge was named for this type of candy called lawzinaj. That still doesn't explain why anyone would stick a ghost -r on the end of it.
#23
Old 06-02-2004, 11:37 PM
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I was going to say I've never heard that here (UK) but it occurred to me: I don't think I've ever heard anyone say "lozenge" any way ever...
#24
Old 06-02-2004, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bordelond
As for the "lozenge/lozenger" quandary: I'd bet a dollar to a doughnut that it's a back formation from the plural form "lozenges". In some isolated pockets of English speakers -- probably simultaneously in both the UK and USA -- the logical singular form of "lozenges" came to be regarded as "lozenger". Spelling be damned ... this is a case where the ear called the tongue's dance.
Yep. I am absolutely, positively, utterly, utterly certain that's the origin. When I was a kid, I pronounced it 'lozenger', and I remember the reason. The first few times I ever heard the word, it was in its plural form. If I had a sore throat, Mum would buy me a pack of 'lozenges' (pronounced 'lozengers'). The TV would advertise 'throat lozenges' (pronounced 'throat lozengers'). Whenever I read the pack, it said 'lozenges', but it I never actually paid any attention to the exact spelling until I was much older (why would I? I recognised the word when I saw it, and I never needed to spell it myself). So the seemingly logical singular of a word pronounced 'lozengers' was 'lozenger'.
#25
Old 06-03-2004, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
I've never heard "lozenger" either, but may I gripe here about "larnyx"? I've even heard people who have studied anatomy say that instead of "larynx". People seem to have problems when those letters come together in a word.
A little confused here, what is the problem with larynx?
#26
Old 06-03-2004, 02:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jastu
A little confused here, what is the problem with larynx?
They are pronouncing it LAR-NIX.

And as for lozengeR, they ought to take that damn R and put it back in the middle of FEB UARY where it belongs!
#27
Old 06-03-2004, 03:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jomo Mojo
I made a mistake: it was Lauryn Hill I heard saying "lozenger", not Faith Hill. (I knew it was one of those gals named Hill, but my brain wasn't up to remembering these trivia details so early in the morning when I posted.) I looked up where Lauryn Hill comes from: South Orange, New Jersey.
Maybe she's using up all the Rs so the evil white people don't take them.

I live in New Jersey, but I've never heard someone say lozenger. Also, I never heard someone say lozenge until I worked for a market research firm that held a study on them. I didn't even know what one was. They had to explain it to me.
#28
Old 06-03-2004, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jomo Mojo
Lozenger. WTF? Even though it's always written "lozenge," it seems like half the people pronounce it "lozenger." I've been hearing this for years. Just the other day I was listening to Faith Hill Unplugged, while introducing a song in concert she had a sore throat and said "I'm suckin' on my lozenger."

Why just this one word? There aren't any other words that get a ghost -r added on the end. Are there?
It's not a "ghost" r, it's a variant on the word, like color and colour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OED
[f. LOZENGE + -ER.]

1. = LOZENGE n. 1. Obs.

1527 Test. Ebor. (Surtees) V. 244 Unum le diamond vocatum a losinger.


2. = LOZENGE n. 3. U.S. and north. dial.

1860 O. W. HOLMES Elsie V. (1887) 59 Boxes containing ‘lozengers’, as they were commonly called. 1887 T. E. BROWN Doctor 6 Somethin just to be haulin out For the kidsa lozenger or the lek.
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