View Poll Results: How do you say "twat"
I'm from the US, and "twat" rhymes with "hat" 11 4.40%
I'm from the UK, and "twat" rhymes with "hat" 36 14.40%
I'm not from the US or the UK, and "twat" rhymes with "hat" 8 3.20%
I'm from the US, and "twat" rhymes with "hot" 170 68.00%
I'm from the UK, and "twat" rhymes with "hot" 1 0.40%
I'm not from the US or the UK, and "twat" rhymes with "hot" 21 8.40%
"Twat" is pronounced some other way, which I will explain 3 1.20%
Voters: 250. You may not vote on this poll

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#1
Old 11-26-2012, 02:23 PM
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Pronunciation of "twat"

In this thread, I noticed this comment:
Quote:
Originally Posted by hammos1 View Post
As a Brit, I've noticed that 'twat' is used more often in US media than used to be the case- although pronounced to rhyme with 'hot' rather than 'hat' as is the custom in the UK. Am I right in thinking this is a recent phenomenon, and if so, any idea why it's caught on?
So, how do you say "twat"?
#2
Old 11-26-2012, 02:25 PM
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twɒt
#3
Old 11-26-2012, 02:31 PM
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Throat Warbler Mangrove.
#4
Old 11-26-2012, 02:36 PM
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I'm from the UK, and it rhymes with hat. Pronouncing it any other way over here would make you sound like a, well, you know.
#5
Old 11-26-2012, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
I'm from the UK, and it rhymes with hat. Pronouncing it any other way over here would make you sound like a, well, you know.
I find it odd that, currently, a plurality of Americans are saying it rhymes with hot. Where do they hear this word except from Brits or people who are deliberately adding Briticisms to their conversation?

Is some type of hypercorrection and/or hyperforeignization happening, like those people who think hot and hat are pronounced the same way in the UK?
#6
Old 11-26-2012, 03:00 PM
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It definitely rhymes with hot in Canada. The problem with it rhyming with hot or hat in the US is that in some places, hot and hat rhyme! (Upstate New York for example. Perhaps The Detroit area too.)
#7
Old 11-26-2012, 03:03 PM
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When learning all the dirty words growing up, it was always "rhymes with hot." And I still stick to that pronunciation; but pretty much every body I've ever met from the UK has "rhymed it with hat." Which I don't get.

I used to play poker with a guy who was from England, who had lived in the states for many years, and his accent had somewhat acclimated, but it was still apparent that he was English. So the first time he whipped out a "twaaaaaat" I thought he was making fun of my accent.
#8
Old 11-26-2012, 03:03 PM
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I'm from the UK and personally I've only ever pronounced it to rhyme with "hat".

The only times I've ever heard it pronounced to ryhme with "hot" is where someone is trying to mask or downplay the profanity.
#9
Old 11-26-2012, 03:07 PM
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Twat did you say?
#10
Old 11-26-2012, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Where do they hear this word except from Brits or people who are deliberately adding Briticisms to their conversation?
From each other. It's not a Britishism, it's firmly embedded in our lexicon too.
#11
Old 11-26-2012, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
The problem with it rhyming with hot or hat in the US is that in some places, hot and hat rhyme! (Upstate New York for example. Perhaps The Detroit area too.)
No, they do not. Both vowels are a little more open than in other areas, but there is a distinct difference.
#12
Old 11-26-2012, 03:24 PM
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Oh. I'm seriously grateful for these threads, because I'm pretty sure I wouldn't know what someone was saying if they called someone a "twot" (teehee). I've never heard that before.

But isn't it an English thing to say? So are Americans copying it and changing the pronunciation? Is it an odd thing to say for Americans?
#13
Old 11-26-2012, 03:27 PM
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"Twat," was always in the "let's call a vagina something vulgar" lexicon from where I grew up. I had no clue it was supposed to be a Britishism.
#14
Old 11-26-2012, 03:32 PM
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It's definitely no "hat," but it's not "hot," either.

hat - [ht]
hot - [hɑt] or [hɒt]
twat - [twt]
#15
Old 11-26-2012, 03:33 PM
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Yeah, in my area it rhymes with "hot" and is not much better than "cunt" as words go. Not something you'd call somebody openly.

My sense of the way my Irish cousins use it is more like "twit" which is sillier.
#16
Old 11-26-2012, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruCelt View Post
Yeah, in my area it rhymes with "hot" and is not much better than "cunt" as words go. Not something you'd call somebody openly.

My sense of the way my Irish cousins use it is more like "twit" which is sillier.
Yeah, I (English) use it more like "twit" too, though a little naughtier than that. Absolutely not like the c-word, which is not even as bad in the UK.
#17
Old 11-26-2012, 05:51 PM
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If someone ever called me a "Twat" (rhymes with hat), I (until now) would think that that person just made up a word.
Now I'll be on the lookout for it!
Bobot, Chicago-ish

(While we're at it, does Cunt now rhyme with Can't?)

Last edited by bobot; 11-26-2012 at 05:55 PM. Reason: Added Cunt Stuff
#18
Old 11-26-2012, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobot View Post
(While we're at it, does Cunt now rhyme with Can't?)
It doesn't in any British English dialect I know of.
#19
Old 11-26-2012, 06:25 PM
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Sing this:

"Tiny twats, with their eyes all aglow..."

That's how you say it.
#20
Old 11-26-2012, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdn View Post
No, they do not. Both vowels are a little more open than in other areas, but there is a distinct difference.
Well, I can't tell the difference. I had female colleague in Ogdensburg who used to tell me "you look hat!"
#21
Old 11-26-2012, 11:18 PM
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American here. I've always thought it rhymed with "hot".
#22
Old 11-26-2012, 11:26 PM
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UK here, "hat", but understand it's sometimes pronounced differently.

[i]There was a young lady named Grace
Who said "If the whole human race
"Depends upon what
"The boys call a twat
"Then it's put in a darned awkward place!"
#23
Old 11-27-2012, 01:00 AM
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First time I saw the word. Mispronounced it as rhyming with hot, but soon was corrected by various other occasions of British Pop Culture.
#24
Old 11-27-2012, 02:40 AM
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Another American, "...hot."

And I NEVER thought of it as a Britishism. Even in the mid-80s, when I was around 14 years old, there was a stupid joke based on the word and on the then-airline TWA. Nothing British about it at all. (This was in the NY metro area, FWIW).

Last edited by JKellyMap; 11-27-2012 at 02:41 AM.
#25
Old 11-27-2012, 03:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
It definitely rhymes with hot in Canada. The problem with it rhyming with hot or hat in the US is that in some places, hot and hat rhyme! (Upstate New York for example. Perhaps The Detroit area too.)
Nope, born & raised in the Detroit area. Hot has the same vowel sound as in father (ht), or an "ahhh" sound.

Hat is pronounced with your typical short-vowel 'a-sound'. Like bat, sat, rat, or shat.

I've only heard twat pronounced in this area as twt. "My favorite band is Twathammer. They're hot!"

Last edited by cmyk; 11-27-2012 at 03:04 AM.
#26
Old 11-27-2012, 03:18 AM
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Rhymes with hat. 'Twot' is also a word in my part of the UK though.
#27
Old 11-27-2012, 05:30 AM
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It more-or-less rhymes with "hot" for me in SA, but I'm familiar with the UK "hat" pronunciation and may use it for extra emphasis if around Brits.
#28
Old 11-27-2012, 06:18 AM
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I'm British. When I was twelve I had a hamster which somehow got nicknamed "Twottie". It is only now that I am thinking
#29
Old 11-27-2012, 06:32 AM
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The 17th-century satirical poem "Vanity of Vanities" gives the British pronunciation,

They talk'd of his having a Cardinall's Hat
They'd send him as soon an Old Nun's Twat
,

which was picked up by Robert Browning, who made the most embarrassing boner in literary history when he took it from that context to mean an article of nun's clothing.

Then owls and bats
Cowls and twats
...

but at least the British pronunciation was preserved. I guess this goes to show how much more easily the brain picks up the meter and rhyme of words than it does their meaning.
#30
Old 11-27-2012, 06:44 AM
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I'm from Aus, and twat rhymes with wanker.

#31
Old 11-27-2012, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johanna View Post
The 17th-century satirical poem "Vanity of Vanities" gives the British pronunciation,

They talk'd of his having a Cardinall's Hat
They'd send him as soon an Old Nun's Twat
,

which was picked up by Robert Browning, who made the most embarrassing boner in literary history when he took it from that context to mean an article of nun's clothing.

Then owls and bats
Cowls and twats
...

but at least the British pronunciation was preserved. I guess this goes to show how much more easily the brain picks up the meter and rhyme of words than it does their meaning.
Now, boner, there's another word with varying connotations. I don't think the non-sexual meaning is part of British English.
#32
Old 11-27-2012, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
Well, I can't tell the difference. I had female colleague in Ogdensburg who used to tell me "you look hat!"
I used to date someone who pronounced hot as hust. Weird!
#33
Old 11-27-2012, 08:45 AM
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It depends which meaning is intended.

Rhymes with "hot" is the female body part.

Rhymes with "hat" is a wanker.
#34
Old 11-27-2012, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
It doesn't in any British English dialect I know of.
London/Essex/Anywhere-else-down-there.

UK, rhymes with "hat". First time I heard it rhyme with "hot" was this scene from Easy A:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=WL_sMtQoRGI

I had to go online to check what she'd said, which makes it amusing later on when she has to explains to her Parents what she said and, when they can't think what the "T-Word" would be, she tells them it is "definitely slang, think British":

http://youtube.com/watch?v=vufls33CbdQ
#35
Old 11-27-2012, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
I'm from the UK, and it rhymes with hat. Pronouncing it any other way over here would make you sound like a, well, you know.
Cunt?
#36
Old 11-27-2012, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi View Post
Cunt?
Please.
#37
Old 11-27-2012, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amanset View Post
London/Essex/Anywhere-else-down-there.
No, they're different sounds. I'm originally from Essex and now speak with an RP accent. Cunt is /kʌnt/ and can't is /kɑ:nt/. The OED agrees with me, but I can't link to it.
#38
Old 11-28-2012, 02:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
No, they're different sounds. I'm originally from Essex and now speak with an RP accent. Cunt is /kʌnt/ and can't is /kɑ:nt/. The OED agrees with me, but I can't link to it.
But it depends on your own accent's pronunciation of "can't", doesn't it?

To me (grew up in Warwickshire) they sound remarkably similar.
#39
Old 11-28-2012, 04:13 AM
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I read how in posh Estuary accents, the pronunciation of [] has recently been shifting to [ʌ]; e.g., hat pronounced like hut. An anecdote illustrating this:

A young lawyer working on an important case took the documents to a remote country retreat to work on them to be ready for court in London on Monday morning. The judge in charge of the case called to say he'd discovered that one more document was absolutely crucial but had been left behind in London. The lawyer said helpfully, "Fax it up, m'lord." The judge said, "Yes, I'm afraid it does, quite."
#40
Old 11-28-2012, 04:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johanna View Post
I read how in posh Estuary accents, the pronunciation of [] has recently been shifting to [ʌ]; e.g., hat pronounced like hut. An anecdote illustrating this:

A young lawyer working on an important case took the documents to a remote country retreat to work on them to be ready for court in London on Monday morning. The judge in charge of the case called to say he'd discovered that one more document was absolutely crucial but had been left behind in London. The lawyer said helpfully, "Fax it up, m'lord." The judge said, "Yes, I'm afraid it does, quite."
Who on earth asks someone to "fax it up"?
#41
Old 11-28-2012, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amanset View Post
But it depends on your own accent's pronunciation of "can't", doesn't it?

To me (grew up in Warwickshire) they sound remarkably similar.
No. That's not how accents work. Does english not have separate r and l sounds because lots of japanese people, having one sound that's kinda in between both, don't hear the difference?

Besides, one's a long vowel and one's short - you should be able to hear that specific difference once you know about it. I know we treat accents as a matter of opinion, but even the dictionary backs me up.
#42
Old 11-28-2012, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
No. That's not how accents work. Does english not have separate r and l sounds because lots of japanese people, having one sound that's kinda in between both, don't hear the difference?

Besides, one's a long vowel and one's short - you should be able to hear that specific difference once you know about it. I know we treat accents as a matter of opinion, but even the dictionary backs me up.
Dictionary pronunciation guides are just that, guides. Normally they take one accent and run with it (for example, RP in English). In many British accents the way cunt is pronounced in the south east is remarkably similar to how they locally say "can't" (hint: not every accent in the UK uses a long vowel in "can't").
#43
Old 11-28-2012, 07:52 AM
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Example of how it isn't just me:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cunt#Television

Quote:
In the final episode of the BBC series Coupling, aired in 2004, an allusion is made when Steve is expelled from the delivery ward: "Nurse: She said you can't. Steve: Yeah, trust me, the word wasn't can't!"
#44
Old 11-28-2012, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi View Post
Cunt?
Rhymes with "punt". American. hot.
#45
Old 11-28-2012, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amanset View Post
Dictionary pronunciation guides are just that, guides. Normally they take one accent and run with it (for example, RP in English). In many British accents the way cunt is pronounced in the south east is remarkably similar to how they locally say "can't" (hint: not every accent in the UK uses a long vowel in "can't").
The accents that don't use a long vowel in can't also use a completely different vowel for it and pronounce cunt differently.

And I know the oed uses rp (not "normally," but always); so does the area you're claiming pronounces things the way you hear them, and estuary english definitely uses different sounds for can't and cunt. Those are the accents you're talking about.

I can't hear all the nuances in accents that I'm less familiar with, but that doesn't mean those nuances don't exist. It's a bit weird, you claiming to know my accent better than me.

Your tv show link backs me up, btw, not you.
#46
Old 11-28-2012, 09:00 AM
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Detroit area. I must have picked it up from Monty Python, because I've only ever pronounced it to rhyme with "hat."
#47
Old 11-28-2012, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
The accents that don't use a long vowel in can't also use a completely different vowel for it and pronounce cunt differently.

And I know the oed uses rp (not "normally," but always); so does the area you're claiming pronounces things the way you hear them, and estuary english definitely uses different sounds for can't and cunt. Those are the accents you're talking about.
How they say "cunt" sounds to me like how I'd pronounce "can't", not that how they say "cunt" and "can't" is the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
I can't hear all the nuances in accents that I'm less familiar with, but that doesn't mean those nuances don't exist. It's a bit weird, you claiming to know my accent better than me.
I don't, but I know how your (well, someone from the south east) accent sounds to me better than you do. If anything you are instructing me on how I hear different words, which is very strange.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
Your tv show link backs me up, btw, not you.
No it doesn't. It is two people disagreeing with how with what word a person used. One person thought it sounded like "cunt" and the other thought it sounded like "can't". Much like someone from the south east's "cunt" sounds like "can't" to me.
#48
Old 11-28-2012, 10:21 AM
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I'm not disputing that you personally don't hear a difference. Like I said, I don't hear all the nuances of other dialects either. Nobody does.

But there is a difference in the pronunciation of those two words.You are telling me that, despite my own hearing of my own accent and a dictionary cite that uses my own accent, you are right and I am wrong. This is ridiculous.
#49
Old 11-28-2012, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
I'm not disputing that you personally don't hear a difference. Like I said, I don't hear all the nuances of other dialects either. Nobody does.

But there is a difference in the pronunciation of those two words.You are telling me that, despite my own hearing of my own accent and a dictionary cite that uses my own accent, you are right and I am wrong. This is ridiculous.
I am telling you that a south-eastener saying "cunt" sounds very similar to how I would say "can't". I am also telling you that this is a known phenomenon, using an example from a popular TV show.

That is all. Fuck knows what you are going on about, telling me what I can and cannot hear.
#50
Old 11-29-2012, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amanset View Post
I am telling you that a south-eastener saying "cunt" sounds very similar to how I would say "can't". I am also telling you that this is a known phenomenon, using an example from a popular TV show.

That is all. Fuck knows what you are going on about, telling me what I can and cannot hear.
But I'm not telling you what you can and can't hear. I've said so many times. I mean, seriously, there are some sounds in foreign languages that english speakers find very difficult to differentiate - would you say that means that the sounds are actually not different?
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