pronunciation of pasty (food)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by fenixpollo, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod Chicken

    Arizona
    American English
    Meat pies are becoming more popular in the U.S. -- in my area, they were practically unknown as little as 10 years ago; but now there is even a Cornish Pasty restaurant that serves nothing but meat pies of different styles.

    I've heard two different pronunciations of the word "pasty" to describe the traditional English food -- with a flat "aaa" as in "that", "last" or "flat"; or with an "a" as in "late" or "waste" (please keep in mind my Yankee dialect).

    Is there a "correct", "common" or "standard" pronunciation of this word?
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  2. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
  3. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod Chicken

    Arizona
    American English
    Thanks, biblio. I should have started with Webster.
    So the other one is not acceptable, then?
     
  4. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Correct!
    Pastie (pronounced paystee) has a specific and very different meaning :)
     
  5. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    In every regioinal accent I have ever heard, the vowel in "late" or "waste" is pronounced as a long "a", and not as a short "a", which is term I would use to describe the vowel in words such as "hat" or "cat".
     
  6. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    It's always rhymed with nasty for me, Fénix. (My partner ~ who's more used to them, being from the Southwestish corner of England ~ has just kindly reminded me that the 'correct' name for Cornish pasties is tiddy oggies:))
     
  7. baker589 Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    That could lead to some confusion! Pasty and nasty definitely don't rhyme for me (although the way I say pasty would rhyme with the way you say nasty).

    I don't know the phonetic language so will have to sound it out(!): pah-stee.
     
  8. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod Chicken

    Arizona
    American English
    Good point, GWB. My phonetics is a little rusty, so I was confused about how to describe the "a" sound that the letter "a" makes when you say the letter "a" in the alphabet. :rolleyes: That's the "a" that I was talking about.

    I appreciate you helping to explain myself. :)
     
  9. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    Oops! ~ I forgot.
    For me ['pæsti] and ['næsti] rhyme. For Baker5 it would be ['pæsti] and ['nα:sti]:)
     
  10. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    When we are on the subject of pasties, I am particularly aware that there is a significant difference between a Cornish Pasty and the thing that I would buy from my local chippie as a pastie.
    Sadly, I am unable to bring to you a satisfactory image of a Belfast pastie. There is no point in attempting a description so you may have to wait until I have time to go to my local chippie and take an appropriate picture.
     
  11. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    And for me - another south-westerner.

    I also think I usually write it "pastie"...
     
  12. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Unable to venture to my favourite pastie emporium at this time of night, I have been slaving over a hot keyboard and have discovered THIS - a detailed analysis of several local pasties.

    By way of an explanation I should explain that a pastie is a vaguely-meat-related concoction that has been coated in batter and deep-fried. The link will explain a great deal, but there is still no adequate image.
     
  13. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    I thought that I had seen this spelling, as well.

    Fair warning: many AE speakers will assign different meanings to "pastie" and "chippie" /"chippie." From M-W:
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chippie

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasties

    "Pasty," of course, can also mean "pale" or "pastelike."
     
  14. Redshade Senior Member

    UK
    English.
    In the north of England the semi-circular pie would be pronounced " past-i " both vowels being very short.

    And yet we would say " paystree" with a mid-length " a " and " e " to refer to piecrust.

    This is unusual in northern English as we use very short vowels in the main , the longer vowels being perceived as "southern" or (faux) "posh ".

    Crikey I feel hungry now.
     
  15. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    My father's family immigrated to the U.S. from Cornwall. They often made pasties. They pronounced "past" to rhyme with "fast", followed by an "ee" sound. They spelled the singular "pasty".
     
  16. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    James, "past to rhyme with fast" doesn't solve the pronunciation conundrum:D

    I pronounce "fast" with the vowel sound of "hard", not with the vowel sound of "had". I pronounce "pasty" (the pie) with the vowel sound of "had".

    I think the spelling with "y" is more usual - and it's the only one allowed by the OED. But I still reckon that I personally spell it with an "ie"...
     
  17. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    I didn't say that everyone would pronounce the two words the way I did. :)

    I suppose, to be safe, I could say that "pasty" has the same vowel sounds as "fatty." Does that solve it? :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009
  18. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Solves it!:D
     
  19. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    In my previous post on this topic, almost two weeks ago, I bemoaned the lack of an adequate image of the delectable dish referred to here as a pastie.

    At great personal expense, I can now bring you my own picture of a pastie supper with mushy peas - CLICK

    For those interested in what might be lurking inside that divine crispy exterior, I cut the pastie in half - CLICK

    I have to apologise for two major cultural errors in these pictures.
    First, the plate. No one ever eats a pastie supper off a plate. They are eaten from the container, or wrapping, of whatever kind that is used by the source.
    Second, the disection. No one ever uses a knife to cut a pastie - or a fork to eat it. Pasties are intended to be eaten by hand.
     
  20. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    Now I'm hungry! :( :)

    Thanks for the photos, panjandrum. I can see this is a very different dish from the Cornish pasty.
     
  21. Franzi Senior Member

    Astoria, NY
    (San Francisco) English
    I've heard the latter from people who've never heard of the nipple coverings. I don't consider it correct, but it might well be common.
     
  22. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod Chicken

    Arizona
    American English
    There are people who haven't heard of the nipple coverings? :gasp: :D

    As far as "correct", I think it's more a question of what's "accepted" (read: preferred/standard) in a given area. It sounds like the regions where the pasty originated mostly agree on the pronunciation that rhymes (more or less) with nasty, hat or cat.

    Thanks for the photos, panj. Very instructive. :)
     

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