I think that that spelling was meant to represent a pronunciation which rhymes with "horrid".Never in my life have I heard someone say the word "fore eed" or pronounce in like that. And to tell you the truth, if I did hear someone say that, I would burst out laughing. Where do they say it like that?
"forrid" is a very old-fashioned pronunciation, even in the UK. I think I've heard it maybe twice in my life.
Which way do you pronounce it though?
With the spread of literacy people started to pronounce words more as they are written and often abandoned the way they, including the monied classes, had traditionally pronounced them for many generations. "Waistcoat" was once /weskit/ and "often" never had its T pronounced as it /offen/ does today. I still say /fór-id/ as my parents used to say it, but it is so rare now that I give a weak cheer whenever I hear anybody else saying it that way on the wireless (radio). As evidence of the original pronunciation, I adduce the following nursery rhyme:
There was a little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her fór-id.
When she was good, she was very, very good, but when she was bad she was horrid.
(My case rests).
"Forehead" is one of those words (such as victuals, palm, boatswain, gunwale, or forecastle) in which all of the letters that are written should not be pronounced. However, just as some people pronounce the "c" in victuals, or the "l" in palm, simply because they see them written on the page, there are many who pronounce the "h" in forehead.
It would be doing an equal disservice to suggest that "forrid" must never be used as the pronunciation because no native speaker would ever, ever understand what word one was saying, wouldn't it?.
To tell a non-native speaker that 'forrid' is the pronunciation and that others are a sign of ignorance is doing them a grave disservice.
I listen to books for several hours each day. My eyes give me trouble (eye-strain), and I assure you that the various pronunciations of this word are one of the things that stand out if you listen a great deal.I'll second Franzi's assertion that it's quite possible to live a long, rich and fully communicative life as a native English speaker without once hearing "forehead" pronounced "forrid".
Or, alternatively: that the dozen or so people in the English-speaking world who persist in pronouncing it forrid-to-rhyme-with-horrid cease doing so in order that they may be understood by the remaining 99.99999999999999999999% [approx.] who pronounce it fore-head.
Hold on, Ewie.Or, alternatively: that the dozen or so people in the English-speaking world who persist in pronouncing it forrid-to-rhyme-with-horrid cease doing so in order that they may be understood by the remaining 99.99999999999999999999% [approx.] who pronounce it fore-head.
As far as I know, I say something like fore-red [or faw-red] when I'm not being careful, fore-hed when I am.But what about in dialects where the h isn't aspirated. Do they say fore-head? I think they should be excused from any cease and desist orders...
Does anyone say for-ed?
I know that I used to pronounce it "forrid" - and wasn't particularly aware of that being strange when I was growing up. (I used to hear that rhyme in the childhood poem and no one found it strange). However, recently I'm sure that I've spontaneously said "fore-head" and surprised myself by doing so - so perhaps this is an example of change that is going on as we speak for people who have that pronounciation. I'm sure I've only remarked upon it, though, because of this thread. I do remember being called "posh" for saying it that way by a friend (who is way posher than me) about 15 years ago or so.Oh I wasn't suggesting that folk who say forrid are snobs or affected ~ merely that it is they who are the tiny rocks in a vast ocean of fore-head (or fore-'ead) sayers.
I think you may be right about the dominant pronunciations but wrong about the percentages.Oh I wasn't suggesting that folk who say forrid are snobs or affected ~ merely that it is they who are the tiny rocks in a vast ocean of fore-head (or fore-'ead) sayers.
Hold on, Ewie.
My mother said "forrid", and so did her mother. I believe my father did also. Some words have gradually shifted pronunciation over the last few decades. For instance, many people now pronounce "dour" to rhyme with "hour", and "almond" is now usually prounounced with the "l". When I was young, I usually heard "AHmund".
I don't give a hoot how any word with different possible pronunciations is pronounced, but immediately assuming that someone who uses a particular pronunciation is a snob, or affected, is unfair.
I did say last few decades, didn't I? In fact, I was thinking of a much longer period of change.I don't know that the change is as recent as all that, Gaer. I found a book published in 1919 titled The Pronunciation of Standard English in America that mentions the beginning of the change in pronunciation of "forehead' to a "spelling pronunciation."
The entire page is very interesting to read, particularly what was considered "standard" (at least by this author) in the early 1900s, i.e., silent "h" in the names "Humphrey" and "Humphries".