Pronunciation: 'ma'am'

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Luc4

Senior Member
Italy, Italian
Could domeone explain me how to pronounce "thank-you-ma'am"?
Thanks.
 
  • Isotta

    Senior Member
    English, Hodgepodge
    I'm assuming you are asking about the "ma'am" part.

    In the American South (where you hear it very often) it is something like "mè-yam." That is not IPA, it is a hodgepodge notation. In the UK it is something like "mahm," but I don't think you hear it that often?

    If you ask in the English forum, you might get a right discussion going.

    Isotta.
     

    Luc4

    Senior Member
    Italy, Italian
    Yes, you are right. I should have posted i there. Anyway, I was undecided between the two.
    Thanks.
     

    Gordonedi

    Senior Member
    UK (Scotland) English
    In the UK, "Ma'am" is indeed pronounced "Mahm" or "Marm" (soft letter R) by those who only use the word occasionally. Where the word is more commonly used (such as by a servant to a mistress) pronunciation is closer to "Mum" and much shorter in sound. :)
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    In AE ma'am rhymes with jam. We have an expression that indicates a quick, slapdash effort-- "wham, bam, thank-you-ma'am."

    The Southern AE pronunciation is different, as Isotta pointed out. If you can pronounce mayhem without the aitch, you've got it.
     
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