Pronunciation: sawyer

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estefanos

Senior Member
English - USA
I would like to ask how other forum members pronounce the word "sawyer" when it is not a last name, but rather the profession of someone who fells (falls) trees. I'm especially interested in hearing from loggers.

Many thanks,
E.
 
  • ScienceDay

    Member
    US English
    I'd still pronounce it "soyer", even it is was referring to someone who fells trees, rhyming with "lawyer" which I pronounce "loyer".
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I'd still pronounce it "soyer", even it is was referring to someone who fells trees, rhyming with "lawyer" which I pronounce "loyer".​
    I believe this is a regional thing in the U.S. In some parts of the U.S. the words are pronounced "Law -yur" and "Saw - yur". I'm not sure of the exact region, but, as one example, I believe people from Arkansas generally use this pronunciation. It might also be a Southern pronunciation. I honestly don't know. I have heard it, though, from various people over the years.

    In California, where I live, it's generally pronounced "loy-ur" and "soy-ur".
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    I would like to ask how other forum members pronounce the word "sawyer" when it is not a last name, but rather the profession of someone who fells (falls) trees. I'm especially interested in hearing from loggers.

    Many thanks,
    E.
    sawyer, lawyer, employer all have the same ending.

    People I know who have the surname Sawyer pronounce it in the same way as sawyer.

    If anyone pronounces it differently, I'd suspect "speak-as-you-spell", and not tradition.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Another of my little quirks... I pronounce the name as "Soy-ur" (same as "loy-ur" and "employ-ur") but as to the guy who cuts trees/lumber, I pronounce is "saw-yer". Go figure! :p
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    sawyer, lawyer, employer all have the same ending.

    People I know who have the surname Sawyer pronounce it in the same way as sawyer.

    If anyone pronounces it differently, I'd suspect "speak-as-you-spell", and not tradition.
    No, I think it's a definite regional variation. I spoke with a friend tonight who was born and raised in Texas. I spelled the two words and asked him to pronounce them. They came out "saw-yer" and "law-yer", even though his daughter, who was raised in California, says "soy-er" and "loy-er".
     

    estefanos

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Thanks for all your replies!

    I was raised in California, have lived all over the west, also in the DC area, and now live in North Idaho. I've never heard the word "lawyer" pronounced as "law-yer"; only as "loy-yer" or "loy-ur". I have, though, heard "sawyer" occasionally pronounced as "saw-yer" instead of "soy-ur" (which in my experience has been the prevalent pronunciation).

    I think the suggestion that the pronunciation is regional makes sense. Dimcl and I are close neighbors, so I am very intersted in his reply. I have noticed that some people here make the same distinction that he does, i.e., "soy-ur" for the surname, and "saw-yer" for the profession.

    I think I'll risk looking stupid and ask at the chainsaw shop. I need to hire a sawyer to help clear some land, and would prefer to sound like I know what I'm doing.;)

    Thanks again for your replies!

    E.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    I took it to mean that he believed the pronunciation came from sounding out the word from its spelling, rather than learning the traditional pronunciation of the word.
    Since any number of groups of words with similar spellings have very different prounciations in different places, I don't see that this is necessarily a very good solution.

    It obviously doesn't work here (with Sawyer, sawyer), since some people pronounce the name and the occupation differently. :)
     
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