Thames (pronunciation)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by a malta, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. a malta

    a malta Senior Member

    Good evening!
    During all these years, I think I've always pronounced "Thames" (the river) like James...last night, watching "Three men in a boat" with T. Curry, M. Palin and S. Moore, the sound was different, like in..."jam", kind of deduction is:I've never been corrected...or is it pronounced in two ways:confused:
    Thank you...I mean it:)...but I can't get rid of this rolleyes sarcastic face :rolleyes:
  2. prawer Member

    English - US
    A Malta,

    I've only ever heard "tems" like "gems," and always thought this was the only commonly accepted pronunciation. I wonder if any UK commenters could chime in.
  3. Silver_Biscuit

    Silver_Biscuit Senior Member

    English - UK
    Yeah, you should be saying it as if it's spelt Tems.
  4. a malta

    a malta Senior Member

    What a little revolution:):eek:thanks again and good night, a m
  5. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
  6. exgerman Senior Member

    English but my first language was German
    On the other hand, I believe the Thames river at New London in Connecticut is pronounced like James, and with a th-sound at the front to boot.
  7. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Different river - different pronunciation. English is so simple :eek:
  8. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    That is correct. Ditto for the business street along the waterfront in Newport, R.I.

    There are many examples of the names of two places being written the same but pronounced differently. Grenada is a city in Spain and an island in the Caribbean. Calais is a city in France and another in Maine, U.S. In both these cases the pronunciations are quite different. It is dangerous to generalize from one such place to all the others, though when one of them is much better known than the other it's a common error.
  9. boozer Senior Member

    I imagine this is perfectly true.

    However, that was probably not the intention of the English settlers (I assume they were English) who once named it after the English river Thames (I assume this is what they did). :D The same assumptions hold true for the town of Calais in Maine and thousands of other places in the US whose names were imported from Europe. :) So, because of my own limited knowledge of the way they are pronounced in AE, I would pronounce those names the European way. I wonder if I would be understood if I did that... :)
  10. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    You would be considered affected, "hoity-toity," though if you were clearly not a native speaker of English you would probably be forgiven. The simple fact is that the name of the town in Maine is CA-liss, not ca-LAY. The facts that it was originally named for Calais, France, and that the name of that French city is pronounced ca-LAY, do not change that one iota. Pronouncing it as ca-LAY is as much an error as pronouncing it as ca-CHING.
  11. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
  12. a malta

    a malta Senior Member

    :confused:what are we supposed to remember?
  13. George French Senior Member

    English - UK
    That Calais is off topic... :D


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