4

“They order the toasted cheese sandwiches blithely, “ (audio)
(by Edward Field, from writersalmanac.publicradio.org)

The reader, Mr. Garrison Keillor, sounds to be pronouncing ‘blithely’ as /blaɪθlɪ/. Is the word pronounced only as / blaɪðlɪ/ in UK? His pronunciation is not found in both OALD and other oxford dictionary online.

  • 1
    Huh, can't speak for the UK, but that's how I've always pronounced it down here in Australia. – Damien H Oct 30 '14 at 6:39
  • 2
    The word is always pronounced with a voiced /ð/ sound in British English. Kellor's pronunciation sounds very odd to me. – tunny Oct 30 '14 at 7:14
  • 3
    Keillor is American (Minnesota). He is pronouncing -th- as an unvoiced dental but in this word, it is normally voiced in American English. But one does not hear it much (outside academe), so it could be a word he had never heard but had only read. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 30 '14 at 11:34
  • 1
    I have never heard the word pronounced the way M-W gives it. The [aI] vowel is always longer, and the dental is always voiced. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 30 '14 at 22:21
  • 1
    I'n British and that's not how I pronounce it. I don't do IPA so can't provide how I say it in text but it's much closer to this en.wiktionary.org/wiki/blithely. For me his TH is over pronounced and he seems to stick an A into the LY that isn't there for me. – Frank Nov 1 '14 at 10:12
1

I know a few women named Blythe (in the US), and they all go by a pronunciation with the voiceless fricative. I can't say I've heard the word "blithely" spoken all that often, but I would assume the root could have the same pronunciation as the name. I think both pronunciations are possible.

  • The girl's name Blythe is pronounced (here in the US) differently than the adjective|adverb blithe|blithely, in my experience. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 3 '14 at 22:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.