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#209841 - 02/28/13 10:04 AM teat
Olephredd Offline
stranger

Registered: 07/26/10
Posts: 2
Loc: WA
The word "teat" is usually pronounced "tit" as presented by Websters Collegiate Dictionary and others, but sometimes it is pronounced "teet" by intellectuals including, recently, Dr Charles Krauthammer on a national television network. Dr Krauthammer's use of the English language is usually masterful, so I doubt he made a simple mistake.

Is "teet" an acceptable alternative pronunciation? If so, where does it come from?

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#209843 - 02/28/13 10:26 AM Re: teat [Re: Olephredd]
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10508
Loc: this too shall pass
'teet' is the preferred pronunciation according to AHD4 (and the only pron. given by OED); tit is a slang form which reverts to Old English (tit generally given from G. zitze).

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#209847 - 02/28/13 02:22 PM Re: teat [Re: tsuwm]
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3286
Loc: R'lyeh
Actually, the Old English word was tit, and it is related to German Zitze, not derived from it. The Middle English word tete is borrowed from the Old French tette which in turn is borrowed from a Germanic language, as are the Italian and some other Romance words, replacing Latin mamilla. (Note that in French, Latin, and Old English, the various words leaned more towards meaning 'nipple' more than 'breast'.
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#209849 - 02/28/13 02:39 PM Re: teat [Re: zmjezhd]
Rhubarb Commando Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/13/11
Posts: 1074
Loc: Lancaster, UK
In the UK. 'teet' is the generally accepted pronunciation of 'teat'.
Often used to refer to the rubber device on the top of a feeding bottle, rarely (never?) used to refer to a real nipple. - certainly never used to mean 'breast.'
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#209851 - 02/28/13 02:51 PM Re: teat [Re: Rhubarb Commando]
olly Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 953
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
rarely (never?) used to refer to a real nipple.

cepting cows and the like

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#209853 - 02/28/13 03:47 PM Re: teat [Re: olly]
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3286
Loc: R'lyeh
cepting cows and the like

Yes, the only time I've heard teat used in the States has been on dairy farms and the like. On the other hand, tit nowadays refers to the entire breast.
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Ceci n'est pas un seing.

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#209854 - 02/28/13 05:35 PM Re: teat [Re: zmjezhd]
LukeJavan8 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6043
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
cepting cows and the like

Yes, the only time I've heard teat used in the States has been on dairy farms and the like. On the other hand, tit nowadays refers to the entire breast.


concur, here in the heartland.
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#209879 - 03/02/13 01:59 PM Re: teat [Re: Olephredd]
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
tiht when tit, teet when teat.

tits are boobs, teats are on a cow (and the like).
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