Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#209841 02/28/13 03:04 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 2
O
stranger
OP Offline
stranger
O
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 2
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?

Olephredd #209843 02/28/13 03:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,542
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,542
'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).

tsuwm #209847 02/28/13 07:22 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,290
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,290
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'.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
zmjezhd #209849 02/28/13 07:39 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,075
old hand
Offline
old hand
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,075
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.'


I'm immortal until proven otherwise
Rhubarb Commando #209851 02/28/13 07:51 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 956
old hand
Offline
old hand
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 956
rarely (never?) used to refer to a real nipple.

cepting cows and the like

olly #209853 02/28/13 08:47 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,290
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,290
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.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
zmjezhd #209854 02/28/13 10:35 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,818
Likes: 1
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,818
Likes: 1
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.


----please, draw me a sheep----
Olephredd #209879 03/02/13 06:59 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,210
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,210
tiht when tit, teet when teat.

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


formerly known as etaoin...

Moderated by  Jackie 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,904
Posts228,129
Members9,151
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
typewriter33, Zekiye, silvercity_becky, gonekrazzzy, accCngrssMRA
9,151 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 90 guests, and 2 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
Top Posters
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,542
LukeJavan8 9,818
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2022 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5