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  #1  
Old June 27th, 2004, 03:27 PM
Roz Roz is offline
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Default How Do You Pronounce "Cay"?

"You say tomato, I say tomoto, let's call the whole thing off...."

Is "Cay", as in HMC, pronounced "key" or "kay"?

Is a cay the same thing as a quay?

Aren't these thought provoking questions for a Sunday afternoon?

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  #2  
Old June 27th, 2004, 03:35 PM
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It is pronounced key as in house key. [/color]
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  #3  
Old June 27th, 2004, 03:51 PM
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Cay (ke {long e}) it is a low island made mostly of coral or sand.
a quay, same pronounciation, is a wharf or a paved embankment for loading/unloading ships
the second acceptable pronounciation of both is ka (long a)
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  #4  
Old June 27th, 2004, 04:05 PM
Roz Roz is offline
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Thanks to both of you. So Ruby, you're saying there are 2 possible pronunciations? Now I'm totally confused! But I'll never make the mistake of saying boat instead of ship.

Roz
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  #5  
Old June 27th, 2004, 04:28 PM
Druke I Druke I is offline
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Default Pronounciation

I pronounce it "key", as in door key.

I pronounce gaol "jail" as in slammer.

I pronounce the first r in library, but most say liberry.

I also use the first r in February.

Otherwise, I speak with a fairly normal Western US accent.

Michael
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  #6  
Old June 27th, 2004, 04:35 PM
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Years and years ago when we visited our first private island, everyone used to say "cay" - long "a".

But over the years the pronounciation has changed to "key".

Have no idea when or who started the change.

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  #7  
Old June 27th, 2004, 04:40 PM
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I'm hooked on phonics so I say Cay just as it's spelled
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  #8  
Old June 27th, 2004, 05:21 PM
sail7seas sail7seas is offline
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Pronounced "KEY"..... I made the improper pronounciation once and was promptly corrected.
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  #9  
Old June 27th, 2004, 05:43 PM
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It does add an exotic twist on a somewhat typical island..... how fun!
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  #10  
Old June 27th, 2004, 05:50 PM
helenp2 helenp2 is offline
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I have lived in the BVI and traveled from one end of the caribbean (Tobago) to the other. ALL islanders pronounce it key.
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  #11  
Old June 27th, 2004, 06:57 PM
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Okey, I'll pronounce it correctly
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  #12  
Old June 27th, 2004, 07:09 PM
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'Atta Girl, Gretchen. Key, Cay.....we'll know what you mean with either pronounciation (should we ever hear you speak it).
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  #13  
Old June 27th, 2004, 08:01 PM
dexter dexter is offline
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30 years ago I visited Great Harbor Cay in the Bahamas and Cay was pronounced with a long A...I still say it with the long A although I have heard Key. Another pronounciation issue...Antiga or Antigua. On the island and on Jimmy Buffet songs it is Anteega.
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  #14  
Old June 27th, 2004, 08:26 PM
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Didn't the Florida Keys start out as Cays, but they just gave up and spelled it like it sounds?
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  #15  
Old June 27th, 2004, 09:29 PM
KSCnCA KSCnCA is offline
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After reading about Half Moon Cay for several months I found that it is supposed to be pronounced Key! Well, I am a slow learner so I now call it Half Moon Cay-Key. Maybe by December I will get it right!

And I pronounce both R's in February and library and nuclear not nucular and realtor not realitor. But once I get something wrong it's difficult to un-learn it!
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  #16  
Old June 27th, 2004, 09:56 PM
SeaPeaInn SeaPeaInn is offline
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I have been told that CAY is a spanish word that is pronounced key.
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  #17  
Old June 27th, 2004, 10:03 PM
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Actually in Spanish it's pronouned like k plus "eye" or like the first part of "KInd"
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  #18  
Old June 27th, 2004, 10:17 PM
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We pronounce it "key" in Belize. Just to add another twist, we also spell it "caye"! This language of ours is a wonderful thing!!

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  #19  
Old June 27th, 2004, 10:56 PM
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Apparently both are technically acceptable but on lovely Half Moon Cay it is most definitely pronounced "key".

I also pronounce "quay" as "key" though there are myriad different ways to pronounce that. The correct alternate pronounciation is, yes, "cay", like the way you would expect the island to be pronounced Lots of Americans say "kway" but that is not correct. I stick with the most common British version, "key" (how often do you have Americans using the word quay anyway?). In French it is spelled quai and pronounced roughly as "keh", like the first part of "KEttle".

As for whether "cay" and "quay" are the same, no, they're totally different. A cay is a small, low island. A quay is a place where one ties up a ship - it is a synonym for wharf; that is a dock which is parallel to the shoreline (whereas a pier is perpendicular to, or at least protrudes from the shore). Confusingly I have read that "quay" can also be spelled "key", just to muddy things further. At least there can't be any controversy over pronounciation when it's spelled that way .
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  #20  
Old June 27th, 2004, 11:16 PM
Orcrone Orcrone is offline
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You can pronounce it Half Moon Key or Half Moon Kay. I don't care as long as I'm able to lay out and enjoy the island you can call it whatever you want.
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