How Do You Pronounce "Cay"?

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 08:49 PM.
#1
The Third Coast - Nashville
7,452 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
"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?

Roz
#2
MB, Canada
11,100 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
It is pronounced key as in house key. [/color]
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


<a href="http://www.ucruiser.com/ticker/"><img src="http://www.ucruiser.com/ticker/rccl/tickers/4lbetsmt3pd1diwl.png" alt="Royal Caribbean Cruise Countdown Widget Clock" border="0"/></a>

<CENTER>Eclipse Jan 26 -23 Feb 2013</CENTER><CENTER>Allure B2B 12 & 19 Feb 2012
Allure 5 Dec 2010 http://travel.webshots.com/album/579321903lVFsSR
Norwegian Epic 21 & 28 Aug 2110
Oasis of the Seas 1 & 5 Dec 2009 (Inagural)
Constallation 2-13 Feb 2009
Radiance 26 Sep - 11 Oct 08
Voyager B2B 20 & 27 Jan 2008
Freedom of the Seas 15-22 Oct 06
Summit Hawaii 15-29 Jan 06 Hawaii pics http://community.webshots.com/user/C...n=publicAlbums .
Maasdam Southern Carb 6-17 Feb 05
Navigator of the Seas Western Crib 08/03
Dawn Princess - Eastern Carb 01/03
Dawn Princess Panamal Canal 11/02</CENTER>
#3
Spotsylvania, VA USA
135 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
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)
#4
The Third Coast - Nashville
7,452 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
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
#5
Lincoln CA USA, 95648
12,739 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
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
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Michael
#6
105,584 Posts
Joined Jul 2001


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.

#7
DFW Texas
1,285 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
I'm hooked on phonics so I say Cay just as it's spelled
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Gretchen

Husbands are like pancakes - you have to throw the first one out

Rhapsody of the Seas September 2016
#8
81,389 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Pronounced "KEY"..... I made the improper pronounciation once and was promptly corrected.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
<img src=http://www.hollandamerica.com/images/5starMariner.gif border=0 alt= />

sail7seas7 At yahoo .com
Please put CruiseCritic in Subject Line
#11
DFW Texas
1,285 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Okey, I'll pronounce it correctly
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Gretchen

Husbands are like pancakes - you have to throw the first one out

Rhapsody of the Seas September 2016
#12
81,389 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
'Atta Girl, Gretchen. Key, Cay.....we'll know what you mean with either pronounciation (should we ever hear you speak it).
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
<img src=http://www.hollandamerica.com/images/5starMariner.gif border=0 alt= />

sail7seas7 At yahoo .com
Please put CruiseCritic in Subject Line
#13
448 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
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.
#14
Texas
14,198 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Didn't the Florida Keys start out as Cays, but they just gave up and spelled it like it sounds?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Jim
#15
San Diego, CA
593 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
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!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Karen
Zaandam Jan 2011 Sea of Cortez, Oosterdam Dec 2008 Mexican Riviera, Ryndam Mar 2008 Sea of Cortez, Carnival Paradise Apr 07 Baja, Carnival Spirit Feb 07 Mexican Riviera, Oosterdam Nov 05 Mexican Riviera, Zuiderdam Dec 04 Eastern Caribbean, Carnival Spirit April 03 3-day Baja, Legend of the Seas Oct 02 Mexican Riviera
#18
Palm Harbor, FL
45 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
We pronounce it "key" in Belize. Just to add another twist, we also spell it "caye"! This language of ours is a wonderful thing!!

Joy
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Fond memories of...
Veendam 04/97, Zaandam 12/01, Zuiderdam 12/02, Volendam 12/02, Rotterdam 12/03, Maasdam 04/04, Oosterdam 12/04, Veendam 11/05, Veendam 12/05, Volendam 12/06, Grandeur of The Seas 03/08, Zuiderdam 3/12
#19
Long Island, NY, USA
3,779 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
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 .
#20
Vero Beach, FL USA
3,455 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
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.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Past Cruises
1/1990 - RCCL Song of America
4/13/2003 - Carnival Inspiration
10/30/2004 - HAL Maasdam
3/26/2005 - HAL Zuiderdam
12/2/2007 - Carnival Valor
12/14/2008 - NCL Pearl
3/7/2010 - Costa Fortuna
1/6/2013 - Norwegian Dawn
3/27/2014 - Norwegian Sun

Future Cruises
10/11/2014 - Norwegian Sun (Panama Canal)

Land Vacations
06/22/1998 - Sandals Negril, Jamaica
2/14/2005 - Sandals Negril, Jamaica
6/21/2006 - Barcelo Maya, Mexico
11/29/2006 - Sandals Negril, Jamaica
1/10/2009 - Coco View Roatan, Honduras - Scuba Diving
8/23/2009 - Grand Bahia Principe, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
11/14/2009 - Barracuda Hotel Cozumel, Mexico - Scuba Diving
5/8/2010 - Coco View Roatan, Honduras - Scuba Diving
11/30/2010 - Barcelo Maya, Mexico

Future Land Vacations
None Planned (yet)