How do you pronounce "Aunt"?

@rrw410 (126)
United States
March 11, 2010 5:54pm CST
My mom is from NY, where many people pronounce the word Aunt like the insect ant. However my dad is from the New England area where they say Aunt like "ahnt". When I was younger, I heard both pronunciations. I decided that I liked the New England sound better, so that was what I said. Many years later, I still say "ahnt" and get teased about it often, because most people in NY say the word "ant". How do you say "Aunt"?
2 people like this
13 responses
@urbandekay (18312)
12 Mar 10
Here in the part of England in which I live we say aunt such that it rhymes with 'can't' but in Liverpool they say it more like 'anc' and I have heard some Londers say it 'aan' all the best urban
• United States
12 Mar 10
I'm glad you said that. I lived in Chestire for a short time, and noticed a distinctive twang to the accent in Liverpool. I thought it was just me.
@urbandekay (18312)
12 Mar 10
I remember once in Liverpool a chap kept telling me, "De yanks are coming." Took me a long time to figure out he meant aunts! all the best urban
@rrw410 (126)
• United States
13 Mar 10
LOL So if you have an accent, there are even more ways to say aunt! :)
@tigeraunt (6331)
• Philippines
23 Jan 11
hi rrw, fortunately, my user name ends with the word aunt. in my country, it is usually ant (as in the insect ant). but i will quote it from the dictionary on how it should be pronounced. i guess it is more reliable, right? "Pronunciation note "The usual vowel of aunt in the United States is the /æ/ Show Spelled[a] Show IPA of rant except in New England and eastern Virginia, where it is commonly the “New England broad a, ” a vowel similar to French /a/[a] and having a quality between the /æ/[a] of hat and the /?/[ah] of car. The vowel /?/[ah] itself is also used. In New England and eastern Virginia /?/[ah] or the /a/[a]-like sound occur in aunt in the speech of all social groups, even where a “broad a ” is not used in words like dance and laugh. Elsewhere, the “broader” a is chiefly an educated pronunciation, fostered by the schools with only partial success (“Your relative isn't an insect, is she?”), and is sometimes regarded as an affectation. Aunt with the vowel of paint is chiefly South Midland United States and is limited to folk speech. "The /æ/[a] pronunciation of aunt was brought to America before British English developed the /?/[ah] in such words as aunt, dance, and laugh. In American English, /?/[ah] is most common in the areas that maintained the closest cultural ties with England after the /?/[ah] pronunciation developed there in these words." http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/aunt so there you have the answer. i say, it is best to pronounce it the way others do if you are upset getting teased. but honestly, you pronounce it the way you like. its still correct. have a nice day. ann
@rrw410 (126)
• United States
25 Jan 11
Hi Ann, Thanks for responding! :) I'm not upset about getting teased, it's just an observation... I like saying it the way I do, but it's interesting to find out how others pronounce Aunt. I've heard it almost equally both ways! =) Have a great day!
1 person likes this
@tigeraunt (6331)
• Philippines
25 Jan 11
you're very welcome. keep responding. ann
@androbot (89)
• India
17 Jan 11
I never say Aunt. I always say Aunty. But even I have noticed that many people having the American accent call an Aunt as Ant. Wonder what they call the actual Ants then!!
@rrw410 (126)
• United States
17 Jan 11
That's very interesting... I have an American accent but I say "ahnt" simply because my dad is from Massachusetts, where they often pronounce Aunt that way. I decided that I liked pronouncing Aunt like that because "ant" is how the insect is pronounced! LOL
@cream97 (29169)
• United States
29 Jun 10
Hi, rrw410. I have always pronounced it as "ahnt." My cousins from NY have always pronounced it as "ant".
@rrw410 (126)
• United States
30 Jun 10
Thanks for responding! I guess that shows that some of my roots come from somewhere other than NY! I have many cousins who also live in NY, and every one of them says "ant". I think I am the only one who says "ahnt". Have a nice day! :)
@CarlHalling (3629)
• United Kingdom
12 Mar 10
I'm from the UK, so I say "ahnt", but even over here in Britain, there are different ways of pronouncing aunt. For example in the Liverpool/Merseyside area, they would pronounce it "uhnt"; in the West Country, "arnt", and so on. I say...pronounce it how you feel most comfortable: it's pretty obvious that we are each going to be influenced by the accents of our parents.
• United Kingdom
12 Mar 10
Many perhaps most folks from the (Greater London) area where I am would actually leave the "t" off and say "ahn'", or "ahn'y"...
• United States
12 Mar 10
My mom is from Kentucky and my dad is from Maine. I grew up with both ways. When I was younger I used "ant". I assume it was because it was easier for a little kid to pronounce. As I got older I converted to "aunt" just because I prefer it. I find myself going back & forth on the whole thing. Sometimes "aunt" sounds a little pretentious. It's like "tomahto" instead of "tomato", or "vahs" rather than "vase". In certain southern company it may seem like you're, "puttin' on airs." Happy Mylotting!
@rrw410 (126)
• United States
13 Mar 10
Yeah, some people do think you're putting on airs, even if that is the way you've always said it. "Tomahto" or "vahs" sound very strange to me because I don't hear it said that way. Maybe its just what people are used to hearing that determines what sounds strange to them! :)
@Sir_bobby88 (8245)
• Singapore
7 May 10
I just wonder why they can't standardize the english pronunciations .Especially UK and US.
• Estonia
12 Mar 10
English is not my mother language, so I am not too sure how should that word be pronounced. I usually pronounce it like "oont". I don't know, whether it's right or not, so I could a little suggestions.
@mariposaman (2967)
• Canada
12 Mar 10
Tomayto tomahto. It's the same thing. Both are correct, but vowels seem to be the first to be butchered when you get a local dialect. I say ahnt but have been known to say the other ant. I live in Canada and have not noticed which way the locals say the word. I will keep my ears open and figure it out. I think I will get a 50-50 split as there is both a British and American traditional influence on one of Canada's official languages.
@redhotpogo (4051)
• United States
12 Mar 10
oh many that's so annoying. ahnt. snobs say ahnt. Its prounounced ant. The u is silent. haha you say ahnt!
• United States
12 Mar 10
I call it aunt and I'm in MN. Nobody teases me and I think it's a good pronouncement. I think it's better English to say ahnt
• United States
12 Mar 10
I would think you're too old to worry about being teased, you don't have to prove anything to anyone. How old are you?
@lindsiko (358)
• United States
12 Mar 10
Everyone in my family and extended family says the word aunt like "ant".