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Thread: potahto

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    #1

    potahto

    Dilbert comic strip for 03/30/1992 from the official Dilbert comic strips archive.

    I guess (as far as what I've understood, after having googled) it's a reference to a song called "You say tomato, I say tomahto"

    The following is a part of its lyrics:
    ...
    You like potato and I like potahto,
    You like tomato and I like tomahto;
    Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto!
    ....

    I wonder if potahto is pronunciated as pəˈtɑːtəʊ like tomato is pronunciated as təˈmɑːtəʊ in BE.

    By the way as far as I've concluded from my search, there is no such thing as potahto in English, am I right?
    Last edited by euncu; 12-Feb-2010 at 18:24.


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    #2

    Re: potahto

    Quote Originally Posted by euncu View Post
    Dilbert comic strip for 03/30/1992 from the official Dilbert comic strips archive.

    I guess (as far as what I've understood, after having googled) it's a reference to a song called "You say tomato, I say tomahto"

    The following is a part of its lyrics:
    ...
    You like potato and I like potahto,
    You like tomato and I like tomahto;
    Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto!
    ....

    I wonder if potahto is pronunciated as pəˈtɑːtəʊ like tomato is pronunciated as təˈmɑːtəʊ in BE.

    By the way as far as I've concluded from my search, there is no such thing as potahto in English, am I right?
    That's right. Potato isn't pronounced as 'potahto'. Tomato can be either tomahto or the American tomato, in British English. Most people would probably say 'tomahto'.

    Also 'Potato, potahto' is a common phrase in English meaning 'same difference' - which is also an oxymoron, but it should be in the dictionary:

    same difference

    1. n.
      the same; no difference at all. : Pink, fuchsia, what does it matter? Same difference.

  2. euncu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: potahto

    Linguist, thank you for answering. But I couldn't get for what I was looking from your reply. When you say this phrase, you say it like:

    pəˈteɪtəʊ, pəˈtɑːtəʊ

    or

    pəˈteɪtəʊ, pəˈteɪtəʊ


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    #4

    Re: potahto

    Quote Originally Posted by euncu View Post
    Linguist, thank you for answering. But I couldn't get for what I was looking from your reply. When you say this phrase, you say it like:

    pəˈteɪtəʊ, pəˈtɑːtəʊ

    or

    pəˈteɪtəʊ, pəˈteɪtəʊ
    When we say the phrase, yes, it is said like the first way you said. Most British English speakers will pronounce 'potato' like the first way there - with the diphthong. However, for the purposes of the song, and phrase, you need to say the potato using both pronunciations.

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