mommy vs. mummy

harriet_yang

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Are they pronounced the same way or not? I got confused answer from google. People seem to have difference opinions.

Thanks!
 

GoesStation

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Mum and mummy have the same vowel as rum. It's different from the vowel in mom and mommy, which is the same as the one in bomb.
 

bubbha

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The differences are clear between American English and British English, as mentioned above.

It's a less clear-cut case in Canadian English, however. In Canada (as I understand it - I may be wrong), people usually write "mom" and "mommy", but usually pronounce them as "mum" and "mummy". (Please correct me if I'm wrong!)
 

Raymott

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Note however, that American 'bomb, Mom' and British 'bomb, Mom' are not pronounced the same.
To my Aussie ears, they go:
Br: My God, it's a bomb!
Am: My Gahd, it's a bahm!


I've heard Mahmy on American TV shows, never Mommy as I'd say it.
Besides there are websites with audio examples.
https://forvo.com/word/mommy/#en
 

SoothingDave

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The US uses 'mom' and 'mommy'. 'mom' is pronounced like the name 'Tom', and 'mommy' like 'Tommy'.

I don't agree with this. I spell "mom," like that, but the pronunciation is like "mum." I have heard variations on how it is said across the country. There is not just one American pronunciation.
 

Roman55

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I didn't want to chime in too soon, not being an AmE speaker, but I have heard the American 'mom' pronounced like the British 'mum' too. I thought it was nothing more than another spelling difference.
 

GoesStation

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I didn't want to chime in too soon, not being an AmE speaker, but I have heard the American 'mom' pronounced like the British 'mum' too. I thought it was nothing more than another spelling difference.
The only Americans I've heard saying mum and mummy are actually British citizens who immigrated with their mum and dad when they were children. They retained that British usage.

Still, the United States is a vast country with a fair amount of variation in pronunciation.I suppose some other Americans may also pronounce mom à l'anglaise, but I suspect you're hearing our version of the "o" sound in "bomb". Does the American pronunciation of "bomb" sometimes sound like bum​ to you?
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Interesting! I've never heard mom pronounced mum, but there are parts of the country I've never lived in. (Mum is definitely where it's at in the UK.)

Dave, what part of the country are you from?
 

SoothingDave

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I'm not British or an immigrant. Like I said, it's not all the same across all of America.

I've lived in western Pennsylvania my whole life and it's common here. I remember working on a job once in southern Illinois and my customer remarked on how I said it differently.

My mom was of Scottish and Swedish descent and my dad's family was of Irish.
 

GoesStation

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GoesStation

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/ɒ/, the sound of the (first) vowel of mom, mommy, was, trough, sausage, etc, is close to that of IPA [ɒ].
I use three different initial vowels in those words! Mom, was, and trough all have different vowels in my pronunciation. Many Americans (but evidently not me!) use the same vowel for mom and trough.

/ɑː/, the sound of the vowel in father, far, heart, clerk, half, aunt, etc
I use four different initials vowels there.

Learners, despair! You'll never get it right. Or, contrariwise, rejoice! Your pronunciation may always match a native speaker's ​somewhere.
 

SoothingDave

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bubbha

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For those who know their IPA:

/ʌ/,
(in the normal BrE phonemic transcription), the sound of the (first) vowel of mum, mummy, come, young, blood, does, etc, in modern standard southern BrE is close to that of IPA [ɐ].
/ɒ/, the sound of the (first) vowel of mom, mommy, was
You're talking about a British accent (RP, perhaps), right?

Because in my AmE accent, the vowel in "was" is an unequivocal [ʌ]. In other words, "was" rhymes with "buzz".
 
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