Ryan   Sunday, October 19, 2003, 08:17 GMT
Bad and bed are pronounced differently, Tom, even among us northerners who shift our vowels so that bad sounds more like "byad" and bed sounds more like "bid."

Catch is just an exception for some reason in the midwest. We pronounce it like "kech." Midwesterners pronounce words like "match" and "batch" with the ae sound. I don't think that this is how "catch" is pronounced on the news, though.
Californian II   Sunday, October 19, 2003, 08:27 GMT
Catch pronounced as "ketch"? Not in California. Must be a Midwestern thing.
Imran   Sunday, October 19, 2003, 08:45 GMT
I looked up the word 'catsup' a few years ago in a couple of dictionaries. The explanation was that it's an American word for ketchup used in British English. In which parts of the US is it used? Which one is more commonly used in the US 'catch up' or 'catsup'?
Please tell me if you notice any grammatical or spelling mistakes in this text.
Tom   Sunday, October 19, 2003, 10:59 GMT
I was going to write "I don't believe you actually pronounce "catch" like "ketch"", but I decided to do one last check at just to be on the safe side and -- my goodness -- it says "'kach, 'kech". For other words like "match" or "batch", it only gives the "a" sound, just like you said.

Wow. I feel like I need to pull myself together after this HUGE shock.
Boy   Sunday, October 19, 2003, 15:55 GMT
How do you pronounce 'question'? I used to pronounce like this:

"ko IS tion" and once I learned the phonetic transcription in a dic.

I'm pronouncing it like this:

"ko WEs tion"

My school mates still pronounce the first one. I also find it easy to pronounce rather than the second one.
,   Sunday, October 19, 2003, 17:05 GMT
Do you pronounce quart and court the same?
mjd   Sunday, October 19, 2003, 17:14 GMT

I'd say "ketchup" is far more common here in the U.S. than "catsup," although when I do encounter "catsup," I pronounce it the same way as "ketchup."


I pronounce "quart" and "court" the same way.
Richard   Sunday, October 19, 2003, 17:26 GMT
I only see catsup written on aisles in the grocery store when they tell what the aisle contains. It's often spelled ketchup.
...   Sunday, October 19, 2003, 17:32 GMT
catsup=kech-up ketchup=kech-up
Richard   Sunday, October 19, 2003, 17:45 GMT
I pronounce these words.

to Imran   Sunday, October 19, 2003, 18:27 GMT
useless trivia on ketchup:

"When Heinz introduced commercial ketchup to American kitchens it became so popular that other manufacturers rushed to catch-up to the ketchup craze. Soon there were Ketchup, Catsup, Catchup, Katsup, Catsip, Cotsup, Kotchup, Kitsip, Catsoup, Katshoup, Katsock, Cackchop, Cornchop, Cotpock, Kotpock, Kutpuck, Kutchpuck and Cutchpuck. All were tomato based and bottled and vied to become a household word. Only 3 major brands remained to steal the spotlight...Heinz Ketchup, Del Monte Catsup, and Hunts, who could not decide on a spelling and bottled under the names Hunts Catsup (east of the Mississippi), Hunts Ketchup (west of the Mississippi), and Hunts Tomato Cornchops (in Iowa only). In the 1980's ketchup was declared a vegetable by the government for school lunch menus. Suddenly Del Monte's Catsup, because of its spelling, was not on the approved list. Shortly afterward Del Monte changed the product's name to Del Monte Ketchup. So ketchup it is." (

Note: I've heard quite a few people from Texas and the lower Midwestern states pronounce catsup as "kat sup."
Juan   Monday, October 20, 2003, 00:06 GMT
Why not just call it what it is, tomato sauce? "Salsa de tomate" in Spanish, keep it simple stoopid.
Eastie   Monday, October 20, 2003, 00:41 GMT
Tomato sauce is what you use for pasta dishes, ketchup is a tartier sauce that you dip your fries in. Not the same thing.
I   Monday, October 20, 2003, 01:00 GMT
I call the stuff that I put on my spaghetti tomato sauce, and the stuff I put on my french fries and hamburgers ketchup.
Jim   Monday, October 20, 2003, 01:15 GMT
In Australia it's called "tomato sauce". We "keep it simple" and it ain't really so stupid. So, how do we Aussies tell whether it's the sauce you use for pasta dishes or the tartier sauce you bung on your meat pie?

It's a bit like the case with chips. What the British call "crisps" we call "chips" and what the North Americans call "fries" we also call "chips". Context tells you which chips and which tomato sauce you're talking about.

I never use the word "ketchup"/"catsup"/"cachup"/"cackphuk"/"cockchop" however it's spelt. If I had to say the word, however, I'd pronounce it /k@tS..p/. I like the spelling "cachup" this matches my pronunciation pretty closely.

Mjd asks "Since when have we spelled things the way we pronounce them in English?" The answer is since the times of Old English. More like "Until when have we spelt things the way we pronounce them in English?" We tend not to any more.

My pronunciation:

catch = [k@tS]
match = [m@tS]
patch = [p@tS]
caught = [ko:t]
court = [ko:t]
quart = [kwo:t]
quarter = [kwo:t..]
catsup = []
ketchup = []