Do you pronounce the "H" in White?

Guest   Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:34 pm GMT
I'm a native English speaker. In my region we don't say "hwite".... instead the "h" is completely silent. We say, "wite" and the "w" is exactly the same as the "w" sound in "wife".

However, I have heard quite a few people (maybe they were from the Southeastern US) pronounce the "wh" sound as though it were written "hw". Is there a consensus here as to where it's pronounced that way? What about our British cousins? Is the "H" silent for them?
guest   Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:48 pm GMT
I pronounce the 'h' in 'hw' (spelt "wh"). I live in the Southeastern US.

'hw' is heard through a large swath of the Southern US, Scotland, and Ireland.

It is not prevalent in other parts of the US and Canada and England/Wales.

'w' for "wh" developed as an alteration (corruption) of unstressed 'hw', which is why words are still spelt with the 'h' intact.
guest   Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:50 pm GMT
KC   Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:17 am GMT
I think in U-RP, the poshest of all accents :), its pronounced as 'hwite', and 'what' is pronounced as 'hwat'
Professional drops   Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:35 am GMT
[hw] is still the norm.
Try this video:
Guest   Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:48 am GMT
I still pronounce it as "hw". Perhaps my years in Kentucky (long ago) have something to do with it?
Jasper   Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:48 pm GMT
I still pronounce the "h" in "white", but didn't realize it until I parsed my speech; it's a difference not widely noticed.

My associates, who speak General American English, do not pronounce it.
Mary   Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:08 pm GMT
Surprisingly, no one English dictionary for learners (like Macmillam or Cambridge Advanced Dic.) give a hint about this kind of pronunciation whatever, while it is clear now from me that this way of pronouncing "wh" is quite common (I mean /hw/ or even /ʍ/). Why is that? Even COED (the only dic. which isn't tailored for learners I have) doesn't tell anything about it. They even don't list the phoneme /ʍ/ among English phonemes.
Guest   Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:21 pm GMT
Cambridge Dictionary of American English Second edition shows the difference.
Alfred   Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:34 pm GMT
I pronounce white, "hwhite", just like Trevor McDonald does.
1792   Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:51 am GMT
At times I use the [ʍ] in "white", but I was completely unfamiliar with this feature until six, maybe seven years ago. As a child, I had always been told that "wine" and "whine" were homonyms, but it seems reasonable to make the distinction. Naturally, I am probably not very consistent with my self-taught distinction, as I normally only use it in careful speech.
Guest   Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:53 am GMT
Listen to this, especially the intro/monolog:

[hw] is all around ;)
Guest   Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:55 am GMT
I do not pronounce the H in white.
Guest   Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:49 am GMT
My relatives from Arkansas pronounce the hw fully. I thought it was so charming when they would say "hwaht" (white). I wish I had hw in my accent, but alas.
Guest   Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:56 pm GMT
I also find it charming.