General Question

TheNakedHippie's avatar

Sher"BURT" or Sher"BET"? This question haunts me!

Asked by TheNakedHippie (470points) September 24th, 2008

Is it a matter of where you’re from? Does it sometimes have alternate spellings? I’m at a loss!

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

51 Answers

shrubbery's avatar

Well I thought it was Sherbert, sooo I guess I’m completely wrong, sorry, can’t help.

eambos's avatar

Or is it Soar- Bey?

My pronunciation is sherbert, but it turns out “Soar- Bey” is correct.

St.George's avatar

Actually they mean the same thing, it’s regional. I think east-coasters say sher-burt, west-coasters, sher-bet. Sorbet is totally different.

sndfreQ's avatar

It’s Sorbet [sor-Bay] :) otherwise it may come to fisticuffs in my family! GQ btw

eambos beat me to it!

St.George's avatar

Sherbet/sherbert contains dairy, while sorbet does not…at least that’s what I was taught.

Judi's avatar

Nuk-le-er or nuk-ya-ler?

Nimis's avatar

Aren’t sherbert and sorbet two different things?
[scratches head]

St.George's avatar

@nimis: yes…dairy/no dairy

Nimis's avatar

Is that what the asker was asking?
I’ve never heard of sherbet?
[scratches head again]

St.George's avatar

@ nimis: No she was asking correct pronunciation. Sherbet vs. sherbert. Someone else threw in sorbet.

gailcalled's avatar

From JackAdams’s source ^^ for the tie; if one continues to read down the page:
1. Also sher·bert (-bûrt’) A frozen dessert made primarily of fruit juice, sugar, and water, and also containing milk, egg white, or gelatin.
2.Chiefly British A beverage made of sweetened diluted fruit juice.
3.Also sherbert Australian An alcoholic beverage, especially beer.

Nimis's avatar

You mean like a silent R?
How do you pronounce sherbert as sher bet?

shrubbery's avatar

Wait a second, I thought we were talking about the delicious fizzy powder…

Nimis's avatar

Fizzy powder?
[is pushing the limits of being confused]

SuperMouse's avatar

Put some clothes on and enjoy a nice cone of Rainbow SherBET!!

scamp's avatar

It’s a “sure bet” I say sher beRt. ha ha!!

McBean's avatar

It’s NOT a silent ‘R’. There is no second ‘R’ in sherbet.

This is what I found, however:
”... sherbet (SHUHR-bit) and sherbert (SHUHR-buhrt). Today both spellings and both pronunciations are regularly encountered in both British and American use, to the discomfort of some purists, who argue that only sherbet is acceptable. Meantime, food fanciers have reborrowed this word in its French form, sorbet, pronounced both in the French way (sor-BAI) and an anglicized (SOR-bet). Standard English now uses all three forms, although Edited English usually clings to sherbet and continues to italicize the French sorbet as foreign. Australian English now uses sherbert, both alone and in compounds, as another name for beer.” (

Nimis's avatar

McB: What about the distinction between dairy and non-dairy?
How can three words be interchangeable for two meanings?

scamp's avatar

Sorbet a completely different thing, Nimis

Nimis's avatar

Scamp: Exactly! So how can three words be used interchangeably for two different things?

McBean's avatar

Hey, I just found that accidentally.

I was actually looking for a way to show that saying sher-BERT is wrong, wrong, wrong. In my book, sherBERT is a mispronunciation, like WART-ter instead of WAH-ter, or sal-ser instead of salSA. It’s the same as saying pasketty, instead of spaghetti. Looks like that is no longer the case, though.

I agree that sorbet and sherbet are two different things. But I understand that even the word “irregardless” (which makes me CRAZY!!!) has even been added to the dictionary as a legitimate word.

scamp's avatar

@Nimis I think the dessert fairy threw that one in to keep us confused!

gailcalled's avatar


@Thenakedhippy; If that’s what is haunting you, consider yourself lucky.

Nimis's avatar

Scamp: Seriously, right?

scamp's avatar

@Nimis bad bad fairy!! I bet that’s who gives us brain freeze too!

Ibrooker's avatar

Depends on if you’re from Boston.

MrMontpetit's avatar

I spell and pronounce it as Sherbert. My spell check dictionary is telling me that it’s spelt Sherbet.

ezraglenn's avatar

seriously when was the last time anyone even HAD sherbert? The only context in which I’ve ever even heard about sherbert is this exact discussion, numerous times in my life.

Let’s all go out for some sorbet and call the whole thing off.

El_Cadejo's avatar

BERT and sorbet as stated above is different

and ezraglenn i had some lime sherbet last night it was nummy

gailcalled's avatar

Try gingerbread and lemon whatever for a wonderful summer dessert.

augustlan's avatar

Bert. East Coast girl!

St.George's avatar

“Do you want some ice cream Ernie?”
“Sure, Bert!”

SpatzieLover's avatar

Ok, I’m from the Dairy State.

I grew up saying sherbeRt…then, read a carton which spelled it sherbet. I was confused so I asked friends and family what they thought. Everyone I know says sherbeRt
(then again EVERYONE I know says bubbler, but that’s another story)

In hashing this out w/so many people the older generation said they thought the whole thing got started due to brand differences (one brand to be different called it sherbeRt. Apparently it took off)

Maybe this all adds to the confussion, but I’ve done leg work on this one since I was a teen and it’s the best answer I’ve heard.

sherbert/sherbet ALWAYS has dairy. Sorbet NEVER has dairy

JackAdams's avatar

Why are comments continuing to be posted about this?

I already gave you good folks the correct dictionary spelling and pronunciation of the word, plus its meanings, so that should have ended the discussion, right then and there.

Once someone tells you that 2 + 2 = 4, that should put the question of “What is 2 + 2?” to rest, for all time.

Skyrail's avatar

“Sherbet in the United Kingdom is a kind of fizzy powder made from bicarbonate of soda, tartaric acid, sugar etc and usually cream soda or fruit flavoured. The acid-carbonate reaction occurs upon presence of moisture (juice/saliva). It used to be stirred into various beverages to make effervescing drinks, in a similar way to making lemonade from lemonade powders, before canned carbonated drinks became ubiquitous. Sherbet is now used to mean this powder sold as a sweet. (In the United States and Australia, it would be somewhat comparable to the powder in Pixy Stix or Lik-M-Aid/Fun Dip, though having the fizzy quality of effervescing candy.)”

From wikipedia.

Now people may see the confusion that has arisen in the minds of UK nationals. I pronounce it ‘sherbert’ and I’ve never had to spell it before. So I’m clueless.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Jack, I saw the dictionary answer as a teen, but was taught to look furthe to find my answers. Why is it so many say Sherbert. The dictionary definition doesn’t tell you that.

I knew it wasn’t just because there a re Germans in my family adding R’s where there shouldn’t be in a word, because I knew Irish, Russian and Italian people saying it the same way.

gailcalled's avatar

Jack: 2+2=4 only if one is using base 10. In base two, for example, 4=0100. In base 8, 6 +4 = 12.

JackAdams's avatar

I stand corrected.

In my orthopedic shoes.

Thanks, Teacher…

gailcalled's avatar

(orthopedic shoes?)

JackAdams's avatar

Yes. Custom-made, as a matter of fact.

Specifically designed for the foot problems some diabetics are known to have.

gailcalled's avatar

(Jack; You have diabetes? Sorry).

JackAdams's avatar

No problem, really. I would prefer to have diabetic problems at 58, than the three heart attacks and total hearing loss (in the left ear) that my buddy (also 58) has suffered.

Compared to him, I am one of the luckiest guys I know.

My buddy has already purchased his own casket, if you can believe that. I think he has just “given up.”

(Thank you for your kind words of concern.)

sorio's avatar

Bet. It is properly spelled “sherbet”, and is correctly pronounced shur-bit despite what rural American folk may tell you. The mispronunciation “sherbeRt” is simply incorrect, and considered an ignorant corruption of the original word. Look at any sherbet container at a nearby store, there is only one “R” in sherbet, and educated people will say it as such.

gailcalled's avatar

@sorio: I bert the farm that you are correct. Aha. My real dictionaries confim your answer.

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