General Question

andrew's avatar

Do you aspirate the 'h' in 'vehicle'?

Asked by andrew (16380points) December 16th, 2008 from IM

I’ve been watching some random car repo show where nearly everyone say ‘vee hick al’. Is this a regionalism—like people from Connecticut dropping the ‘t’ in ‘button’ or ‘mountain’?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

39 Answers

Randy's avatar

I pronounce it as vee-hick-all. It could have something to do with where I grew up. I have a friend who, like me, has lived in North Central Arkansas her whole life and she slurs the first two syllables together so it comes out as something like veeck-al. I sometimes play a game where I try to see if I can make my friends say certain words that I know will get completely botched during their pronunciation. It’s best when it’s a word that new people couldn’t even comprehend without a translator.

eambos's avatar

I don’t know how to write it out, but ill attempt it anyway. I say vee – ick – ull. It annoys me when someone prounounces the silent “h.”

mrdh's avatar

You should not pronounce the H in “vehicle”. But you should pronounce the H in “herb”.

Ducky's avatar


wilson's avatar

I used to pronounce it ‘vee-hick-al’, with an emphasis on ‘hick’. Due to being teased, I now put the emphasis on ‘vee’. I think it is a colloquialism.

arnbev959's avatar

My sister made fun of me yesterday for pronouncing the L in calm.

I say vee-ic-cul.

EmpressPixie's avatar


With a very, very slight “h” sound. It took me forever to think about it just now because I’m almost a mash of veeickle and veehickle. The “h” is quite slight, but there.

qualitycontrol's avatar

here is Boston we just say “cahz” (cars) or you might here someone say vee-ah-kull but vee-hick-all sounds weird.

Les's avatar

@pete: How else would you pronounce “calm” if not for adding the ‘L”. I don’t get it.

Oh, and it is vee-hick-all for me, as well. I also pronounce the first ‘R’ in February.

PupnTaco's avatar

Soft h, vee-hick-ul.

AstroChuck's avatar

I put the stress on the first syllable as well, but the h isn’t soft, as Pup pronounces it.
What I’m curious about is how everyone pronounces often. I’ve always pronounced it without the t, but nowadays I’m finding more and more people (including my wife) pronouncing it with the t. For some reason that bothers me, but not as much as when people drop the g when pronouncing strength & length.

Les's avatar

@Astro: I say often without the ‘t’. Hearing that ‘t’ is like nails on a chalkboard. As for strength and length, I hear what you’re saying. What I hate is when people pronounce ‘height’ as if it were spelled ‘heighth’. Ugh. So not right.

defender's avatar

no h for me! lol…i say “via-cle”

Les's avatar

Whoa. I found an awesome site:
Holy moley, there are some funny ones. Including ‘often’.

EmpressPixie's avatar

You know, for years and years and years I thought there were two words: epi-tomb and ep-it-uh-me.

gailcalled's avatar

In 6th grade I had to give an oral civics report and said the event occured was from in Tuxon, AZ.

The only people who use “vehicle” are those who speak law-enforcementease. Just say car, truck, semi, bicycle, scooter, etc.

(The last “s” is pronounced in “Vichysoisse, BTW…vichy..swazz.)

AstroChuck's avatar

Gail- Postal employees are among those who say vehicle instead of car, truck, etc.

miasmom's avatar

I say it both ways, depending on how I feel. :)

AstroChuck's avatar

@Gail- I never knew that. I always thought it was pronounced vish-e-swah.

augustlan's avatar

No ‘h’ for me, but around here a lot of people say vee-HICK-ul.

mrdh's avatar

Vichyssoise, no idea what it is, but it sounds French. The general rule with French is that you pronounce the letter before the ‘e’. But if it’s spelt vichyssois (for example) then the ‘s’ wouldn’t be pronounced.

Germans are so straightforward, as usual, just pronounce ever single letter.

AstroChuck's avatar

Und you vill kapotalize das nouns!

eambos's avatar

Sie sind ein Esel


DrasticDreamer's avatar

No ‘h’ for me, either. And how can you not pronounce the ‘t’ in ‘often’? So it would come out as ‘offen’? No, no, and no… :P

Nimis's avatar

The h is very slight—if there at all—for me.

I used to tease a friend of mine for the way they pronounced Christmas.
They pronounced the t and the mas as mas and not mus.
It was very cute/endearing.

augustlan's avatar

I am guilty of saying the ‘t’ in often…but according to the link that Les posted above, you’re not supposed to.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Huh? So… You’re actually supposed to pronounce ‘often’ as ‘offen’? Seriously?!

augustlan's avatar

Seems so. Check out his link.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Wow… I am at a loss. I don’t know if I’ll be able to stop saying the ‘t’ sound.

augustlan's avatar

Me neither. It may be too late for us.

Nimis's avatar

I’m been guilty of:
– chomp at the bit (should be champ at the bit)
– flounder (should be founder)
– herb (supposed to pronounce the h)
– often (not supposed to pronounce the t)
– pre emptory (supposed to be peremptory)
– snuck (should be sneaked)
– spittin’ image (should be spit and image…which makes a lot more sense)
– stomp (should be stamped)


Les is a she, no?

jlm11f's avatar

Nimis: yes she is

augustlan's avatar


AstroChuck's avatar

That’s B.S. You are not supposed to pronounce the h in herb or herbivore. It should be silent.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@AC: I’ve heard the Brits say the h in herb.

jlm11f's avatar

Yes it is Herb. Only in America do people say it (cough) wrong.

Also, this is from the link provided by Les -

“Does, ’‘My friend Herb grows ‘erbs,’’ sound right to you? This is a US oddity generated by the melting pot (mixed dialects). Initial [h] is always pronounced outside America and should be in all dialects of English.”

Nimis's avatar

I’m more boggled by ofen.

AstroChuck's avatar

Sorry. In American English the h is silent.

mrdh's avatar

Sorry. In English the h is pronounced :P

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther