May 23, 2004
A Caramel Question
I've been thinking about the word "caramel."
There's more than one way to say it,
and I've overthought it to the point where
I'm not even sure how I say it anymore.
You can say it like:
(which is a little weird to just go
and ignore that 2nd "a" in there.
It's been suggested this could also be spelled KAR-ml.)
or you can say it like...
(which rhymes with Farrah-Mel, which would look like this...)
you could combine A & B and get C...
Would you fine people shed some light on this? How do YOU say it? Also, please include what part of the country (or world) you grew up in. I'm curious to see if it's a regional thing.
I'm not saying this word again until we have a consensus. The comment board is now closed due to spam. Oh well. Thanks guys!
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Posted by Steven | Archive
Kara-mel, and I hail from England
I'm from Canada!
KAR-mul. I grew up in southern California- the Los Angeles bit.
I say KAR-mul. The other way sounds like you're trying to be the queen of England or something. I'm from the bay area in California.
Well this certainly sparked some serious dissension in my household. Hubby says KARA-mel and he's from LA, CA. I thought I said it KARA-mul, but hubby says I say it KAR-mool. He thinks this is due to my slight stutter. I hail from the midwest, Missouri.
I've always said KAR-mul and I'm from so-cal
I just heard an announcer on Food Network say: KARA-MEL. (He failed to mention where he was from in the commercial.)
I say it car-mul but i'll read it and think cara-mel. I grew up in sjc and arizona.
Kara-mel, and I'm from Quebec, Canada.
I say "KAR-mul" and I'm from Illinois. I think most of us say it that way around here.
KARA-mul if I'm just saying it, but KAR-mul
if I'm singing "chewing creamy caramels from kraft"... or how ever the song goes.
I be from Newfoundland.
If it's a sauce, cair-a-mel.
If it's a little piece of candy, kara-mel.
If it's on popcorn, kar-mul
I say KAR-mul. I'm from a suburb of Philadelphia.
Interesting that dictionary.com lists all three pronunciations.
KAR-mul in NW Ohio.
i once had a huge debate over this with a former boyfriend.
odd that coming from georgia, i say "KARA-MEL," and coming from the north, he said "car-mul."
but he is dumb, so it is "KARA-MEL."
I say kara-mel. Recently I came across this Harvard Dialect Survey: http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~golder/dialect/maps.php. There's a whole nice little section devoted to caramel: http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~golder/dialect/staticmaps/q_4.html . This type of socio-linguistics fascinates me. Love the site. (Louisville, KY)
i say kar-mul. always have.
i grew up in northern wisconsin.
i also say "kar-mul apple" (note the fact that there's no "ed" present) for the fall treat on a stick.
I say choice B, Kara-Mel. I know lots of people who say both... I just say it phonetically. I don't ignore that second 'a.'
Sorry to double-post, but I forgot the region-part. I'm from PA, USA.
Kar-mul. Anything else is a waste of a syllable.
I'm from Chicago but live in Minneapolis. I'm gonna go drink a pop now.
KAR-mul. I'm from the midwest. I knew a girl named Carmelle, with the accent on the -melle part. Isn't there a town in Indiana called Carmel?
KARA-mel. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Please, please, please. Never say KAR-mul. Ever. Please. Its obviously KaraMel. Please. Whenever I hear MUL I think the world is going to end. Its not very difficult. Say what you see. Its known as READING.
KARA-mul. (Not rhyming with "Farrah," with "car.")
From Portland, Ore.
I say Kar-mul. I'm from Alabama, but I don't have a particularly southern accent. My parents are both from Indiana, so my accent is some strange amalgam.
Definitely Karra-mel, there's a long R there for most of us in Australia. and the 'Ca' is as in Capital. Don't try and say it like Steve Irwin though, he's embarassing.
I say kara-mel, and I'm from NYC.
Carra-mill, here in NZ, which means it probably sounds like Carra-mull to the rest of the world :-)
Here in Chicago we say "kar-mull." Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to finish reading this article about new-kyooler energy. (Boy, does my lar-nicks hurt.)
Born and raised in the Chicagoland area, save for two years I spent in New Jersey outside of Manhattan.
Here in Portland, Oregon we say it CAR-MEL. like the way its actually spelled, you illiterate jerks, you. *smirk* wait...minus an A...
Car-mull. From, obviously, Seattle.
Great link, Victoria.
Mike, from London- It's a-LOOM-i-num.
Kar-mul in Indiana.
BTW, I live about 4 miles from Galveston ... which in Indiana is Gal-Vest-Ton.
Forgot to add, that there is a suburb of Indianapolis spelled Carmel and prounonced, Car-mul.
I have to agree with "2 cents" that I say Car-mul but when reading it, I think Cara-mel.
BTW, Gman, I'm quite north of Galveston, Texas, but here we pronounce it... Galvis-ton
ka'ramel. Southwestern Ontario (Canada) with Newfie influence over my pronounciation (thanks, Mom!).
Gman beat me to it, but add another vote for kar-mul in Indiana.
I hate to intoduce a fourth (or fifth I guess with KARA-MILL)option, but I always used to say KAR-MEL until Clint Eastwood became mayor of that town in California. Now it's KARA-MEL all the way. (Ottawa, ON, Canada)
Im from Sydney and I usually I would say that I and most people I know from here would go for option C
But I've been reading all these posts and trying everyone elses pronunciation and now I can't figure out how I say it
car-mul, no accented syllable
from the upper midwest
I don't understand the KAR-mul way. This is the only time where an 'e' can make a 'uh' sound. Is this due to an obscure rule of english pronunciation or just how u say it while chewing on it?
Anyways, Kara-Mel all the way and I'm from Vancouver.
I grew up in Southern New Jersey
Sometimes I say kar-mul sometimes kar-a-mel, I don't really care-mel.
Kara-mul and I'm from Oregon
That's the way I've been saying it ever since.
I'm from North Jersey.
We call it TOFF-EE.
Nice one, Ben. :)
I'm from California, and pronounce it care-uh-mel. I make the sound distinction since I know other Californians that pronounce it car-uh-mel.
Hong Kong (nationality Sri Lankan)
I'm from So Cal and I've always said KAR-mul, but it's a little embarassing, because it's obviously not phonetic and sounds a little hick. On the other hand, KARA-mel to me is unnatural and sounds really pretentious. So I just try to avoid saying the word altogether and call it "that sticky brownish stuff."
i say kara-mel, and im from singapore. ^^ guess people from my country tend to pronounce words as it is. alot of people pronounce lingerie as "ling-ger-rie". lol.
i think i'm guilty of saying it kara-mel and kar-mul, but it's almost always KARA-mel. i'm from northern new jersey
KAR-mul. Drinking my pop in Minnesota.
Way to go Liz. There are at least two "pop" people in this state.
i say kara-mel but I'm from Canada eh? hehe
I, as well as everyone in my family, say what I think would be spelled like "Care-A-mul", which is probably what you mean by your third choice, so I'm just being long winded.
We are from Alabama.
I'm with you, Steve. I have just read 61 postings on the way "caramel" is pronounced and have no idea how I say it anymore.
I'm from NJ but we used to visit my mom's family in Ohio a lot. I was about 9 on one of these Ohio trips when I first saw the word "caramel" in print....on an amusement park sign for caramel apples. Everyone said it KAR-mul. But I figured that since those retards said things like, "that there" and "ain't," they were probably wrong about caramel too. So from then on I've said KARA-mel.
It's Kar-mul here in the northern panhandle of West Virginia, but we're not ususally known for our pra-none-see-a-shun.
It's Kar-mul here in the northern panhandle of West Virginia, but we're not ususally known for our pra-none-see-a-shun.
or our skill with a mouse, sorry for the double-click.
Kar-mul and I am from California.
My husband says Kara-mel and he is from New Hampshire.
I say KAR-mul. I'm from Texas. My girfriend says Kar-a- mel. She's from Australia and rather fancy.
KARAMEL...i is from da UK... how do YOU pronounce paracetamol...para-seet-amol or para-set-amol...or scones?
Karra-mell. From Trøndelag, Norway.
KARA-MEL - Vancouver, BC - Canada.
I say it kara-mul. I live in Arkansas, but spent my first few years in Northern Utah
kara-mel if I'm talking about it in general. If I'm talking about apples, it's car-mul.
SoCal LA area.
I say it char-o-mell-a
Ok, not really.
KAR-mul... It's easier to say.
I'm from Illinois.
KARA-MEL. I'm from England. KAR-MUL is just a place in California.
KARA-MEL - and I'm from England, I think all brits say it this way.
kar-mul, I'm from Nor Cal, SF
I'm from So-Cal I pronounce it MMMMMMMMMMMMM_that's_good_yumminess, or sometimes I pronounce it OH_YEAH_THAT'S_GOOD_STUFF. I guess it all depends on what way its wholesome goodness has been used.
caramel - 1725, from Fr. caramel "burnt sugar," ult. from M.L. cannamellis, traditionally from L. canna (see cane) + mellis "honey;" though some give the M.L. word an Ar. origin.
i say it KARA-MUL (even with the caps)
but my drummer says it's "care a mel"
both of us were born and raised in central arkansas.....y'all.
Mr. "Say it like it's written" in the UK: So this is how "worcestershire" becomes, what, wersh-ter-sher? Brilliant.
I'm from California, was raised by a class-valedictorian brainiac mom and an Okie dad, and I say it differently depending on how proper I feel at the time. Probably most often it's cair-a-mul.
I say Kar-mul and I am from southern Minnesota. I thought we said everything a little bit different here, but evidently not.
Care-a-mull, which usually gets shortened to care-mull.
KARA-MEL, and I'm from the Boston area.
I'm all for the "rhymes with Farrah" imagery, but throwing Mel in there is just mean. :)
KAR-mul, for me. we moved a lot as a kid so I grew up in KY, IN, and WA.
Also hailing from Boston - I couldn't remember so I said it out loud and figured out it's none of these. I pronounce it Kah-mul. I just can't help it.
kara-mel Originally Connect-i-cut but now from Rhode Island for the last 3 years.
*snicker* I knew Boston would sound different from anyone else. I'm picturing Kennedy saying It.
i say carAmel. see the A! its there. it bugs me when people diss the second A like that. if I were that second a, i would feel very unloved. i'm suprised the second A hasn't commited suicide by now.
oh yeah. i'm from south louisiana. people around here usually kill the second A out of prejudice though.
It's pronounced the way it's spelt. Cara-mel. :/
"Carm'l" sounds so stupid.
Grew up in NW Iowa.
"Kar-mul" originally then somehow in my early twenties I moved to "Kara-mel". I found the error of my ways and now I am back to "Kar-mul".
*Then Kentucky, *Now So Cal.....
I say it KAR-mul, i'm from West Virginia
Kara-Mel when referring to the candies themselves, Kar-Mul when referring to apples, then Kara-Mel again when referring to popcorn. Perhaps this can be attributed to the fact that I was a military brat then in the military myself and subsequently lived all over the place. What can I say, I guess I am just eclectic. In response to Mike from London, who says "Its not very difficult. Say what you see. Its known as READING".
Mike, please read the following:
On Wednesday the 25th. of February 2004 a phenomenon had the world of psychology dumb founded. When in a cabaret, or was it a castle in New Foundland a gnat sized xenophobe was discovered in a cupboard.
I know, doesn't make much since, but sure would be fun to listen to Mike say it.
KARA - MEL
kar-ra-mel in new south wales, australia.. but I think people have more of a problem pronouncing cinnamon :P
Ka-ra-mel. As a correctly spoken member of the British Isles, and besides I live right next to the World famous Cadbury chocolate factory in Bournville-who produce... Caramel bars. So there you have it!
Just for another southern hemisphere perspective - I say "kara-mill". But then, what the hell do we know. Our toilets flush in the wrong direction fer crissake.
FYI in NZ "fanny" means "the hooey", so you can imagine the stifled giggles when American tourists in NZ start talking about their fanny packs etc. Americans visiting NZ take heed.
I always heard that it was pronounced Kar-mul when its hard and chewy and Kara-mel when it's soft and gooey.
i'm from ontario canada and pronounce it "KARA-MEL" though i've been known to pronounce various words incorrectly.
for example: up until very recently, i used to pronounce cantaloupe, CANT-A-LOOP, instead of CANT-E-LOPE, which is the proper way of saying it.
i also pronounce pasta as PAUS-ta instead of PASS-ta and most others i know do. i'm not sure whether or not this has to do with my french speaking parents but i'm beginning to think it does.
kara-mel, and i'm from maryland.
Hmm, I seem to be the only one who enunciates the second syllable. I say kar-MEL, as do my family members. I tend to avoid saying the word altogether, but when I'm forced to, I usually stutter and cover all my bases like so, to avoid the inevitable harsh judgements of my lack of pedantic finesse:
"I enjoy kar-MEL. ::panicked pause, blank stares:: Uhh, I mean KAR-mul. Ummm, KARA-mel."
I then proceed to spend 3 weeks of solitude in my lonely room as I recover from the searing embarrassment and humiliation.
Kar-mul. I grew up in the Seattle area.
I'm from a well-traveled Navy family, so I recognize its name in all dialects. Doesn't matter much. It tastes just as good no matter what one attempts to mumble while chewing it.
Damn, you've gotten a lot of comments on this.
I pronounce it Kara-mel.
The real question should be how do you pronounce Caribbean.
Forgot to add that I'm from Rhode Island.
I say Kar-mul... Tulsa, Oklahoma...
OH, wait, I ment to add this,
LETS CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF!!!
Kara-mel : Australia
how would you pronounce 'caramelize' if you say Kar-mul? Cos that just crazy ...
And much like the people of NZ - we laugh when americans say fanny ...
BTW I pronounce 'cantaloupe' as rock melon.
It's definitely Kar-mul. I live in Sunny Southern Florida!
kar-mul. kara-mel sounds too foo foo and snooty.
I say CAR-mul. And it is CAR-mul-ize!
Kar-mul and kar-mul-ize. I am a proud survivor of the New York City public education system circa the 1960's.
I want to say CAR-MUL. But I know it's wrong.
So I'll just go with KARASHIZZLE.
Interesting side note:
I seem to be the only person who also says CROWNS in place of Cray-ons for those pesky wax color sticks of joy.
This is because I am probably retarded.
From Southernizzle Calishizzle
I say "Kara-Mel" but I also say "Kar-Muh-Lize" What can I say? I'm a freak from Southeastern PA- You know- where the wind from Three Mile Island drifted towhen I was a baby! (This explains A LOT more then just this Cara-Mel/ Kar-Mul thing)
Car-mul...that's how we say it in Toledo, OH
I just said it out loud a bunch of times and it seems I say:
KARA-ml (yes ml)
Most folk here pronounce it the same.
- Sydney Australia
I grew up in Mexico and live in Southern California.
But I believe everyone should say it "Kara-mel" to avoid confusion with the words "Carmel" as in "Carmel Mountain Road" or "Mount Carmel" or the cities Carmel, CA or Carmel,IN or the town of Carmel, NY. So there.
KARA-mel. Born and raised in Roanoke, Virginia ...and not proud of it.
KAR-mul. From Portland Ore-uh-gun originally. Now in Fee-nix.
from nor-cal, bay area
Here's my guess - but I really don't know what I'm talking about. I think, the more syllables you pronounce it with, and the more you emphasize the last syllable, the fancier-schmancier the presentation is of said confection. The harder you have to work to prepare/eat the stuff, the harder it should be to say the word.
Kar-mul - if you eat it all by itself, say, fresh out of the wrapper at Halloween.
Kar-a-mul - if you melt it and dip stuff in it, like apples, popcorn, your finger.
Kar-a-MEL - if you melt it and mix it into something really fancy, like a special tort dessert or a pie or something.
Just a guess, and I live in Oregon.
Ive overanalyzed this, now i forgot how i would instinctively say it
Kara-Mel (the 'a's pronounced as in 'car')
And I'm pretty sure in Germany that's the only way to pronounce it.
KARA-mul - and I'm from South Africa!
KAR-mul, people... KAR-mul. KAR-mul, KAR-mul, KAR-mul!
Oopsy... I'm from southcentral PA, where our dialect borrows the worst of Philly, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore!
kar-mel, but then I also say cara-mel.
kar-mel is the harder chewy stuff
cara-mel is the soft gooey stuff like Caramellows.
NO ONE makes cara-mel liek Cadbury's.
KAR-mul. I'm born and raised and still live in Southern Indiana. Wtf gg dood.
KARA-mul (or more accurately, as someone else put it, "KARA-ml")
Born and raised in Maryland, the DC suburbs.
Well, since my name is Cara, I have always said "cara-mel". But, maybe that's because I am self-centered. I'm from Arizona.
Funny, I just had this conversation with my boyfriend the other day. I say Kara-Mel, he says Kar-mul and tells me I say it wrong. I was born in the Midwest & lived there until I was 13 when I moved to the East Coast. He was born & bred on the East Coast
I say it KARA-mel or CAR-mel( so it sounds like car (the one you drive))
Im in Canada...
Arizona & Oregon.
KAR-mull (central Iowa, usa).
Man, I'm impressed at the number of people who have chimed in. I usually come here for Dr. Michael.
Raised in CT, USA- always pronounced option D-
car-mel. In fact, it was years before I knew there was a second 'a'.
Kar-mul Ann Arbor Michigan!!
It's always "karrah-mull" when it comes to caramel corn, tho...
yes or no?
KAR-mul. Seattle, WA. Saying the "a" is like saying the "o" in opossum and the "gh" in through.
Born and raised in New Orleans.
I say it like KAR-mul but my wife says it the other way, we had a discussion about this as well... No idea, I lived in Connecticut for 11 years, and now to Florida for 13
I say Car-Mul, and I'm from Minnesota. Oh yeah, I also say you betcha, since people here totally have "Minnesotan accents".
I Say and Think KAR-mul. Intellectually I think it should be KARA-mel. So Cal.
I'm English and I say Kara-Mel
Kar-mul, Western Pennsylvania
KARA-mel. That is the right and proper way, damn you. To say it any other way is heresy, and an affront against god.
I also say SEER-up, as opposed to the doltish and uneducated SUH-rup, or SURP.
To me the way you say "caramel" depends on the context of the phrase. The word "caramel" has practically become a colloquial word; so there really isn't a right or wrong. People who have heard it one way all their lives become affronted when approached to it differently. But whatever -
I've always heard it pronounced (in context) as:
"Carmel" - popcorn and apple
"Caramel" - syrup, filling, candy-type related item.
either way it's pronounced, it's great stuff.
KARA-mel! (Farrah-Mel) I'm from North Carolina, and fairly well-educated, despite having been brought up in the south.
KARA-MEL, and I come from Israel.
CARA-MEL New Jersey/New York
HAHAHAHAHA! I was just having this discussion with someone recently.
For the record, I say kara-mel. Miami, FL.
'KAR-mul', the way it's supposed to be pronounced. Unless you're gay.
Kar-Mul...Like it supposed to be pronounced!
Kara-mel sounds pretentious.
and I am from the bay-area of California.
I'm from New Orleans, LA and I say Kara-Mel. That is also the name of my kitty!
I'm from Houston, TX and have been transplanted in Portland, OR and I say kara-mel, but everyone always tell me I'm wrong and that it's kar-mul. :(
And I'm from Nebraska
GO BIG RED
I've always said KAR-mul,
I was born in Texas, but moved to Utah before I was a year old, and spent the rest of my life here
Its car-mul. I'mfrom upstate N.Y.
Hmmm - sticky question. :)
If the product come in little single-serving-sized portions, wrapped in cellophane (and comes in a bag with KRAFT written on it), it is definitely KARA-MEL.
If it's on an apple, it's KAR-MUL.
If it's on a sundae, it's butterscotch. :)
Now, how about caramelized? As in the cooking process? I say KAR-MUL-IZED.
oops - I'm from NB Canada
I say Kar-mul,I'm from N.Y,N.J.now AZ.
I've lived in Houston, Texas since I was 6 years old (just a few miles from GALveston.... whoever heard of GalVESTon????) and I don't think I have a consistent pronunciation of caramel. At my job yesterday, they served us ice cream sundaes and I was trying to figure out how to say "caramel" for the topping and wasn't quite sure (and that was before I read all these posts!).
I have influences from New England, South Carolina, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, and Kentucky, so perhaps that accounts for my uncertainty!! Here are the variations I've heard (and said):
1. CARE-ah-mel (long a, silent e, as in the word "care")
2. CARE-uh-mul (my mom's... she's famous for her CARE-uh-mul cakes, and grew up in Georgia)
3. CARE-mul (my mom in a hurry)
6. Sadly, my New England grandmother has passed away so I can't ask her, but she probably said something like "Carerr-mel." (She also said "Afri-car.") I don't recall for sure.
I suppose other logical variations would be "CAR-ah-mel" and "CAR-uh-mul" but I don't recall hearing these.
Several people have mentioned towns called "Carmel" but I don't think these are derived from "caramel." There is a "Mount Carmel" in the Bible where Elijah had his showdown with the prophets of Ba'al, so that's much more likely as a place name. At church we always prounounced it CAR-mel or CAR-mul.
Ok, I'm going to go drink a Coke now. Think I'll have a root beer. ;-)
Car-mul. Grew up in Michigan. Now in Luhlvuhl (louisville) by way of Ohio. Even our own city offers options by the way. looeyville. lewisville. looahville. But if you grew up here, it's luhlvuhl. :o) but i might be the only one here who drinks Pop. with my car-mul apple. No -ed, and no nuts either ;o)
car a mel kar'e mel
we call it kar-mel at my house in michigan
If I'm talking to someone or at all conscious about it, I say Care-a-mul. But if there's a bowl of candy on the counter, I say, "Give me a Car-mul." I guess my level of sophistication is directly proportionate to my level of hunger. I'm from Wichita, KANSAS!
I pronounce it Kar-mul and I from Las Vegas
I say Kara-mell (like a caramilk chocolate bar)and I am from Owen Sound, Ontario. However...when at a fair, it is without a doubt, a car-mull apple/car-mull corn. Guess the country fair just brings out the ignoramus in me!
KAR-mul, originally from Northeast Philadelphia. All of the Philly people I know say KAR-mul.
KAR-mol, I grew up in Wisconsin..maybe because I was around so many cows you start talking like them after a while. I've noticed that in the city, fancy people say KARA-mel.
Cara-mel. The way God intended.
Scones is pronounced "sconz"
I'm from Chicago and it's definetly Car-mul!
I pronounce it kar-a-ml with an almost negligible final syllable. Always have, always will. Born in Ireland, pronounced it kar-a-ml there; grew up in England, ditto; lived in Canada ever since, continue to say kar-a-ml in spite of all the kar-muls I hear around me.
KARA-ml or KARA-mel, "ml" more often though
kar-ml. i'm from colorado/now cali.
the BEST kar-ml ice cream ever:
Haagan Daaz DULCE DE LECHE
IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!! :) xox
If you sound it out, or really look at how it's SPELT it's CARA-MEL.
I say Cara-mel when talkinkg about it as an ingredient, like in a candy bar. But i also say Car-mel when talking about Caremel apples. If yout hink this is crazy, ask someone if the word is Pee-Can, or Pe-caan when talking about the nut.......
kaar -miul I m fr Southapton Island Nunavut
Salliq (coral Harbour
I say KAR-ml. I was born in TX and grew up in CA and TX. I sometimes think KARA-mel when I read the word, but always say KAR-ml. And it's puh-KAHN for the nut if you're a proper Texan!
KAR-mul. I grew up mostly in New Jersey.
but im from wisconsin and we say alot of things differently
I AM INDONESIAN. CARAMEL IN INDONESIAN IS KARAMEL. AND TO PRONOUNCE IT,
KA >> 'A' HERE LIKE 'A' IN ENGLISH'S NOTE 'FA'
RA >> DITTO
MEL>> MEL IS MEL..LIKE GIBSON'S MEL.
SO IT GOES 'KARAMEL'.
I say "kara-mel", and I'm from Toronto (which we pronounce "Tronnah").
carmul apple or caramel candy. Either way it's tasty.
carmul apple or caramel candy. Either way it's tasty.
Kar-mul ... raised in Texas, moved to Ohio...refuse to give in to their stupid way of pronouncing caramel AND apricot. I will die saying them the southern (proper) way.
Whoops, East Bay California
KAR-mul - Simsbury Connecticut!
I used to say kar-mul until recently I discussed it with a friend who convinced me that kar-mul is the coating on desserts like flan (or other food) made from cooking sugar (as in carmelized), and kara-mel is the goo inside of candy.
The place in Indiana is most definitely pronounced KAR-mul. I pronounce it that was too, though it bothers me now, as KARA-mel is obviously superior. I'm from good ole Indiana.
I say KARA-mul and I'm from Tennessee
I never actually took the time to notice how anybody around here says anything. Everyone says that we sound funny no matter what we say. :P I say it like Kara-Mel and I'm from the East Coast, Boston Area.
Here's the deal...
CARAMEL, let's break it down...
CAR - Like "I just wrecked my new CAR" This could be pronounced "care" if you are from upstate NY or "cah" if you're from Maine!
A - We all know it's an "A" but you wouldn't say CAR-AY-MEL unless, of course, you are of Indian (from India) descent...no disrespect intended!
MEL - Looks, at first glance to to be pronounced like Mr. Gibsons first name...Hoot...No, I mean Mel, but heres the hook...You wouldn't say "ca-MELL" unless of course you're Inspector Clouseau whereas you might say something like, "Does your ca-MELL bite?" You would follow the example of the widely accepted M-E-L convention of MULL as in, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU IDIOT! We use the ca-mull to ride into town...THAT'S where the girls are!"
So, long story, short...CAR-UH-MULL is probably correct but sounds rediculous! IMHO!
I usually call them a toffee. I dunno, I think it's an Irish girl thing. All the girls I know call it toffee, and all the guys call it caramel.
But when I say caramel, it's KAHR-ah-ml. R slightly flipped/rolled/trilled, apparently, if my American acquaintances aren't just taking the piss (though they probably are). All a's like in fAther. 'ml' syllable so unaccented it's barely there (and therefore has no vowel sound)
I'm from North Central PA
Kahr-Uh-mel if it's the little squarical thing.
KAR-mel if it's the corn.
Damn, I talk funny.
LA, CA, by way of NYC, South America, and NJ.
That's enough about caramels; what about Pecans?
Is it PeCons?it Pee=cons? Is it PeCans (as in pop cans)? Is it Puhcons?
KAR-mul for me, and I'm from a suburb of Detroit.
You know, I never really paid attention to the second "A" until a few years ago. I was saying it that way before I learned how to spell it.
Well, I say Kara-mel. I am from San Jose, CA. But when I say caramelize I ignore the second "A" and say Kar-melize. Weird? Thank you Steve for helping me waste precious brain cells analizing the way I say Caramel.
"KAR-mul" corn, dulce le leche ice cream (KAR-mul ice cream with KAR-mul swirl), Goetz's KAR-mul cremes, "Instant Karmul" by John Lennon, "Karmul Chameleon' by Culture Club...
I can't think of one instance where I pronounce it as the somewhat stilted "CARamel."
Born and raised in Gettysburg PA
car-mull. No accented syllables.
Genetically from Minnesota, but grew up in a Navy family, so lived all around the US with all sorts of accents.
Carra-mill, also from NZ, except when encased with cholate, in which case carra-mel-o.
I meant chocolate - i was not trying to start a debate about the pronounciation, im just a bad speller.
KAH RAH MEL. This is what surveys are for sir.
Kar-mel sounds like someone's name...
Another one from Australia - I have never heard anyone here say anything but KARR-U-MUL (like the first syllable in 'carry'), unless they're quoting Stimpy - "Carmelly, carmelly, corny-corn!!"
Up until a few years ago I thought there was actually a different word, spelt 'carmel'...
Because I am an evil southerner, I pronounce it "Keh-ruh-mul". The ruh part is very quiet and abrupt so it sounds more like "ker-mal".
KARA-mul or KARA-mel, but NEVER KAR-ml. However, let us not forget that when it's custardized, it's Creme kara-MELLE. (For the record, KARA rhymes with Farrah NOT Laura)
And this, of course, is bringing up my own personal struggle with ca-RIBB-ean vs. ca-ribb-E-an.
Born & raised in New Orleans (OR-lunz)
I haven't seen anybody from Poland. In Polish caramel it's spelled Karmel...and read the same way, with every letter pronounced. So KAR-mel
"CARM" - and "UL" - two syllables, emphasis on the first sylable. Grew up in midwest - Michigan.
i say it KARA-MEL and im from nova scotia canada
The problems are only beginning if you think two great tastes like caramel and butterscotch are one and the same...
Kara-mel for me - Nashville, Tennessee. Although my wife and I get in debates every time *I* say the word, because (being from Michigan) she says it without the "a" - Kar-mul.
Actually, I've heard it pronounced differently depending on what one is referring to:
Square caramel candies (like the one pictured above) are Car-muls.
The caramel filling inside candy bars (like Twix) is Cara-mel.
I'm in Las Vegas, NV.
KAR-mul, Seattle/Tacoma region, where it's "pop" and uh-loo-mihn-uhm, too.
I've always heard people say "care-a-mel" but i'm from new orleans (not n'awlins no one says it like that here, believe me, its more like new orluns) and we tend to say things differently here. like gawd instead of god. wuhdah instead of water. which makes me ask.... is it pee-can or pe-cahn? i say pe-cahn
KARA-MEL - I'm from Australia.
I might just say it really bugs me when Americans say CAR-MUL. That is just ridiculous.
I am from the South and I think I am speaking for all Southerners when I say we pronounce it....
Say it long...draw it out...make it chewy...just like the candy!
We (my family) pronounce it Caramel, as in, Cara- short "a" sound, and mel, as in, mel. We're from central Jersey, where you'd expect lots of slang and mispronunciation. Then again, we're considered "uppity" or arrogant, for the fact that we like to enunciate properly.
I can't figure out how I say it when I'm not thinking about it. I know when I order a Caramel Frappuccino from Starbucks, I say CAR-mul. I live in Northern California.
Hey Rachel? There's a suburb in the Boston area named "Worcestershire" and the locals call it "WOO-sta" (first syllable pronounced like wood with no D). It's funny how we bastardize words.
There are a lot of almond orchards here, and there's debate about the pronunciation of "almond." Am(like the -am- in family)-end, Ah-mend, or All-mend.
I say both Kar-mel, and kara-mel. I say kar-mel when i dont feel like sounds sophisticated, when i'm with an informal bunch, however, i strictly say kara-mel when conversing with an important individual ^_^
I'm from missouri. teehee
Here in North Carolina, we (including me) say 'kar-mul'. I'm orginally from Georgia & it seems it was pronounced 'kar-mul' there too.
By the way, butterscotch & carmel are 2 different things.
Orange is another word that people say different. Some say it with 1 syllable & others say it with 2 syllables- sort of like 'are-range'. I've heard some people say it like it starts with the letter 'e'.
I'm from North Carolina too, always have been, and everyone I know says it KARA-MEL. My wife's family is from New York and Philly, and they say it many different ways.. too much to post here.
according to the dictionary
Pronunciation: 'kär-m&l; 'kar-&-m&l, -"mel
the way i see it...
kar-mel= po white trash caramel.
maybe thats why all the fancy pants brits say kar-e-mel and all the trashy filthy americans say kar-mel.
This is thread is now getting a bit old hat, but i figure its still got some way to run.
In answer to the original question most, if not all English people would refer to the substance as Kara-mel. The first a being pronounced as a forced contracted A and the second as either another forced contracted A or a muted contracted E (as "uh").
As its origin and pronunciation have been previously stated, i will not repeat them again. Sufficed to say the previous comment (by QT) is probably quite accurate (although i wouldnt have chosen quite that description).
On the other issues raised, my pronunciation is as follows:
PARA-SET-A-MOL (medical drug)
PASTA (italian food stuff)
KAh (vehicle - automobile)
JELLY is a desert, not a spread, that would be JAM. And no i do not mean JELLO i mean JELLY.
PANTS are underware and not another word for TROUSER(S)
CROWNS are many things but not CRAYONS, an these may be wax colouring sticks or pencils.
And, if you hadn't guessed already, i am British. Man there's a lot of posts here (and little to no consensus)
In Montreal we say Kara-mel and Kara-mellllle - depending on how much of it you have in your mouth and oh yeah, if you're French.
I am from Florida and I say "kara-mul" and I agree with other people's posts that kara-mel sounds hoity toity. And karmul makes you sound dumb...like my boyfriend who says "crowns" instead of crayons. idiots.
thats how everyone in Iowa says it, and everyone on television talks like they are from Iowa, because we dont have an accent. Karra-mel is like saying Dee-vie-ant instead Dee-vee-ant.
I believe people are pronounceing this with there mouths full of C-----MELS,but as long as people know what you are talking about who cares how it is pronounced.
I've always had a tendency to bridge the gap when it comes to matters like these. I tend to say car (automobile) a (uh) mel (melvin minus the 'vin')
(Easterner moved to California)
Here in La-la land I say care'-uh-mel. If you say Car-mel people'd think you're talking about the city up above Big Sur.
The other pronunciation I've used just to screw with people's heads is: car'mul (stress on first syllable).
But don't call it toffee...
I say it both ways....kar-mul corn and kara-mel filled candies....really just depends on the words around it (the being pronounced 'thee' and 'thuh')
whoops. I'm from the burbs of chicago.
I say car-mul, Im from Monterey California, I also say cran's instead of crayon's
(cray-on)...that is yet another mystery that needs to be explored
I'm from Cleveland, Ohio, and my family has
always said kar-mul, but then we also said
poin-set-ta instead of poin-set-ti-a.
I read through ALL of these posts (damn!, this is some good shit, bro) and somehow still feel the need to add my bit.
car-MEL is the town in No.CA
Duh! It's KARA-MEL, of course! Ya know that candy bar, Caramello? Sure would sound stoopid as the CARMULO. :)
I'm from South FL, but my mom was from Boston and made us say it right (the other was too southern for her, just like ANT instead of AUNT). And we had a neighbor named Carmel, whose nephew called her ANT CORMA. I so confused!
If it's burnt milk-and-sugar, it's CARAMEL.
If it's a mountain in Israel, a title of Our Lady, the Virgin Mary, or a city south of San Francisco, it's CARMEL.