spicket and spigot

Herb Stahlke hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
Sun Aug 23 07:03:46 UTC 2009

Thanks, Doug.  I'll pass this on.


On 8/22/09, Douglas G. Wilson <douglas at nb.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET>
> Subject:      Re: spicket and spigot
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Herb Stahlke wrote:
>> ....
>> I read the following query on the ATEG list, where high school and
>> college English teachers, and a few linguists, gather.  I told the
>> poster I'd pass her query on to this list and let her know what we get
>> in response.  Thanks for your help with this.  I don't have access to
>> DARE unless I drive 50 miles round trip to Ball State, which I don't
>> do a lot anymore, and I won't get there for about a week and a half
>> now.
>> Herb
>> Dear Regional Speakers:
>> I'm curious about the word "spicket."  When I recently used it in a
>> story, Microsoft refused to acknowledge "spicket" as a word.  I was
>> shocked!  Surely that big tall faucet-looking thing in the middle of a
>> field is called a spicket.  I had (was compelled) to go to an
>> encyclopedia wherein it explained that  "spicket" is a regionalism for
>> "spigot."
>> I am an Air Force brat and, having moved 17 times around the country
>> before I was 18, have never considered my language to adhere to any
>> particular region.  I called my 7 siblings who live all over the
>> country--out of the eight of us--2 say "spigot" and 6  say "spicket."
>> Perhaps it was the age when I acquired the word?  Perhaps Grandpa
>> Leavitt sent me to the "spicket" to get water for the horses when we
>> visited him in south central Utah?  Of course then it would make sense
>> that I would say "carn" and "warsh" for "corn" and "wash," but I
>> don't.
>> I'm just wondering how many out there say spicket...
>> and which regions they are from...
> --
> DARE hasn't gotten to "sp-" yet. However Vol. 5 is expected to show
> "spicket" when it appears.
> Others here must know much better than I about this.
> "Spigot"/"spicket" has had the pronunciation with /k/ at least as a
> variant since pre-1400, it seems. I think "spicket" or so is a usual
> pronunciation in Scots and in various dialects of England. I think in
> the US "spigot"/"spicket" is considered more usual in Southern and
> Midland dialects as opposed to "faucet" or "tap" in the North (I'm sure
> there is plenty of overlap).
> An article in AS in 1948 asserted that the US pronunciation of
> "spigot"/"spicket" was [almost] invariably /spIkEt/ [sic] wherever it
> was an everyday word (apparently Southern and maybe Midland), /spIg at t/
> being only a "book" pronunciation. [Whether the /E/ versus /@/ (schwa)
> is claimed to be an essential distinction is not clear to me from a
> quick browse of this article.] Other articles seem to show less
> unanimity, but it seems the /k/ pronunciation is frequent.
> MW3 shows this "spicket" ("chiefly Southern and Midland") /spIk at t/.
> Where/when I grew up in MI, I think the most usual everyday word was
> "faucet", but "tap" and "spigot" were also quite routine as I recall. I
> hear all three in PA these days, but I can't say what the relative
> frequencies are.
> Me, I would say "spigot" with a /g/ (I'm a bookish person, maybe); I
> can't say how often I've heard it with /k/ since I probably wouldn't
> have usually noticed the difference.
> -- Doug Wilson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list