Pronunciation of kefir

imwitty imwitty at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jun 20 09:25:11 UTC 2014

Per Russian version of the article “Kefir” in Wikipedia
<>* (it differs from the English one) KEFIR
(fermented milk drink) originated in the Northern Caucasus, at the Mount
Elbrus (most precisely, in
Karachay-Cherkessia, thus
the name of the drink has its roots in one of the North-Caucasian
languages. I never heard, learned, or spoke any of those languages, so I
cannot trace the etymology of that word. The Russian version in Wikipedia
offers several hypotheses, but they are just that… hypotheses.

According to the English version of the Wikipedia’s article, the word
“kefir” is known in Russian at least since 1884. The drink production in
Moscow started close to 1913. There’s a quite interesting story
<> *about that, but it’s in Russian. (;’-)))

To many other languages the word KEFIR came from Russian, where it is
pronounced the same way as in my American heritage Talking Dictionary
(installed from the CD, not on-line) 3rd edition. Their CURRENT
pronunciation of “kefir” on-line is not of the same quality: Close to correct here

Wrong pronunciation here, here, and here,

PS. I cannot compare to the Merriam-Webster On-line pronunciation: by some
reason, its audio feature doesn’t want to work with my computer.

Please reply to imwitty at
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On Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 6:20 PM, W Brewer <brewerwa at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       W Brewer <brewerwa at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Pronunciation of kefir
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Gospodin imwitty might help us with the Caucasian etymon. My Russian
> dictionary gives it final stress ~[keh-FEAR].
>      [KEY-fur] strikes me as a typical 'Mercan stress-fronting reaction to
> elegantese end-stress.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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