/zink/ for "sink"--How widespread?

David Bergdahl bergdahl at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Thu Apr 10 13:03:48 UTC 2003

This pronunciation is common on Tangier Is. and is supposed to resemble the
west country of their native England.  Any spread westward (IL, NE) might
be considered as derived from the Chesapeake Bay or directly from the west
of Englond.

--On Wednesday, April 9, 2003 11:46 PM -0400 "Douglas G. Wilson"
<douglas at NB.NET> wrote:

>> How widespread is the pronunciation of /zink/ for "sink" (where dishes
>> are washed)?
> I don't recall ever hearing it myself.
> Quick Web search indicates that the pronunciation "zinc" for "sink" is
> considered by some to be a shibboleth of the Baltimore region, or the
> MD/DE/VA region.
> I find at a glance two instances of "sink" actually written "zinc", one
> apparently from a Nebraskan in the 1940's, the other from Illinois in the
> 1870's.
> Possibilities would include pronunciation from German or perhaps from some
> British dialect (?). However, if the /s/>/z/ is restricted to this single
> word, I would speculate that the word might be in fact basically "zinc",
> either because the word "sink" was taken to be an abbreviation of "zinc
> basin" or "zincked tub" or something like that, or because "zinc sink" was
> consciously contracted: back in the day, a zinc/zincked (i.e., galvanized)
> sink was a conventional household/kitchen item, I believe.
> -- Doug Wilson

"Practice random acts of intelligence and senseless acts of self-control"

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