English words beginning with <j> pronounced [Z]?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jan 21 19:42:43 UTC 2008

At 1:56 PM -0500 1/21/08, Charles Doyle wrote:
>A while back, didn't we discuss a word pronounced [ZUZ], a noun
>referring to a quick shake given to something? I have no idea how
>the word might be spelled!

Most posters who seemed to know (or at least seemed to be confident)
had it as "zhuzh", and cited Queer Eye for the Straight Guy as the
vector.  (Steve Kleinedler may have nominated it for one of the WOTY
categories a couple of years ago.)


>---- Original message ----
>>Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 13:19:07 -0500
>>From: Dennis Preston <preston at MSU.EDU> >
>>In LIN 101 we teach students that /Z/ (the second sound in 'azure'
>>the last sound in 'garage') is a silly sound (like ng) which can
>>occur internally and finally but never initially. In final position
>>it is giving way to /dZ/, and here in good-talking and linguistically
>>secure Michigan, people surveyed were not sensitive to the final /dZ/
>>pronunciation as nonstandard.
>>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>>Poster:       Nadia Gabriel <nadpaz3 at GMAIL.COM>
>>>Subject:      English words beginning with <j> pronounced [Z]?
>>>Dear all,
>>>A question out of a friend's curious brain - he is French, currently taking
>>>lessons to improve his English:
>>>Do you know of words, common word or proper names, in the English language
>>>that begin with the letter <j> but that are pronounced without the [d]
>>>sound, just the [Z] sound?
>>>Or, to put it another way, words where the initial <j> is pronounced as in
>>>I can't think of any!
>>>An advanced search in the OED Online ("Entries containing Z
>>>in Pronunciations") retrieves only one word: jinricksha, jinrikisha,
>>>from Japanese.
>>>I'd be grateful for any comments!
>>>   (I must add I didn't read all the article under the entry for
>>>the letter J,
>>>which also appeared in the results of my search - Wonderful OED)
>>>Thank you,
>>>   Nadia Gabriel
>>>   Librarian & Translator
>>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>Dennis R. Preston
>>University Distinguished Professor
>>Department of English
>>Morrill Hall 15-C
>>Michigan State University
>>East Lansing, MI 48864 USA
>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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