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

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jan 21 20:11:26 UTC 2008

At 2:34 PM -0500 1/21/08, goofy dreaming wrote:
>In Love and Death, Woody Allen and Diane Keaton pronounce "jejune" as
>/Z at ZUn/, but they're being pretentious.

Good catch!  I sort of remember that.  Thumbing through the AHD, I
also find "je ne sais quoi", pronounced to be sure with an initial
/Z/, but I suppose one might argue this phrase wouldn't be reckoned
as being "in the English language" per se.  It certainly does seem to
lack a certain...


>On Jan 21, 2008 1:11 PM, Nadia Gabriel <nadpaz3 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>  ---------------------- 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
>>  French?
>>  I can't think of any!
>>  An advanced search in the OED Online ("Entries containing Z
>>  in Pronunciations") retrieves only one word: jinricksha, jinrikisha,
>>  *n.*<
>>  >,
>>  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
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