No pain, no g ähn?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Sep 16 00:03:53 UTC 2009

 From an article in The New York Times today on
the debate duet of Merkel and Steinmeyer:

"The front page of Bild, the country's largest
newspaper and a tabloid not known for its
subtlety, rhymed the famous Obama slogan with the
words "Yes we gähn," which means "yawn."

Do Germans really rhyme this with "Yes we
can"?  When I was in high school, I would have
pronounced "gähn" more like the English
"Cain."  (I hear three vowels, "can," "con"
(which I would associate with the umlautless
German, e.g. in "Hahn"), and "Cain".  I don't hear "gähn" as "can.")


The American Dialect Society -

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