All right. Now, I understand.

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Mon Dec 31 22:36:05 UTC 2012

Searching on "potter" "leaky caldron"/"leaky cauldron" yields 20K hits for the former and 615K hits for the latter.

I tried to do a search to determine if there was a difference in the UK and US versions of Harry Potter, but gave up. Maybe someone else with better searching skills can try it out.

I don't know what sound the ampersand stands for, but FWIW, I pronounce the "au" in "cauldron" just like the "a" in "father," that is, "ah." That seems in line with /ˈkɔːl.drən/ given in Wiktionary ( and the OED.

Wiktionary gives "caldron" as an alternative spelling of "cauldron," and the OED traces the spelling of "caldron" to 1425.

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

On Dec 31, 2012, at 1:34 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at> wrote:

> However, the recent, IME, change of the spelling of _cauldron_ to
> _caldron_, even upon the pages of that hallow-ed broadsheet, The New
> York Times, has come to my attention sufficiently often that I've come
> to believe that what we have here is a spelling-change and not a typo.
> The spelling-change entails merely the deletion of the _u_, exactly
> the same - or should that be, "the exact same"? - "trivial" change
> that is "needed" to "correct" non-United States orthography.
> And I find the spelling "caldron" annoying. What blocks the assumption
> that the pronunciation is "c[&]ldron"? Since I haven't haven't heard
> the word pronounced since God knows when, AFAIK, the current
> pronunciation may well be "c[&]ldron."

The American Dialect Society -

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