How does Cavey sounds ?

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A day, Alyce asked me : "Did your family ever spell Cavey "Cavee"?" (Fri, 25 July 1997).

Another day, Dan wrote: "You may note that the sound of Cavey to an American is probably something like Kay - vee with emphasis on the first syllable. The first syllable a K sound with a long A sound, the second is a V sound with a long E sound. The French sound (if I remember my High School French correctly!) is like Kah - vay with emphasis on the second syllable. The first syllable a K sound with a short A sound, the second is a V sound with a long A sound. You may want to test this on an American or English tourist or someone you know who speaks English with an American accent!" (Tue, 12 August 1997)

I replied : "I was very interested in your last message, because I had to solve the problem of pronouncing "Cavey" when Alyce Goldberg wrote to me: "Did your family ever spell Cavey "Cavee"?" I have done the same thing that you have done, and I told her that it sounds like "ay" in the word "way", but in fact, it is not exactly how it sounds, and I don't know why. "Cavey", according to the French rules, should sounds like you have described, but the fact is that nobody (even the Caveys) does it. As a consequence, I have never met a French people writing our name without mistake the first time he heard it... It is very difficult to explain the French accentuation, especially to English spoken people, but I have to do it because I have to explain why Cavé (with an 'e' acute accent upon it) does not sounds like Cavè (with an 'e' grave accent - this one sounds like "ay" in "way"), but sounds like Cavey, Cavet and sometimes Cavez... (so, maybe some Cavé, Cavet or Cavez are Caveys with a spelling mistake when their fathers have declared the date of birth of their son to the mayo after beeing drunk...)"

As I now have enough room on my site to upload a MPEG file, I have recorded my name in the cavey.mp3 below.

If your computer is able to play MPEG audio files, you may copy the wave file, just by clicking on the mouse left button or by clicking on the right button of your mouse, then select "Register the link under...". At the same time, you have an opportunity to hear my voice and my awful English accent !

Download the MPEG file : cavey.mp3

Another day, I wrote to Charlotte Carey, an English newsgroup member who was seeking about her family in Guernesey, :"How do you pronounce your name in English ? Does it sound CAREE ou CARAY ? The reason of this is that I have been told that my own name sounds CAVEE in America, while it sounds CAVAY in French. And what about it in English from England ?". Charlotte replied to me : "Carey is pronounced Caree in English, I expect it depends on where the name originates from e.g. Carey is both French and Irish and spelling, pronounciation has varied over the years."

On the same newsgroups, I also meet Dave de Bourcier who was researching about Gavey and Gavet links in Jersey. I asked him the same question about the pronouciation of these names. Here is his answer : "Gavey is the way this name is now spelled, and most people say GAVEE. But if you were from a rural area you might, if you also spoke French, say GAVAY. Old Jersey records of the 1600s or before that spell the name GAVET, which in French IS in fact pronounced GAVAY. By the way, as far as I know there is no relationship between the Jersey families of Gavey and the Caveys."


Last update : Jun-20-2021 16:29:20 CEST

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