A day, Alyce asked me : "Did
your family ever spell Cavey "Cavee"?" (Fri,
25 July 1997).
An other 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. 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.
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 by your last message,
because I have to solve the problem of 'Cavey' pronunciation
when Alyce Goldberg writes 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 meet 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 down to it, just by clicking on the mouse left
button (if you use Netscape Communicator) or by clicking on the
right button of your mouse, then select "Register the link
under..." (if you use Netscape Navigator). At the same time
you have an opportunity to hear my voice and my exceptionally
bad English accent !
Download the mpeg file : cavey.mp3
An other day, I wrote to Charlotte Carey, a English news
group member who was seeking about her family in Guernesey, :"How
do you pronounce your name in English ? Does it sounds 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
reply 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
On the same news groups, 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 1600's 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."