PurpleLama@AOL.COM on sat 8 dec 01
I used to pronounce it kiln with the "n" at the end and then I heard a potter
pronounce it "kil". I checked my handy dictionary - Webster's New World
dictionary - and the preferred pronunciation is "kill". Tonight I looked it
up in the OED (Oxford English dictionary) and sure enough "kil" is the first
in Redondo Beach, California
today the Santa Ana winds brought beautiful clear blue skies and beautifully
<< Down south here in Canada (yes, I'm south of you Mel here in SW Ontario) we
polite Canadians use all the letters in the word "kiln". >>
vince pitelka on sat 8 dec 01
> I used to pronounce it kiln with the "n" at the end and then I heard a
> pronounce it "kil". I checked my handy dictionary - Webster's New World
> dictionary - and the preferred pronunciation is "kill". Tonight I looked
> up in the OED (Oxford English dictionary) and sure enough "kil" is the
> pronunciation listed.
Well, that just goes to show you how out of date the dictionaries often are
regarding current language usage. No offense to anyone who chooses to
pronounce the word "kill," but from my own experience, I would guess that at
least 95% of all people who know anything about kilns pronounce the word
Best wishes -
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Snail Scott on sun 9 dec 01
Since the topic has come up again, I'm re-posting
this note from earlier this year:
Given that 'kiln' shares its etymology with words
like 'culinary', I have also wondered at the
widespread practice of dropping the voiced 'n'.
So, I went to the Oxford English Dictionary on
Roughly synposized, the editors state that in the
period of Middle English, the 'n' became silent in
most [English] districts, though not all. They give
as a corollary the the older spelling of 'mill' as
'miln' (which survives in the surname 'Milner',
along with the more common name 'Miller'.
In my personal experience, slightly more people
use 'kiln' that use 'kil', but it's pretty close.
The OED, however, indicates that 'most districts'
dropped the 'n'. (The OED, which is British, does
list both pronunciations, with 'kil' first, as
does my (US) Webster's Dictionary.) I wonder, then,
at the prevalence of the 'kiln' pronunciation. Did
the districts which retained the voiced 'n' have
a disproportionate share of the English pottery
industry? Do they also have more families named
'Milner' than 'Miller'?
Or, is the voiced 'n' an Americanism? (Do you UK
folks say 'kiln' or 'kil' more often?) If it's
mainly a US thing, perhaps it indicates a trend
in early immigration, with proportionately more
British immigrants coming from those minority
'n'-pronouncing districts than from the others?
It wouldn't be the only 'archaic' pronunciation
to have survived here and not in Britain. (I
await more info on British pronunciation, before
drawing any conclusions there. What's the
pronunciation score in other former colonies?
For that matter, is is regionally distributed
within the US? I've mainly lived in the West.
What do folks say in the South? the Northeast?
Just for kicks and grins, here are a few historic
cyline, cylene, cyln, cyln, kulne, kylne, kyline,
kilne, kylle, kyll, kil, kill, kell, keele, kiele
Old Norse: kylna
Welsh: cilin or cil Norwegian: kjolne
Swedish: kolna Danish: Kolna
(not the proper 'o' in these, by the way)
(who says 'kiln')
Bob Nicholson on mon 10 dec 01
>Since the topic has come up again, I'm re-posting
>this note from earlier this year:
Wow! Interesting. I'd also like to know whether
the pronunciation is geographically distributed.
It's my impression that virtually all non-potters
pronounce the 'n.' (People who don't hear a word
pronounced tend to say it like it's spelled.) If that's
the case, wouldn't it be easier for us to just adopt
the "common" pronunciation?
(By the way, I checked Webster's Collegiate and
American Heritage - both list kiln as preferred.
Seems like a word in transition...)
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Webmaster, Orchard Valley Ceramic Arts Guild
Snail Scott on mon 10 dec 01
At 11:31 AM 12/10/01 -0800, Bob wrote:
>It's my impression that virtually all non-potters
>pronounce the 'n.' (People who don't hear a word
>pronounced tend to say it like it's spelled.)
Good point! Maybe the current proliferation of
the pronounced 'n' reflects the recent (last handful
of decades) increase in handcrafted ceramics, done
by many self-taught people? (This is based on my
assumption that most people take on the preferred
pronunciation of their most influential teacher.)
Without spoken instruction, who would think to say