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-   -   Pronunciation of Cairns (https://www.fodors.com/community/australia-and-the-pacific/pronunciation-of-cairns-552477/)

EvilTuna Aug 17th, 2005 03:32 PM

Pronunciation of Cairns
 
I would like to know whether Cairns is pronounced Can,Cans, Con or something else. Thank you.

inthechips2 Aug 17th, 2005 03:40 PM

My daughter's boyfriend, an Aussie, pronounces it CANS.

lizF Aug 17th, 2005 04:28 PM

See - even the Aussies don't always pronounce the names correctly;
Its care ' ns ( care as in air ) not cans as that is what the place in France is and the pronounciation is different or at least it should be.

Neil_Oz Aug 17th, 2005 05:05 PM

Agree with Liz, except that the "r" usually isn't voiced, or is voiced very lightly. As, for example, Melbourne is "melb'n", not "mel-borne".

But I've often heard "cans" or something very like it.

pb_and_j Aug 17th, 2005 06:46 PM

I always heard it as "cans" while in Oz.

The place in France is "can", no?

Paytons_Grandma Aug 17th, 2005 07:16 PM

AT one time, the australia.com web site had an Aussie narrator and he pronounced it "Kerns", with kind of a drawl on the e. He also pronounced Brisbane as Briz-bin. Just as I started to type this, I saw a commercial on TV for Outback Steakhouse and the guy, in his Aussie accent, said "Don't forget to try our new "Cans" Citrus Chicken. I looked at the screen & it said "Cairns".

Neil_Oz Aug 17th, 2005 09:29 PM

Out of curiosity I just checked an Outback Steakhouse menu. It looked suspiciously American, except for some vaguely Australian-sounding labels and the occasional misused expression like "They're too right!", or "Eat up mates!" ... and the burgers come with cheese and pickles!!

There was a reference to an Aussie-sized chicken breast, too. Logically that would be smaller than an American-sized chicken breast, but I guess that's not what they mean!

Sorry, ran off the track again. Well "brizb'n" is right, but I can't imagine any Australian pronouncing Cairns as "kerns" - unless it didn't rhyme with "burns" but with the Scots word for children, "bairns".

pat_woolford Aug 17th, 2005 11:03 PM

That's it Neil, it rhymes with "bairns" but without the Scot emphasis on the "r". There's a Cairns in Scotland locally pronounced "Cairrrrns". Or something like that. When I think I'm saying "Cairns" to overseas visitors they often hear it as "Kens".

Neil_Oz Aug 17th, 2005 11:57 PM

"Kens" with a lenthened "e" would be about right, then, Pat?

PaulS Aug 18th, 2005 03:44 AM

Pat and Neil are right. "Refined" southerners like me (ha) rhyme it with bairns, but many say "cans". I lived in Cairns in 1995-96 and locals used both pronunciations. The minute and subtle variations in Oz accents are an enduring fascination for some of us.

FurryTiles Aug 18th, 2005 04:48 AM

my vote goes to Kehns, ay. A deep north sentence punctuation, ay? An many Kehns locals is assprad (preoccupied with domestic order and cleanliness) as in "She's very assprad - she keeps Rome looking lovely". This is a feminine adjective only; there does not appear to be any exact masculine equivalent, although the noun Hairndiman conveys something of the same meaning, or "clever with their hens". From 'Let Stalk Strine'

There's mare chick momence for all, ay!
FurryTiles

LN Aug 18th, 2005 08:23 AM

All right now I shall be quite proper and refer to Cairns as Kehns but then what would the pronunciation of "Adelaide", "Perth" or "Darwin" be? I'm not fine with Melb'n but I'll need extra help if you someone changes Sydney!!

AndrewDavid Aug 18th, 2005 09:39 AM

I thought "ay" was British Colombian
Is it also the end of N. Queensland speak as well.

Neil the bathrooms at out local Outback Steakhouse are mates and sheilas, pretty clear compared to the pictograph I encountered at a fish house in Hiroshima: 2 medieval folks in skirts. I had to wait for someone to come out to avoid a fox pass

AndrewDavid

Neil_Oz Aug 18th, 2005 02:56 PM

A/D, I remember reading an imagined conversation in a book about North Qld called 'Mango Country', by John van Tiggelen. It went roughly like this:
- Ay, mate.
- Ay.
- Oddiday, ay? (Hot today, isn't it?)
- Ay?
- Said, soddiday. (I said, 'it's hot today'.)
- Ay. Binodder, but ay. (Yes. It's been hotter, but I agree.)

lizF Aug 18th, 2005 03:00 PM

I love it AD "Fox Pass" must remember that one for some time in the future.
I think that anyone who actually believes that we go around calling people sheila and blokes or cobbers are thinking of a long time past world where post war actors tried to instill an over exagerated Australian accent onto a nation that had been taught the BBC "correct way" to pronounce words in an effort to strike out for ourselves ( grow up actually ) in Australia and get away from the English culture that had embraced us to a point that England was referred to as "home".
However it is Melb'n, Brisb'n, Daar win, Per th, Ad el aid, AND last but not least Lawn ces ton.
I read "Let Stalk Strine" too and I believe that that particular accent was borne in Melb'n and the Western suburbs of Sydney so when I packed my port and togs and moved to Queensland I had to be a rass kel and change my pronounciations of many words - which in fact I did not do because I felt quite superior with my "southern correctness".

FurryTiles Aug 18th, 2005 04:20 PM

Quite right, Liz - "Let Stalk Strine" was compiled by Afferbeck Lauder (alphabetical order), Professor of Strine Studies, University of Sinny (Sydney), but born in Mairlben! Interestingly, the unique Aussie accent was already noted just some 25 years after the First Settlement - the 'currency' or native-born lads and lasses had a "peculiar accent, lacking both the euphony of standard English and the glottal patter of cockney: twangy, sharp, high in the nose, and as utterly unmistakable as the scent of burning eucalyptus" (Hughes, 'The Fatal Shore').

Variations in pronunciation has been categorised into three main varieties along the social scale of Broad (34%), General (55%) and Cultivated (11%), where Cultivated closely resembles the British Received Pronunciation and Broad shows those characteristics delineating the Australian accent at its most intense. So no wonder we have different views on how to pronounce Cairns, ;)

As I read the morning papers, there's currently an amazing development on use of the word 'mate' at Parliament House, it's been banned!
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/...958188851.html

Mob of galahs, ay?
Furry

Neil_Oz Aug 18th, 2005 05:26 PM

Yes, Perth as in worth, earth, girth; Adelaide like the character in "Guys and Dolls", stressed like "lemonade"; And Darwin (dah'win) was named for the great naturalist.

I'm assuming that the Australian accent noted in the early C19 was mainly a blend of working-class London and Irish, with a smattering of other British (chiefly English) regional accents.

I once tried to teach a Texan friend how to pronounce Payneham (Road, in Adelaide) but it was hard going - he had trouble accepting that it was just "paynum".

Peteralan Aug 18th, 2005 05:51 PM

Sorry to be picky Neil ( difference in Canberra and Sydney pronunciation?).I would put the emphasis in AD in Adelaide but on ade in lemonade. Cheers mate!

pat_woolford Aug 18th, 2005 06:31 PM

Good Heavens! Just looked up Outback Steakhouse, too. Not only does it serve "Cairn's Calamari", Kookaburra Wings?!! are also on the menu.

Neil_Oz Aug 18th, 2005 06:35 PM

Er - actually you're right, PA. Nothing to do with Canberra though (I'm a Windsor boy originally), just inattention. ADelaide it is and lemonADE it is.


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