Cay....correct way to pronounce?

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#1
West Haddon, Northamptonshire, England
862 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Coco Cay

Is it Cay like 'way' or Cay like 'key'?

I know it's a little island like the Florida Keys but I have seen differing advice about pronounciation.

I hope this isn't a too stupid question?

Jane
x
#2
Los Angeles, Ca
7,547 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
I usually say Cay like way, but I hear Key all the time too. I think either way is correct, but I think that RCI says key.
#3
Huntsville, AL, USA
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Joined Apr 2003
It can be either way. The English dictionary gives both "ka" and "ke" with long a's and e's.
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#4
central florida
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Joined Mar 2007
It is actually pronounced "KEY". You can use either one, however, having spent several years in the Bahamas, whenever we would hear someone say " cay" we would know they were tourists. LOL.
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#5
Cumberland MD
1,403 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
When referring to the private islands with Cay, is it pronounced "kay" or "key"?

Thanks,
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#7
Cumberland MD
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Joined Oct 2006
Originally posted by English Jane
http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com...d.php?t=534765

Thanks so much. I did a search on the Private Island forum, but nothing showed.
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#8
West Haddon, Northamptonshire, England
862 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
I've been back since that last thread - I made sure I was saying 'key' to appear very knowledgeable but the ship's staff were all saying 'Kay'!
#9
Sandy Springs, GA
6,557 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
I've heard both from crew and passengers ... some say "kee", some say "kay". I normally say "kee", but if surrounded by people saying "kay" then that seems to be what comes out of my mouth!
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#10
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Oh great, now we'll have people talking about the Keyman Islands.
#11
899 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Here's how I separate out the pronunciation regarding Cay.
If it is spelled CAY as in Half Moon Cay then I say "kay". If it is spelled Caye as in Caye Caulker in Belize then I say "key". I haven't had anyone laughing at me yet.
#12
Greensboro, North Carolina
1,674 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
I always thought it was pronounced Key, but when I was on board the captian pronounced it cay. I found this on Wikipedia

Cay

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A cay (also spelled caye or key; pronounced as "key,"
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#13
The Big Easy
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Joined Oct 2006
The way I understand it from living with my Spanish-speaking counterparts down here is....

If you are pronouncing the word in Spanish, the proper pronunciation is "kay."

However, since most islands (as we know them) are preceeded or proceeded with English words like "Little Stirrup Cay," the proper English pronunciation is "key."

This is how the Florida Keys came to be spelled K-E-Y, from the English pronunciation of the word.
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#14
OK
2,902 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
One of the best children's book out there is _The Cay_ which we (and my son's teacher) all called "The Kay", (not "The Key")

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cay

But, IMO I say poe-ta-toe, you say paa-tat-toe
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#15
Southern UT
69 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by studiog1
It is actually pronounced "KEY". You can use either one, however, having spent several years in the Bahamas, whenever we would hear someone say " cay" we would know they were tourists. LOL.
Agree with the above. We lived in the Caribbean for almost 5 years, both in the Bahamas & St. Maarten, traveling to lots of other islands while there. Locals pronounce it Key, tourists pronounce it Cay. As one poster suggested; think of Key West in FL & that will keep you on track.
Happy Sailing
#16
Miami, Florida
4,048 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by Aquahound
The way I understand it from living with my Spanish-speaking counterparts down here is....

If you are pronouncing the word in Spanish, the proper pronunciation is "kay."

However, since most islands (as we know them) are preceeded or proceeded with English words like "Little Stirrup Cay," the proper English pronunciation is "key."

This is how the Florida Keys came to be spelled K-E-Y, from the English pronunciation of the word.
I am bi-lingual and agree with this assessment.
#18
The Big Easy
18,684 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Originally posted by Anton
As it was explained to me a few years ago by an RCI CD, RCI purposely says it as "cay" when referring to Coco Cay.
That is correct since the entire name is Spanish. The English translation is Coconut Key. If you refer to it by it's charted name, Little Stirrup Cay, you would pronounce cay as key.

Clear as mud?

Bottom line, both pronunciations are correct when speaking Spanglish.
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Paul
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#19
Greensboro, NC
1,482 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
The preferred pronunciation is "key."
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#20
NH
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Originally posted by Aquahound
That is correct since the entire name is Spanish. The English translation is Coconut Key. If you refer to it by it's charted name, Little Stirrup Cay, you would pronounce cay as key.

Clear as mud?

Bottom line, both pronunciations are correct when speaking Spanglish.
Thanks for the insight!

My first trip to CoCo Cay the tour guide on the jet skis told us the correct pronunciation is "key" but last time we were there the guide on the jet skis said it is "kay." This is after I thought I was wicked smaht saying "key." I prefer "kay" anyway but felt sufficiently like a donkey with 95%+ saying "kay." In the end I just had a ton of CoCo Locos and didn't care what anyone thought.
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