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I have been pronouncing the word "cache" as "kaysh". I know a few people who pronounce it more like "cash" or even "cashay" or "catch". After consulting a few dictionaries, it turns out that the correct pronunciation of the word "cache" is "cash".

My question is, are the other pronunciations of "cache" (kaysh, cashay, catch) not totally acceptable? Which one do IT people prefer?

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@Close-voters: If you look at the "related" column at the right pane of this page, you'll see lots of questions starting with "Pronunciation of ..."; so you should really vote to close them too. I don't think this is a general reference question. –  Mehper C. Palavuzlar May 23 '11 at 17:49

7 Answers 7

up vote 8 down vote accepted

/kæʃ/ is the original pronunciation, as from the original French 'cache'.

/keɪʃ/ is widely heard in the IT world and elsewhere.

Both are therefore "correct" in the sense that they will be correctly understood by a wide cross-section of English speakers. I believe there's a preference for /keɪʃ/ in IT circles, but I certainly use both in a highly inconsistent manner. English is wonderful like that!

Edit, lest I forget to confirm what other people have said: /kætʃ/ and /kæʃeɪ/ are entirely different words, "catch" and "cachet" respectively. Using either of those pronunciations to mean "cache" will most likely get you looks of blank incomprehension.

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4  
In the U.S. IT world, I think you pronounce it /kæʃ/, just like most of the rest of the U.S. I have never heard /keɪʃ/. –  Peter Shor May 23 '11 at 14:12
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Cache being a word introduced in the Dutch language, we pronounce it /keɪʃ/, so does our IT sector. –  Derk-Jan Karrenbeld May 23 '11 at 15:06
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I am not aware of /keɪʃ/ being a pronunciation that has any currency in any native English-speaking regions. It certainly isn't countenanced by any dictionaries I have access to, American or British. –  nohat May 24 '11 at 6:58
    
@nohat: and yet I hear it all the time. I think this is one of those occasions where the dictionaries are lagging behind usage, and usage is culturally and geographically muddled as well. –  user1579 May 24 '11 at 16:08

'Kash' is the correct pronunciation. If you pronounce it 'kash-ey' then you're actually using a different word entirely, cachet.

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Mike A, is that you? –  teylyn May 23 '11 at 9:17
    
A professor at my university always pronounced it French, because he said it's from French caché (from cacher, to hide). This is not the same as kash-ey though. German Wikipedia notes the French origin, but also states the pronounciation kash, just like English Wikipedia. –  OregonGhost May 23 '11 at 12:11
    
@OregonGhost: From etymonline.com: 1797, "hiding place," from French Canadian trappers' slang, "hiding place for stores" (1660s), a back formation from Fr. cacher "to hide, conceal" (13c., O.Fr. cachier), from V.L. *coacticare "store up, collect, compress," frequentative of L. coactare "constrain," from coactus pp. of cogere "to collect" (see cogent). Sense extended by 1830s to "anything stored in a hiding place." — So it was taken from the French word cache, with a mute e. –  Cerberus May 23 '11 at 14:40
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@OregeonGhost - caché (with the accent over the 'e') is 'hidden' i.e. the past tense of cacher and pronounced the same. Without the accent, the final 'e' isn't pronounced, therefore pronounced 'cash'. –  tinyd May 23 '11 at 14:58

Here in Australia it is common to hear it pronounced "kaysh". An american friend of mine pronounces it "cash" and I am always aware that his pronunciation differs from the local norm. I can't recall ever hearing "ka-shay" and I suspect @Bacon Bits is correct that it is a conflation with cachet.

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IT people, at least in my country, prefer to pronounce "cache" as "cash", like your dictionary tells you. Actually, I don't seem to remember ever hearing someone pronounce it differently.

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You are right, 'kash' is how cache is pronounced.

I am not sure any pronunciation would be totally unacceptable as long as they do not cause any misunderstanding. Of course, it would be nice to pronounce it correctly. I have heard the word pronounced as 'cashay', 'catchay' etc. in presentations and meetings, but they have been perfectly understood.

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Of course, as noted above "cashay" or "catchay" would be a different word. –  Marcin May 23 '11 at 11:29
    
Were the presentations by Oliver Reed? ;p –  Grant Thomas May 23 '11 at 11:48

In American English, both cache and cash are pronounced in the same way: /kæʃ/.
In British English, they are pronounced /kaʃ/.

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I think it comes from the french cacher (to hide) or is derived from en cachette (to do something secretly); both coming from quachier (13th century).

Source [fr]

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protected by RegDwigнt Dec 22 '11 at 14:51

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