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Debrett's recommends us to pronounce Ma'am to rhyme with Pam. In my variety of British English, that is /Pæ:m/. My dialect exhibits the bad-lad split and "mam" has a long vowel. I pronounce Pam, palm, cat, and mum with four different vowels. I've never used the word ma'am in any context and I've never heard it used by any British-English speaker (except in ...

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