I've never heard someone say it. I'm more interested specifically in British English, but also in general.

  • 4
    Apparently, you've never seen The King and I.
    – Gnawme
    Dec 7 '13 at 0:41
  • @Gnawme Guilty! But it's a musical... it's from 1951...
    – ESL
    Dec 7 '13 at 0:49
  • ESL: Even my kids understand @Gnawme's witty comment.
    – J.R.
    Dec 7 '13 at 7:55
  • 2
    @Mari-LouA - My kids have seen a handful of musicals from that era, thanks to local high school productions, and movie remakes they've watched on DVDs. Still, I doubt they could recognize or recall too many quotes from South Pacific, Guys and Dolls, Damn Yankees or Fiddler on the Roof. However, "et cetera, et cetera, et cetera" seems to be locked into their brains – perhaps because repetition is one of the great teaching mechanisms? So, maybe I should clarify: not all zingers from 50 years ago become commonly known, but this one (the triplet) seems to stand out for some reason.
    – J.R.
    Dec 7 '13 at 8:16
  • 1
    ESL - You mentioned "But it's a musical... it's from 1951." I'm not 100% sure what that meant, but I guessed that you wondered if a scene from a musical written more than 50 years ago really had anything to do with your question about usage. I simply wanted to mention that even kids born in the 1990's are familiar with that very expression. (As a matter of fact, it's the first thing that popped into my head when I saw the question title.) So, it may not really answer your question per se (which is why it's a comment, not an answer), but it's not merely an irrelevant, outdated factoid, either.
    – J.R.
    Dec 7 '13 at 10:35

Et Cetera is used in spoken English quite frequently in certain circles.

I will say however, that at least in the US, I have found people to often mispronounce it as "ect cetra". This is because most people that write it out on paper use the shorthand version, "etc...". I contribute that to the reason people don't know how to pronounce it correctly; or in other words, they don't know how to spell it.

  • 3
    I bet they don't! I bet they say "exetra" without a /t/ in the first cluster.
    – Colin Fine
    Dec 7 '13 at 1:07
  • "Et cetera" is certainly heard often enough. I've never heard ect cetra and "expresso" for "espresso" causes my ears to twitch, so it is not a common error in my neighborhood. Dec 7 '13 at 1:22

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