I've previously (and am now embarrassed because of this) pronounced this word "ahl-bite" and now realize it is pronounced "ahl-bee-it." Why is it pronounced like this, and not the way I previously pronounced it?

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    sounds like your pronunciation has gone awry. – Paul Butcher Mar 22 '11 at 18:51
  • It is? O.o It sounds like ahl-bait when I say it...In my defense I've heard it said that way on TV. That means it's a valid alternate! Hollywood never screws stuff like that up! XP...Anyhow, I learned something. Can't think of a better reason to +1. – kitukwfyer Mar 22 '11 at 19:19
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    Thanks for reminding me of two words I at first only knew from literature and had never known how to pronounce until a few years ago. Aw-ry ;) – mplungjan Mar 22 '11 at 20:47
  • I always wondered why people pronounce it ahl-bait and not "all be it"... – configurator Mar 22 '11 at 21:00
  • LOL. All this time Ive been pronouncing it AL-BEET. – user14767 Nov 12 '11 at 13:05

It is a written shortening of all be it, a subjunctive set phrase roughly meaning "even if it is ..."

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Albeit is a contraction of all be it, that is, although be it or although it is that. It has no roots in German, where ei would be pronounced with an English long I sound.

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  • +1 I speak some German, so maybe I can place the blame there for my misuse of the ei-long I sound. – xdumaine Mar 22 '11 at 19:27
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    Something about seeing it capitalized (like a German noun) also tips my mind in favor of the German pronunciation. – Ben Jackson Mar 22 '11 at 19:47

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