I often say a word that sounds like "mares-well", as a contraction of "might as well". E.g. if someone said "shall I throw away this bread" I might say "you might as well, it's totally mouldy", except I'd pronounce "might as well" as something like "mares-well" (where 'mare' is pronounced like the 'mare' in 'nightmare').

Is there a written form of this sound? If so, how do I spell it?

  • It this contraction a common one in your community? – user66974 Sep 7 '15 at 13:46
  • @Josh61 Yes, I think it's fairly common. I fully expected it to be a regional thing, but I would be slightly surprised if another English person didn't understand it in context. – stripybadger Sep 7 '15 at 13:50
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    I am not familiar with it, (I guess it is used only in spoken language ) anyway other common contractions with might are 'might've' and 'mightn't' with no big differences in spelling. – user66974 Sep 7 '15 at 13:55
  • I assume that you're not American, so "mares-well" has no actual "r" in it. – Peter Shor Sep 7 '15 at 13:55
  • @PeterShor you assume correctly - are you saying that the answer to my question is simply "maes-well"? Or are you just saying that you wouldn't expect me to pronounce it with the 'r' in it? – stripybadger Sep 7 '15 at 14:26

It sounds to me like you are mis-hearing "may as well" and interpreting it as "might as well -

We can use may as well and might as well for making suggestions. We can use them to say what we think is the easiest or most logical course of action when we cannot see a better alternative. They are both fairly informal. Might as well is more common than may as well


When these words are said quickly and rolled together it is easy to see how they might be heard as "mares well", in my opinion.

  • Not just mis-hearing, but mis-saying too. I think you've probably got it correct though, I was assuming there was written contraction and didn't really consider that it might just be a spoken thing. Thanks. – stripybadger Sep 10 '15 at 6:31

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