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There are many words that are commonly mispronounced, such as "recurring" being pronounced as "re-occurring," but that one at least has some logic to it, as something that is recurring is, in fact, re-occurring.

But why in blue blazes does seemingly everyone pronounce "spigot" as "spicket"?

AFAIK, there is no logic to it. Is there any background to this I'm unaware of, or underlying reason why this would be the case?

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    Everyone doesn't.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 24, 2016 at 19:43
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    Make the "g" and the "k" sound in your mouth. They are quite similar.
    – DyingIsFun
    Feb 24, 2016 at 19:44
  • And 'Feb-youary' and 'liberry' Gah!!
    – Mitch
    Feb 24, 2016 at 19:46
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    It's been an established variant, in both pronunciation and spelling, since Middle English. One might with equal indignation ask why /spɪgət/ and ‹spigot› should be regarded as more 'correct'. Feb 24, 2016 at 19:51
  • Although they’re perhaps unaware of all the important distinctions, most of my friends (perhaps to avoid the very dilemma you mention?) just say “faucet” and a few of them for whatever reason actually seem to prefer the sound and image of “bibcock.”
    – Papa Poule
    Feb 24, 2016 at 20:26

2 Answers 2

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The "g" sound and the "k" sound are quite similar. Try making them in your mouth and notice the similar position of your vocal apparatus.

Merriam-Webster lists spicket as an alternate of spigot. Urban Dictionary also has an entry for it.

If you don't like that people pronounce "spigot" as /spicket/, just pretend they are pronouncing "spicket."

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    But nobody pronounces faggot or maggot as facket or macket (to rhyme with racket), do they? What is it about spigot that makes the /k/ replacement common? Feb 24, 2016 at 20:01
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    @PeterShor, maybe not. But the disanalogy probably has to do with the sounds that come before and after the /g/ and /k/ sounds in each pair. In the "spigot/spicket" pair, the /ig/ /ick/ pair of sounds are more similar than the /ag/ /ack/ pair of sounds in the "faggot/facket" pair and the /ag/ /ack/ pair in the "maggot/macket" pair. Unfortunately, I don't study phonetics. Let's see if someone else does.
    – DyingIsFun
    Feb 24, 2016 at 20:05
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    Nobody says bicket instead of bigot, either. But you're right in that the similarity of /k/ and /g/ is undoubtedly one reason why this variant appeared (apparently sometime in late Middle English). Feb 24, 2016 at 20:07
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    @PeterShor, regarding "bigot/bicket", let's just push my (pseudo) explanation back to the initial consonants then. The /spig/ /spick/ pair are just phonetically closer than the /big/ /bick/ pair.
    – DyingIsFun
    Feb 24, 2016 at 20:09
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As a sage commenter noted, "everone" doesn't. I think it's a regional variation. I hear "spigot” (when it's not a faucet) in the NE US. During a stint in the upper Potomac basin, I heard a lot of "spickets."

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  • It's a faucet where I live, too (New York). "Spigot" sounds regional...from somewhere else (with either the g or k sound). Feb 24, 2016 at 23:27
  • So it's a Southern pronunciation? That makes sense. Feb 28, 2016 at 17:12
  • @PeterShor - I suppose so. My grandfather was from the deep south, and I remember his saying "spicket." One would need a good dialect map to nail it down.
    – Rob_Ster
    Feb 28, 2016 at 17:16

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