I think the word cucumber is pronounced as if you would say 'car' without the 'r' and then 'cumber'.

However, many people I know say it in a way that sounds like 'queue' and then 'cumber'.

Are there different ways to pronounce it? If yes, is it some kind of dialect or is it just American English and British English?

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    – tchrist
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  • Certainly Charo pronounces it differently.
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    Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


In olden days, people used to pronounce this word as "cow-cumber" (which reminds me of "sparrow-grass" for "asparagus") but I think this pronunciation is, if not entirely extinct today, very regional. (Spelling variations corresponding to this pronunciation also existed.)

Perhaps in an accent where it is usual for the diphthong /aʊ/ to be "smoothed" to something like [aː] or [ɑː], this could sound like "cah-cumber".

Most people use /kjuː/. That is the "standard" modern pronunciation.

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