In their kids song "Crazy ABCs", the Barenaked Ladies sing about words that start with confusing sounds:

A is for aisle

B is for bdellium

C is for czar

However, when the song gets to "r":

R is for R-gyle

No, it isn't

OK, you're right; I couldn't find a good "r" word

So my question is: Is there an "r" word that would fit into this song? If not, is there anything special about "r" that explains why not?

  • 2
    R never changes, because it's necessary for "Talk like a Pirate Day". – John Lawler Jun 27 '17 at 2:44
  • Pronounciation of "R" varies greatly. See it's use in Japanese, Italian, or Scottish English. Isn't "Argyle" a great example? It's simply sn opposite case to those they're mocking above. – Tom Kelly Jun 27 '17 at 8:20
  • 2
    This question does not appear to be about English language and usage within the scope defined in the help center. It's about trivia and, though of interest, should be asked elsewhere. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 27 '17 at 8:47
  • Q and Z don't seem to be covered properly either. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 27 '17 at 8:49
  • @Edwin, what's wrong with qat? – Dancrumb Jun 27 '17 at 22:48

Rzedowski's pine, if you base your pronunciation on the Polish one, would be "zhe-DAWF-skee's pine". However, I would imagine a lot of people don't pronounce it based on the Polish pronunciation, since few English speakers are familar with Polish. So who knows, some people probably use /r/ here ("redouski").

  • 1
    An American who had been conditioned to oronounce some Polish names nearly correctly. ( a la "ski-shef-ski") for coach Mike Krzyzewski), might say ze-DOW-sky, and that would fit the song. – Spencer Jun 27 '17 at 2:53

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