In today’s episode, Embarrassing English Errors Ep08: Cunt & Can’t, you’ll learn the subtle difference between the pronunciation of the words “cunt” and “can’t”.
Embarrassing English Errors Ep08: Cunt & Can’t
G’day guys and welcome to this episode of Embarrassing English Errors. Today I’m going to go over a very very important pronunciation difference in Australian English and that is because the two words are “cunt”, which is an incredibly rude word, arguably the rudest word in English, and “can’t”, which is the negative of “can”. So, “can’t”, “I can’t” is to not be able to do something.
So, what is “cunt”. What does “cunt” mean? “Cunt” is a rude slang term for vagina. So, the female reproductive genitals, organs. And it’s often used as a derogatory term for a woman, and it’s probably one of, if not the, most rude things you could say to someone or call someone in English. Any for of English. Whether it’s Australian, American or English English, if you say the word “cunt” it is very very very strong. So, just be careful when and how you use this word if you use it at all, okay?
And, “can’t”. “Can’t” is the negative of “can”. So, it’s “cannot” but it’s abbreviated, it’s made short, “can’t”, and it just means to not be able to do something. And so, these are the kinds of words that can get confused when you tell someone “they can’t”, “they can’t do something”.
So, I’ve had people at work… my boss who’s from Thailand, she’s said to me a few times “not you cunt” instead of “no you can’t”. And although I know what she means after a second or two it does sort of shock you for a second. You suddenly think “oh my gosh, did she just call me a cunt?” And then you realise “ah ok she was trying to say “can’t”.”
Anyway, that’s why I think this episode is very important for you guys to practice the pronunciation of “cunt” and “can’t”. “Cunt” and “can’t”. And so you’ll notice there that the only really difference between these two vowel sounds, at least to my ear, without researching this strongly, is that “cunt” is incredibly abrupt, short. You just say “uh”, “unt”, “cunt”. And, “can’t”, “can’t” is a lot longer. So, you sort of elongate it. You stretch it out. You say “caaaaan’t”, “can’t”. So, it’s longer. So, one way of cheating this pronunciation is to just say, if you’re wanting to say the word “can’t” is just to elongate the sound for longer than natural. So, say “no you caaaaan’t” if you really want to make sure you’re not saying “cunt”, and eventually I’m sure you will learn to shorten it to the exact nice “can’t” length of the word so that it sounds natural.
Again, I want to make sure that you guys understand that I’m doing this solely based on Australian pronunciation. So, how I would pronounce these things and how people who come to Australia and want to speak with Australians try to perfect their accent to avoid these kinds of errors by pronouncing the things differently like this. If you want to sound like an Australian then copy me perfectly. If you want to sound more like an American in cases like this it might be a little easier, but that’s totally up to you guys at the end of the day. So, obviously in Australian English I would say “cunt”, I think Americans would also say “cunt”, but “can’t”, which I say in Australian in English like that “can’t” is a lot closer to “cunt” than American English where they would say “can’t”. “Can’t” and “cunt”. It’s a little… it sounds to me at least a little more distance than say “cunt” and “can’t”.
So, what are some other words in English that sound like “cunt”?
I might add that “munt” there at the end there is a slang word from Australia that means to vomit or to throw up.
And then the word “can’t”.
And something to note here too, the last three words there “plant”, “implant” and “grant”, depending on where you are in Australia and depending on who you’re speaking to this is one of those vowel sounds that is actually… there’s two ways of saying it. So, don’t worry too much about having to say it both ways, but you may here people say “plant”, “implant”, “grant” instead of “plant”, “implant”, and “grant”. And the classic example is “France” and “France”, the country. You can say it either way. For some reason in Australian English we have both pronunciations sort of throughout um… different parts of Australia.
Let’s just do the two different vowel sounds, “uh” and “ah”.
Uh – Ah x 8
And now we’ll do some made up words and real words to practice the sounds “-unt” and “-ant” with different consonants at the start.
Punt – Pant
Lunt – Lant
Stunt – Stant
Bunt – Bant
Front – Frant
Clunt – Clant
Thront – Thrant
Brunt – Brand
Strunt – Strant
Okay. So, now let’s go over the words “cunt” and “can’t” 10 times.
Cunt – Can’t x 10
So I hope that’s really helped guys. This episode’s probably one of the more important ones just to avoid situations where you might say to someone “you can’t” and you may accidentally say “can’t” too quickly and it makes it sound like you say “no you cunt!” So, anyway, it’s something to do, try and practice it multiple times. See how you go and if you have any other words that you want to practice, any other sounds that you want to practice in Australia English, in English English then feel free to send me a message on Facebook and I’ll do an episode on them as soon as I can. ‘Til next time guys!
If you guys enjoyed this episode of Embarrassing English Errors then make sure you check out the rest of the episodes and transcripts here. Also, don’t forget to come visit me on Facebook and let me know what you think of the podcast and say hey to the Aussie English community!