Cadillac » Catillac

Classification: English – questionable – /t/-flapping

Spotted in the wild:

  • “:rolleyes: now, WHO drives a catillac out of gas on a side road?? :rolleyes: anyhoo ~ i believe they were casing our house. from the road, you couldnt tell …” (link)
  • “Cadillac ‘Pink’ One of the most escentric and outrageous cars within our entire fleet, the famous 1959 Pink Catillac.” (link)
  • “Vincent then heads to boost a Catillac, but unbeknownst to him, … Vincent, speechless, jumps in the Catillac but is immediately stopped by Julius, …” (link)
  • “CUT TO Lowell speeding up and down the street of a gated off community in his pink Catillac, narrowly missing a few kids that are busy playing hop-scotch. …” (link)

A Google web search on “Catillac” yields thousands of examples, most of them irrelevant: Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats (television show of the 80s), other bits of cat-related word play, the Catillac variety of pear, horses named Catillac, people who’ve chosen “catillac” as their username, and so on. Of the remaining examples, some are probably just misspellings, as in the case of the writer (above) who produces both “Cadillac” and “Catillac” in a short description, and also spells “eccentric” as “escentric” (which probably reflects an actual pronunciation). But I suspect that some of the examples arise from an association between Cadillac cars and men who might be referred to either as “cool cats” or as “fat cats”. The t/d confusion stems, of course, from intervocalic flapping in some English dialects.

See also Cadillac converter.

| link | entered by Arnold Zwicky, 2005/09/03 |

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