Wednesday, June 06, 2007

You say ji-ro, I say yee-roh

Another food-inspired blog post. (Guess what I had for lunch?)

How do you pronounce that lovely Greek sandwich of lamb, lettuce, tomato, cucumber sauce on pita? You know, a gyro? I added a picture for those of you sadly unfamiliar with the treat.

I've been eating them for years, and in Atlanta, it's pronouced "yee-roh." Anyone who orders a "ji-ro"(long "i") is considered a no-nothing hick. We snicker at their no-nothingness. (In a polite, Southern way, of course.)

But here in New York? Everyone - even the sellers of gyros - pronouces the word like the hicks in Atlanta. Hmm. I know I'm trying to fit in here, but pronouncing it "ji-ro" is just wrong. I mean, ask any Greek - see Zorba, left. (Funny little satire on the controversy here.)

So how do you say it? I promise not to snicker. Well, not so's you can see me . . .

7 comments:

Elsie said...

Hero -- with a hard "H." I'd bet it sounds more like Atlanta than I make it seem.

Liz said...

I've never heard of them but from your description, I would say 'ji-ro'.

It sounds very yummy however you say it. Can you just point to it? 'One of those, please.'

chux said...

not a clue!

PT said...

Liz and Chuckie - shame on you! I refuse to believe you've never had one of them after a night out...

Over here in the UK we call them "Doner Kebabs".

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyros for a complete history!

Winston said...

Luv 'em! I was introduced to gyros by an honest-to-god Greek friend when I lived in Pittsburgh. There was one little Greek gyro shop in downtown where we would go for lunch. They didn't even speak English, but my friend spoke Greek fluently since that was spoken at home by his immigrant parents. The way he pronounced it cannot be written because the first syllable was a very gutteral sound as if you were clearing your throat. If I had to spell it phonetically, it would come out something like ghhhher-o, with the trailing o getting no emphasis at all.

Send me one...

MaryB said...

Yes, Elsie and Winston - kinda like "hero" "yee-ro" (insert guteral-sound)-ee-ro.

Spot on, PT - doner kebabs. Right! I knew you guys had these things, just couldn't remember what you called them.

chux said...

Kebabs !! Or course!! why do you americans have to make our language so difficult at times - ha ha !!

nice, so yes i've had Kebabs, but generally I stick with chicken as its safer. The chilli sauce they put on brings tears to your eyes......oh yes perfect after a a large quantity of beers.