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Cupola--how do you pronounce this word?

How do you pronounce the first syllable of cupola?  

  1. 1. How do you pronounce the first syllable of cupola?

    • cu is kyoo
    • cu is koo
    • Other

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More specifically, how do you say the first syllable. Does it rhyme with cue (kyoo) or coo? Also where do you live/did you grow up? Half of our famly doesn't agree with the pronunciation in our American dictionary. I'm going to make a poll, but feel free to leave comments. Also, I'm happy to see how you say the whole word in case there are differences there, too.

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I've only ever heard the whole word pronounced like this: KOO-puh-luh.


Each Christmas the folks at Mt. Vernon open up the third floor of the mansion to visitors. It is the only time you can see up into the cupola. The docents at Mt. Vernon pronounce it exactly the same way I've always heard it.


ETA: My OED says it should be KYOO-puh-luh.

Edited by Kathleen in VA
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Other - Cup-o-la


I grew up in the south, but I don't recall encountering this word and if I did, it was in a book and I didn't hear it pronounced. However, now I live in DC and there are many cupolas around me. Our block has them on every 5th house, I believe, so the house next to ours has the final one in the row. There's a lovely picture at the heading on my blog that shows the cupola on the other side - four down from my house. I really wanted a house with one when we were buying, but now I'm glad we didn't get one since I've heard cupola horror stories about leaky roofs and how it costs so much more to fix.

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Good to know that the OED has it correct;). Actually, what I think it really means it that the American dictionaries probably need to update their pronunciations. I saw no pattern between the US & Canada (not that many respondents, of course. I have forgotten how I used to pronounce it when I used to read it, but I heard it with a KOO first.


I asked because dh also says Kyoo for the first syllable in coupon, but the dictionarly backs me up on Koo (I think we had a thread on that once, but am not sure.)

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It a cope-u-la.


I'm a navy brat. I don't have a home accent. Every once in a while I'm told a listener can hear a bit of southern, but not enough to place which part of the south I picked it up.


My parents are from OH/PA. They have lived in the south east longer than they ever lived in their home town. So they actually have coastal southern accents.

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I've never heard "cupola" said, so I always imagined it would be said like the above.


A few months ago I looked it up in the dictionary, which indicated I should pronounce it kyoo... if I ever say it!


Never heard of it, but i would say it "cup O la"

And I'd never have imagined it'd be in the dictionary. It sounds like an invented word. Tell me its not a real word. Please.




Returning after I google it. Its those dome things. Once I got past the cup-o-la look of the word. I think its a kew-pole-a (how's that for terrible southern pronunciation. I know what those are. My mind was just not on architecture this morning.

Edited by Karen in CO
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I really don't think this pronunciation is right, because there's no "o" on the end of the word. But I could be wrong...


It doesn't make any sense, does it?


As for the poster with the British teacher who said cup unstead of coop or kyoop, perhaps that's one of the correct British pronunciations. (there are so many different accents there, aren't there?)

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