Caff or Café ?!


I had never really realised that I had an accent until moving away to university this year. I suddenly found myself surrounded by friends who have grown up outside of London and can tell you about many fascinating things, such as different types of cows…

Every Thursday, after our morning lecture, a few of my friends from English developed a routine of visiting a food and hot beverages establishment called the ‘Humanities Cafe’. It wasn’t long until a very heated debate developed… no, not over who got the last sausage roll (that’s for another post!) but about the pronunciation of the name of the ‘Humanities Cafe’. My friends believe it should be pronounced ‘Café’ (eyeroll!), and I always refer to it as ‘Caff’. Now this may seem like a trivial topic, however, it has been over a month since this debate first came about and I feel it is time to get it settled!

Picture this: you’re hungover, you’ve had a heavy night down the boozer with the lads watching the England game. All you can think of is a fry up – you head down to the local greasy spoon. Café or Caff?

To me, the pronunciation ‘Café’ evokes the image of a posh café, overlooking the Eiffel Tower, with red and white chequered table clothes, that serves bon bons and croissants … not the restaurant I go to each week, in an English university (in Coventry!!!) to get my sausage roll fix.

I am holding a twitter poll to get this solved once and for all (please prove me right) and vote @cgoedecke

What pronunciations do you argue about? Let me know…


3 thoughts on “Caff or Café ?!

  1. Gemma (@5ghayter) says:

    It depends what kind of establishment it is!
    If it’s a quaint tea shop – think Costa, Starbucks, Café Nero…. then it should be pronouced “ca-fay”.
    If it’s a place that you might picture yourself in if you were on the loosing team of The Apprentice, or if they sell chips with anything on the menu – what I call a greasy spoon cafe, then it should be pronounced “caff”.
    If I don’t know the place, I take the lead from the e/é. e= “caff”. é=”ca-fay”


  2. Juliet | Not Capulet says:

    Personally I’d say café because that’s what the little accent above the E means! Caff is more slang for me.

    At my uni we always debated about what a bread roll should be called. I’m from the midlands so it’s a cob for me, but for others it’s a bap, a roll, a bun, a bread cake or even a barm. Which is just plain weird!


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