from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective of an English accent Pronouncing the letter r wherever it appears, as in bar (/bɑːɹ/) and bard or barred (/bɑːɹd/); this trait is common in much of the United States, Canada, many parts of the north and west of England, Ireland, and Scotland.
  • adjective Having the quality of the said letter. This includes the sounds of the IPA symbols /ɹ/, /ɻ/, /ɚ/, /ɝ/, and some would say /r/, or r coloring.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Back-formation from rhotacism, coined by John Wells 1968



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  • Does this have anything to do with the difference between the words "center" and "centre"?

    November 20, 2008

  • No, only with the way they are pronounced: the rhotic pronunciation (as in standard US) expresses the final r-sound: /'sɛntər/, whereas a non-rhotic pronunciation doesn't: /'sɛntə:/. It doesn't matter how the word is spelled.

    November 20, 2008

  • I see. Thanks for the clarification, rolig!

    November 20, 2008

  • like the schwa the rhotic vowel is one of the reasons I dislike the sound of American English. I was born in the wrong country in the wrong decade.

    September 24, 2009