from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • A country of southwest South America with a long Pacific coastline. Originally inhabited by Araucanian Indian peoples, it was colonized by Spain in 1541 and declared its independence in 1818. Chile annexed mineral-rich territory from Bolivia and Peru following the War of the Pacific (1879–1884). After numerous coups d'état and periods of military rule in the 20th century, Chile reestablished democratic rule in 1990. Santiago is the capital and the largest city.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun See chilli.

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

  • proper noun A country in South America. Official name: Republic of Chile.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun very hot and finely tapering pepper of special pungency
  • noun a republic in southern South America on the western slopes of the Andes on the south Pacific coast


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Quechua chili ("the end of the world").


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  • Serious if chile can release it then the US should be able to. have anyone heard any complaints about the “issues” ATT is holding it for from Chile or Rogers users?

    RIM’s earnings miss Street’s estimate, tanks after hours « Boy Genius Report

  • Den it was, chile, dat I thought of what my mother told me, years ago; it came to me, all fresh -- 'Chile, when trouble comes, you ask de Lord to help you;' and I saw dat I had n't asked de Lord to help me; and now, says I to myself, de Lord can't help me; 'cause he

    Dred; A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp. Vol. I

  • CHILE MINE COLLAPSE: An interactive about the mine collapse in Chile and the 33 miners trapped underground including a timeline and bios of the miners is available, - international/chile - mine - collapse.

    Yahoo! Sports -

  • SANTIAGO, CHILE: An earthquake has rattled an area in northern Chile where the South American country's main mining operations are located.

    The Times of India

  • Trapped chile miners this is the raw video of the trapped Chile minners - Photown News

  • CHILE MINE COLLAPSE: An interactive about the mine collapse in Chile and the 33 miners trapped underground including a timeline and bios of the miners is available, international/chileminecollapse.

    Movies | North Dakota

  • CONCEPCION, CHILE - Authorities in Chile say yesterday's earthquake has left about 300 dead.

    KELOLAND.COM: News, Weather and Sports

  • CHILE: A massive magnitude-8. 8 earthquake struck south-central Chile early on Saturday, reportedly killing 52 people, triggering a tsunami and rattling buildings in the capital Santiago.

    The Times of India

  • TALCA, CHILE - One of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded struck Chile today, toppling homes, collapsing bridges and plunging trucks into the fractured earth.

    Denver Post: News: Breaking: Local

  • Trapped chile miners this is the raw video of the trapped Chile minners - Photown News


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  • Be sure to check all of your Chilean coins!

    February 14, 2010

  • There's been a lot of bad news coming out of Chile this past week. I keep hearing radio news reports about the earthquake, and I know that when I hear one of these reports, I ought to focus on the tragedy and what I can do to help. Instead, my logophile mind focuses on the word "Chile" -- has anyone else noticed that this word is behaving strangely in the mouths of newscasters?

    Most Americans, I think, pronounce it "chilly" (/tʃɪli/). From what I know of Spanish, the local pronunciation is probably closer to "chee-leh" (/tʃile/). I would expect an American newscaster to either use the American pronunciation or an American approximation of the Chilean pronunciation ("chee-lay", /tʃileɪ/, which is what I use).

    Instead, every newscaster I've heard has pronounced it "chillay" (/tʃɪleɪ/). Isn't that weird? Why would the first syllable be American and the second syllable Chilean? To my ear, "chillay" is an awkward amalgam, and I cannot fathom why anyone, especially a newscaster, would use it.

    Can anyone explain this?

    March 5, 2010

  • I'd also be interested to hear how newscasters outside of the U.S. are pronouncing it.

    March 5, 2010

  • Sounds more cultured than "chilly", also has hints of backformation from adjectival form "chillayan".

    March 5, 2010

  • if the stress is on the 2nd syllable and it rhymes with 'delay', then it sounds like a good compromise between naturalness and authenticity. to me, there's nothing as American as the /ei/ used to approximate the pure /e/.

    March 6, 2010

  • moreover, I've found that the phonology of borrowings exhibits a strange combination of awareness and lack of awareness. In the form "chilLAY", the majority of speakers (or announcers, rather) seem to be more strongly aware of length than vowel quality. while /i/ is the vowel in the original country name, it is a short /i/, nigh impossible in Standard English--to this end, they have employed /I/, which satisfies the length component at the expense of the vowel. now, the question is, why should YOUR linguistic system feel the vowel quality is more important than length?

    March 6, 2010

  • If you consider its pronunciation in the phrase "Honey chile", then it's a capitonym (according to the rigorous definition*, not the ridiculously sloppy version of "capitonym" promulgated here on Weirdnik)

    *: a word whose pronunciation changes depending on its capitalization status. See this list

    March 6, 2010

  • I eat my peas with honey

    I've done it all the while

    It makes the peas taste funny

    But it keeps them on the perception that I only rehashed this bit of doggerel to attempt a gratuituous end rhyme with honey chile

    March 6, 2010

  • But ridiculously sloppy can be fun!


    What if we were to capitalize the word "capitonyms" when they're describing only the proper (non-sloppy) ones?

    March 6, 2010

  • There's no dictionary definition here in Weirdnikland yet, so I propose that we pronounce Capitonym the usual way, and pronounce capitonym as captionym.

    March 6, 2010

  • My beef is not with you, 'zuzu, ma cherie. You are free to make whatever lists you choose. It is the official weirdnik endorsement* of what I consider to be a poor definition that frosts my eyeballs.

    But I daresay that I have given this particular peeve as much public petting as could be considered tolerable in polite society. Henceforth I shall just mutter inaudibly under my breath and wave my shillelagh at the monitor when possessed by pique.

    *: "Endorsement" not by specifying a definition, but by its elevation to WOTD or LOTD status, I forget which.

    March 6, 2010

  • Madmouth, that's an excellent point about vowel length, and a nice tidy answer to my question. Thanks!

    So now, a new question, for everybody: How do you pronounce "Chile" (when referring to the country)?

    March 6, 2010

  • My great love for sionnach and his shillelagh is only slightly diminished by his failure to bracket "frosts my eyeballs". :-)

    March 6, 2010

  • Smirk. Back atcha, ptero!

    (I am reminded that I am one of the few site members who has earned the right to deploy the silent 'p' without paying a toll to ptero - I hope the rest of you are keeping up with your dues...)

    March 6, 2010

  • Indeed, I am the rightful owner of the letter P, and am entitled to royalties any time it gets used. (See p, and dog's letter, and remember that I will waive all royalties in perpetuity if presented with a rigorous example of silly poetry.)

    However, it's come to my attention that my ownership rights stemmed from my use of Wordie Pro, and Wordie no longer exists. Therefore, it seems my beloved letter is caught in legal limbo. Until such time as Wordnik Pro is released, I shall have to endure rampant, unregulated use of the letter P.

    What is this world coming to, may I ask, when anyone can use any letter of the alphabet whenever they like, for free?

    I hate freedom.

    March 6, 2010

  • I pronounce it like the Chileans when I'm talking to Chileans (or other Spanish speakers), but when I'm talking to Anglos I usually go with chilly.

    March 6, 2010

  • *Hands ptoll to ptero pregardless*

    After reading these comments, I'm changing my pronunciation--from now on it's "Chillelagh." (Here's a usage example: "Gosh, it's so Chillelagh today. I hope sionnach doesn't frost his eyeballs.")

    March 6, 2010

  • I had a similar length-of-vowel-sound conversation with a linguist many years ago. We were discussing how Americans can tell the difference between the spoken words "writing" and "riding," since he was mocking the American penchant for pronouncing "t" like "d," e.g. "budder"* rather than "butter." I suggested it was the length of the long-I sound, but it was a wild guess on my part.

    * still one of the more hilarious sounds when a Brit tries to say it as an American would. Another example is to have an Australian pronounce the American-style R in "dork."

    March 6, 2010

  • I ditto yarb's use as with Spanish speakers, but otherwise I go with chilly or chillay depending on whether the universe zigs or zags at that moment. Just think of all the parallel realities that creates!

    March 6, 2010

  • cb - Americans tell the difference between "writing" and "riding" simply through context, no? Like other homophones.

    March 6, 2010

  • flapping isn't connected to length. for example, Canadian English distinguishes 'riding' and 'writing' by length, the latter having a short /ai/, but they both have a flap where their 't' or 'd' ought to be. now, Hindi, besides flapping Ts and Ds, also does the N! it's a positive addiction.


    March 6, 2010

  • yarb, that was my first answer. He didn't think that was good enough so I came up with the vowel answer. That kept him busy. It was kind of like ... having a bored toddler, and giving him a box of Kleenex so he can pull out the tissues and amuse himself while you get some work done.

    P.S. as to the original question, I do say "Chill-ay." I think that's how many Americans say it, as opposed to "Chill-y," which I seem to hear more often from Brits, and is how I pronounced it before I ever heard the word spoken (as a kid). I just thought "Chill-ay" was the way it spozed to be. As to why, I think the back-formation idea (from "Chilean") makes the most sense to me.

    March 6, 2010

  • I usually pronounce it as c_b does, if only to avoid confusing it with my bowl of delicious cubed or coarsely ground meat, simmered in a sauce made from red chilies, spices, and other flavorings.

    March 7, 2010

  • See elvis presley for more on pronunciation in Chillelagh.

    March 7, 2010

  • One of the photos shows a wall where someone has spray-painted the words "abajo el capital."

    August 5, 2011