| Down-Staters may well, but up-state we called them shot-ishes. Tommy
| Jarrell, a seminal influence for many younger US old-time fiddlers,
| pronounced it something like sh-odyssey. He didn't play any (as far as I
| know) -- the title of Rochester Schottische (a particularly lovely tune)
| had become attatched to a tune that Tommy played.
Such pronunciation is heard in several parts of North America, and
what they have in common is a local Finnish population. The standard
Finnish spelling of the word is "sottisi" (along with "jenkka", but
that's another story). Finnish doesn't have a voiced/voiceless
distinction, nor a /sh/ consonant, and the word tends to come out
somewhat like "zodizi" or "shoddy-sea", and the others in the area
will pick up such things and produce some godawful bizarre mixed
In any case, central New York (the Finger Lakes) has a small Finnish
population, as does central Mass and southern New Hampshire, in
addition to the better-known northern Wisconsin and upper Michigan.
So their way of pronouncing things gets tossed into the local
stewpot, and strange things bubble forth.
The only times I've heard "shottish" pronounced with /sk/ initially
is in Scottish circles, and often with the stress on the second
syllable. I wonder how it originated?
Then, of course, there's the observation that in Irish circles, the
word "shottish" is often pronouced "hornpipe". I recall some years
ago, when I lived in Wisconsin and played occasionally for some Irish
ceilidh dances. A couple times I invited some step dancers, and
watched their reaction when we played a hornpipe, and all the older
folks got up and started doing a shottish. I heard several of the
step dancers ask what that dance was, and when the response was
"hornpipe", you could practically hear the jaws dropping. But to part
of the Irish-American population, that's what that particular couple
dance is called. Some of them know that it's also called "shottish"
by Germans and Swedes and Finns, but that's ok, we all know that it's
really just a hornpipe.