Pretty much all Americans pronounce 'thyme' sans h, the same way we say “time.” It wasn't until I found out there are some parts of the UK where they actually do pronounce it like “thime” that I started second-guessing the proper way to pronounce this herb. I’ve checked with Irish pronunciation sites, though, and they seem to be saying it the same way: time. My gut instinct is that both pronunciations are correct, but I did some research to confirm this just to be safe. 

What is Thyme?

Thyme is an aromatic herb of the mint family. While it's now commonly used all over North America, it originated in the southern Mediterranean. This makes sense, as the name thyme comes from the Greek word 'thumus,' meaning courage. Before thyme was used in your favorite dishes, knights of the medieval times were wearing thyme when they went to battle to signify just how courageous they really were. Something tells me that medieval knights weren't thinking about how to pronounce 'thyme' at all...

Why Should You Care?

Thyme is used for a variety of things, from seasonings to essential oils to herbal remedies for illnesses. It’s definitely an herb you should keep in your pantry and know how to use. Thyme is actually a natural antimicrobial, which means that if you have taken penicillin, or any antibiotic, a bunch of times, the bacteria in your body are probably becoming resistant. Thyme will help you out and make the bacteria stop resisting (i.e. it'll help your meds work to the best of their abilities when you’re sick).

The most common use for thyme is definitely in cooking. Add some sprigs of thyme to any dish and it will nicely complement the flavors that you're already working with. It’s most commonly found in Italian and French dishes. This is largely due to the fact that thyme is a Mediterranean herb, and it makes sense that it’s still used in that region. You can also make roasted veggies with thyme for a delicious side to any home-cooked meal.

You'll be thrilled to know that my gut instinct was right: Merriam Webster now lists both variations as pronunciations, tīm and thīm. There's no need to complicate things, so feel free to pronounce thyme with or without the 'h.' And if you still don’t believe Merriam and I, just listen to this video for further proof.