I hear the Lebanese saying it |eymáta|, which gets me to the idea that the etymology of the word should have been |ey+mata|, fusing together to become /e͡ɪmta/ (peasant pronunciation), then reaching Cairo as /emta/.
- Note, that this vowel /e͡ɪ/ is the exact English pronunciation of a in "make". This pronunciation is rural in some places in Egypt & I have noticed it. For example, the word /feːn/ where would be pronounced /fe͡ɪn/.
- A related note: /feːn/ is pronounced as /fɛːn/ as well or even more open [ɛ̞] approaching [æ] of /ˈænæ/ me, but those pronunciations are not prestigious & rare. /ɛ/ is the vowel of the American English e in "pen" which is slightly more open than /e/. --Dudi 21:50, 15 May 2010 (UTC)