Time for another Languagehat Poll! There are two English words cist, both ultimately from Latin cista ‘basket’; one, meaning “A wicker receptacle used in ancient Rome for carrying sacred utensils in a procession,” is directly from Latin, the other, “A stone-lined grave, especially a tomb consisting of a pit lined with stones and often having a lid of stone or wood,” comes to us via Welsh, specifically the phrase cist faen ‘stone chest’ (where the second word is the lenited form of maen ‘stone,’ which is apparently related to Old Irish mag ‘field,’ and if you’ve ever seen a field in the west of Ireland you won’t be surprised at that semantic shift). Now, in Welsh the letter c is pronounced /k/, and the second word (‘stone-lined grave’) can be pronounced /kist/ as in Welsh, but the first pronunciation given in dictionaries is the /sist/ you’d expect from the spelling in English. I’m torn as to which pronunciation to mentally adopt as I read the manuscript on archaeology I’m editing; on the one hand, /kist/ is etymologically accurate and distinguishes it from its homograph, but on the other hand it’s very unintuitive and misleading to anyone not familiar with the word (not to mention that it sounds like kissed). But if it’s the pronunciation used by actual archaeologists (and others who use the word in speech), I’m happy to go along with them. Anybody know?