#ThrowbackThursday – “Sherbert” Revisited


On the December 18, 2019, Jeopardy!, the following clue appeared, under BASKIN-ROBBINS’ 31 ORIGINAL FLAVORS $800:

There were lemon, orange & raspberry types of this frozen fruit juice & cream treat

Rodolfo Yuichiro Bedoy’s response was deemed acceptable by the judges. However, there was some consternation online, most notably from Austin Rogers, as to whether or not Rodolfo said “What is sherbet?” or “What is sherbert?”

However, there are some minor differences between the clue last night and what befell Austin back in October 2017.

Here was Austin’s clue:

The main difference between these two desserts that end in the same three letters is that one contains dairy and the other does not

Back in 2017, the judges ruled that while the words “sherbet” and “sherbert” refer to the same thing, according to Merriam-Webster, the “ˈshər-bət” pronunciation is spelled “sherbet” and the “ˈshər-​bərt” pronunciation is spelled “sherbert”. Thus, in Austin’s case, a pronunciation of “ˈshər-​bərt” failed to fit the “end in the same three letters” stipulation that “sorbet” provides. Because that stipulation did not occur in Rodolfo’s case last night, both pronunciations would have been considered to be acceptable and the judges correctly ruled in Rodolfo’s favor last night.


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3 Comments on "#ThrowbackThursday – “Sherbert” Revisited"

  1. 2003 JEOPARDY! College Champion & the host of The Final Wager: Keith Williams knows how Austin feels. In the 1st game of the 2-Day Finals, the clue asked for 2 people born 1,800 years apart, which were Leningrad & St. Petersburg, but Keith wrote down ”Peter”, because he didn’t want to be too specific. However, after Grant Hutchinson wrote down ”Peter I”, and was ruled wrong, the judges had to rule Keith’s response wrong also, because they didn’t know which ”Peter” he was going for, but at least, he made up for it in the 2nd day of the Finals, by getting Final Jeopardy! right about 1945 & 2003, and winning the tournament, as well as $50,000, a Volvo S60R, a trophy & an automatic Tournament Of Champions Invitation. However, over 10 years later, a contestant named Grace Riley, who appeared on 1 of Julia Collins’ games, got credited with just ”Peter”, instead of St. Peter, and on that day’s episode of The Final Wager, Keith was not happy about that, but luckily for him, that was in the 1st game of the 2-Day Finals.

  2. I don’t remember the Austin Rogers situation; but in any case, there’s no such word as sherbert, and I think the judges really missed the boat on this one. Glad it didn’t make any difference in the final result.

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