Of Pith Helmets and Sartorial Colonialism
Even though I own a straw-woven pith helmet/veil combo I’ve formerly used to rob my bee hives, Melania Trump’s haute couture loud statements during her recent Africa jaunt have prompted me to utter the words “Pith Helmet” repeatedly.
There is actually a musical cadence to repeating Pith Helmet, Pith Helmet, Pithhhhh.
Because the tongue is the most active speech articulator, the ejective phonemes, especially the fricative ones, are greatly affected by the tongue’s interaction with the upper and lower dental sound constructions. Thus the θ sound (as in the final th sound in tooth) is one of those unvoiced interdentals that carries much pith to it.
Halaby, Raouf J. Professor Emeritus, "Of Pith Helmets and Sartorial Colonialism" (2018). Articles. 144.