‘V-A-S-E ‘ is probably how it is spelled, just like that which is pronounced exactly as it looks, or ‘vays’. ‘Vahz’, ‘vawz’ or ‘voz’ just sounds fancier, . . . or bigger.
That is how I learned it. ‘Vays’ is the smaller version that is designed to contain one or only a few flowers and maybe some foliage. ‘Vahz’, ‘vawz’ or ‘voz’ is the much larger version that is designed to contain entire bouquets or ‘floral arrangements’. Those that contain only dried flowers and foliage do not even need to hold water.
I learned this from those who were experts on the subject. My Aunt Betsy and her best friend Cathy were ‘flower children’. They rented an apartment in a hip and trendy neighborhood in western San Jose back in the early 1970s. The neighborhood was so trendy and hip that the neighbors were known as ‘hippies’. Aunt Betsy and Cathy outfitted their apartment accordingly, with wicker, shaggy rugs, and a big spider plant hanging from beaded macrame.
Of course, there was also a rather big ‘vahz’, ‘vawz’ or ‘voz’. It was cheap molded plaster painted glossy chocolaty brown. It contained a billowy abundance of only two species of dried cut flowers, cattails and pampas grass, that had been sprayed with hair spray to prevent them from sharing their seed. It was as gloriously hideous as it sounds, and more than adequately expressed impeccable cultural refinement and a keen appreciation for the remarkably distinctive and exquisitely tacky style of home decor that was so prevalent at the time.
The cattails might have been collected on the side of Highway 80 in Auburn, near the home of Aunt Betsy’s Great Aunt Mamie. The pampas grass might have been found in Vasona Lake County Park in Los Gatos.