British pronunciation of lieutenant?

I know this was a topic, but I can’t find the answer…where on earth do they get lef-tenant? It’s two french words - ‘place’ and ‘holder’…



While you’re at it, see if you can find out why buoy is boy, draught is draft, and Tuesday is Chooseday.

From this site:

Re: Tuesday - “Chooseday”

Actually, this is funny, cuz that’s how I naturally pronounced it when I was little…as a Chicagoan with no exposure to Brits. Basically, there’s a sort of rule to this. If a “t” is followed by a “oo” sound in a multisyllabic word, it get palatalized. What you really have is something more like “Tyoosday”, not exactly “Chooseday.” Also, the “Tube” becomes “the tyube” or the “choob.” This rule also applies with "d"s. “Fondue” becomes “Fond-you,” “Duty” become “Dyou-tee” or “jewty,” etc.

Draught = draft. Doesn’t seem so weird to me. The “augh” in “laugh” is also “aff.”

So someone enlighten me, how do people in the US pronounce “buoy”?

boo wee

How about Magdalen College Oxford which sounds like moudelin.

Since this is the SDMB how about our illustrious leader, Cecil. You 'merikans say ceee-cil whereas over this side of the pond it’s cessil.

Actually, we say it both ways. The baseball player Cecil Fielder is usually pronounced “Seh-sull.” I do, however, normally say “See-sull.”

Other oddly pronounced military ranks:

colonel. (kernel? what the hell? from latin for column.)
boatswain (bosan)

Is that the ONLY French word pronounced as it is spelled? :d&r:

Bosun is an abreviation of boatswain.

Influence from the Spanish “coronel” (same rank). The Spanish transposed consonant also makes the word correlate to an “officer of the crown(corona)”.

I’m sure that “colonel” has been treated somewhere in the bowels of the Straight Dope empire, but it’s apparently a case of keeping the spelling of one variant (“colonel”) and the pronunciation of another (“coronel”).

You want weird? How about the way “Churmondeley” is pronounced “Chumley”? It’s enough to make you go to Worcester.

I’m American and I pronounce “bouy” somewhere between “boy” and “boo wee”. Sort of “booy”, one syllable but with more of a long-O sound.

I’ve thought about “colonel”, and this is my theory: “Co-lo-nel” could sound like “co-ro-nel” with a rolled R. From there it’s an easy slur to “ker-n’l”.

Featherstonehaugh: pronounced “Fanshaw”
Bucclueuch: pronounced “Beauly”
Menzies: pronounced “Mingus” (at least by older folks)
Culross: pronounced “Kewross”

Worcester is particularly funny because both it and Wooster are pronounced the same, but neither of them are spelled that way.

I think buoy is pronounced differently throught the States; I’ve heard boo-wee, boo-ee, and boy, but I pronounce it boy-ee (like a rap star, but less so).

Does anybody out there know how to spell the name of the college pronounce “Keys”? It’s pretty weird, isn’t it?


Don’t forget Fotheringay pronounced as “Fungy” with a hard g.

“It’s spelled ‘Luxury-Yacht,’ but it’s pronounced ‘Throatwarbler-Mangrove!’”

the oxford college that sounds like keys is, i think Caius.
that help any?

and regional accents don’t help.

the northern irish mangling of the word “bow” (as in bow wow) makes it sound like “boy” (the irish pronunciation of buoy).
which is confusing in a boat race if the cox or officials are from ulster.

That explains something for me. The longest serving Australian Prime Minister was Robert Menzies. His nickname was Ming but I always assumed it was because of his resemblance to Ming the Merciless from the Flash Gordon series which would have been popular during part of his time in office.