My book Bowie Knife Fights, Fighters, and Fighting Techniques is available from Paladin Press. This blog contains additional information about the bowie knife, as well as the fighting knives of other nations.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Is It Pronounced "Bow-ie" or "Boo-ie"?

One of 22 maps featured in Business Insider showing the way words are pronounced differently in different parts of the United States.

Below the map there is this update from a Texan: "It's pronounced Boo-wie because it's named after Jim Bowie (pronounced Boo-wie), who played a major roll in the Texas revolution. That explains why we're the only ones who pronounce it correctly."

The Texan is correct. The name Bowie--referring to either the man or the knife--have always properly been pronounced to rhyme with Louie, not Joey. It's a Scottish name and that's the correct pronunciation. The 1950s TV program "The Adventures of Jim Bowie" got it right in its theme song.

I suspect the other pronunciation arose when the singer David Jones changed his name to David Bowie so as not to be confused with the lead singer of the Monkees.