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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.