Buoy, Bowie, pho boy

"I'm okay!"  Even while he's still in the process of falling down, our new student is announcing the upside.  He's just turned three, and he doesn't have very far to fall. Sometimes he's already made his thumbs-up spin pronouncement before checking in with his skinned knees. That leads to post-announcement reassessments reminiscent of  Dubya's "Mission Accomplished" speech, but with cuter Hello Kitty Band-Aids.

Elementary students sitting at the long table are arguing about the pronunciation of phở while they squeeze the salsa from its condiment package and sprinkle faux cheese on their nacho Lunchables.  My sons are  phở -natics, so I know  phở  rhymes with "duh", but not with Homer Simpson's "D'oh!"  

Artist Marc Trujillo has captured the creepiness of a nacho Lunchable, but I won't reproduce an image of his small oil painting.  Please check it out.

Still more pronunciation anxiety arrives via the Wait! I Have a Blog?! post called "Natural Buoyancy". I am transported back to the early Seventies, steering a very small boat around a very small lake. We learned to turn the boat "hard alee" around a buoy.  In Nebraska-speak, that is pronounced "heartily around a boo-WHee".  I still love the sound of the commands, "Prepare to come about; ready about; hard alee!"
ready about
Last warning given by a helmsman before tacking and turning the bow into the wind, notifying the crew that the boom and sail will cross the boat.

Bwoy,oh ,bwoy, what a big can of worms.  Buoy does not rhyme with "La Choy" or "soy", but does rhyme with chop "suey"! According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary, buoy rhymes with chewy, gluey, phooey, and screwy

Oy vey!  Oy rhymes with koi, poi, bok choy, hoi polloi, annoy, borzoi, and Troy, my auto mechanic.
Buoyancy is boy-antsy but like you've just consumed a 25¢ coffee from a paper cup dispensed by a machine in the basement near the stairwell to the art history lecture hall while you are in summer school as a sophomore and considering changing your major.

My grandpuppy, Wiley, presents a new pronunciation problem.  His widdle doggie self esteem is in the pits since he did not advance to the finals in a doggie beauty pageant. I so wish I was closer to give a doggy morale boost by saying, "Wiley, good bwooy!"

"Eureka!" comes from the ancient Greeks meaning "I have found it!". The story goes that Archimedes was soaking in the tub so long his fingers and toes were getting wrinkly.  All of a sudden he understood the theory of buoyancy. Wiley never gets sufficiently relaxed in the bath to discover theories.

BOO-ee is the preferred pronunciation for the legendary Alamo defender and knife namesake, Jim Bowie.  But then there's David Bowie:  Although his name is often pronounced as BOW-ee (-ow as in now) the pronunciation that he uses and we recommend is BOH-ee (-oh as in no). He is married to the Somali-born supermodel Iman (pronounced ee-MAN).

So goodnight for now. I'm exhausted from carrying this buoy through the slough.  

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


Kim said...

Oy vey! and Oye, Ve! rhyme. First husband Jewish, second one from...Tecala. The second phrase is Tecalese for "listen, look!" but is used more like "hey!" or "pay attention" with the "buster" implied.

Yes. Oy!

Collagemama said...

Oooh! That sounds like a very useful idiom. Thanks!

Kathleen said...

Boy, oh boy! My lips hurt.


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