The pronunciation of "Bowie"

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Doc Dan
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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby Doc Dan » Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:36 pm

OldHoosier62 wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:40 pm
Doc Dan wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:05 am
What you all are missing here is that this is not a name in England. It is the name from Louisiana with heavy French, Indian, and Creole, influences on the pronunciation. Boowee is how it has been pronounced for generations. This is not unknown. It is well known. David Bohwee is not Jim Boowee and the knife is pronounced that way in the South, too...unless a pronunciation is brought in from the outside.
The only issues I see with your premise is that the Bowie family hailed from Kentucky...Jim Bowie was born there in Logan County in the late 1700's. They migrated to Louisiana later on. The Bowie surname is of Scottish origins meaning "fair haired", not French. And pronunciation is, like almost every word, regional. Ultimately, neither pronunciation is incorrect.
I understand, but LA is where the pronunciation came from I’m sure. In AL, MS, LA, and TX it’s boowee. The Bowie River in S. MS is the boowee river. I’ve heard bohwee but then I know that person is from up north somewhere.
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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby Enactive » Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:00 am

The Meat man wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:05 pm
Evil D wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:27 pm
It's a tomato/tomato thing. In KY you know who's local and who's not by how they say Louisville.
How do the locals say it? With the "S" sound?

It's the same way with a town close to where I live: Versailles, Missouri. It's pronounced how it looks in English.
Lots of French place names but not so much French pronunciation. :)

Re the topic, I grew up pronouncing it boh-ee. Boo-ee sounds very strange to my ears. ;)
David can correct me if needed, but...
"Loovil" or "Luval" not sure how to best spell out those phonics. :D

Non-locals usually say "Looey ville"

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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby standy99 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:54 am

Bow-ee in Australia

A buoy is a “boy” here also......
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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby ChrisinHove » Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:55 am

The Meat man wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:05 pm
Evil D wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:27 pm
It's a tomato/tomato thing. In KY you know who's local and who's not by how they say Louisville.
How do the locals say it? With the "S" sound?

It's the same way with a town close to where I live: Versailles, Missouri. It's pronounced how it looks in English.
Lots of French place names but not so much French pronunciation. :)

Re the topic, I grew up pronouncing it boh-ee. Boo-ee sounds very strange to my ears. ;)
Ver-sails not veyr-sigh?

Locally we have Lewes - lewis (where Thomas Paine lived and worked for a while), then there’s loads like Derby - darby, Worcester - wooster, Warwick - wahrick , Gloucester - gloster - all apparently designed to catch out the American visitor.

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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby Evil D » Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:51 am

The Meat man wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:05 pm
Evil D wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:27 pm
It's a tomato/tomato thing. In KY you know who's local and who's not by how they say Louisville.
How do the locals say it? With the "S" sound?

It's the same way with a town close to where I live: Versailles, Missouri. It's pronounced how it looks in English.
Lots of French place names but not so much French pronunciation. :)

Re the topic, I grew up pronouncing it boh-ee. Boo-ee sounds very strange to my ears. ;)


Most say "Loo-a-vull" so when people say "Loo-ee-vill" or even worse "Loo-is-vill" you know they're not local.
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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby The Meat man » Fri Dec 20, 2019 6:00 am

ChrisinHove wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:55 am
The Meat man wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:05 pm
Evil D wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:27 pm
It's a tomato/tomato thing. In KY you know who's local and who's not by how they say Louisville.
How do the locals say it? With the "S" sound?

It's the same way with a town close to where I live: Versailles, Missouri. It's pronounced how it looks in English.
Lots of French place names but not so much French pronunciation. :)

Re the topic, I grew up pronouncing it boh-ee. Boo-ee sounds very strange to my ears. ;)
Ver-sails not veyr-sigh?

Locally we have Lewes - lewis (where Thomas Paine lived and worked for a while), then there’s loads like Derby - darby, Worcester - wooster, Warwick - wahrick , Gloucester - gloster - all apparently designed to catch out the American visitor.
Yep Ver-sails is correct.

Yeah you British take it to a whole new level. :p :D
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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby The Meat man » Fri Dec 20, 2019 6:11 am

Evil D wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:51 am
The Meat man wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:05 pm
Evil D wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:27 pm
It's a tomato/tomato thing. In KY you know who's local and who's not by how they say Louisville.
How do the locals say it? With the "S" sound?

It's the same way with a town close to where I live: Versailles, Missouri. It's pronounced how it looks in English.
Lots of French place names but not so much French pronunciation. :)

Re the topic, I grew up pronouncing it boh-ee. Boo-ee sounds very strange to my ears. ;)


Most say "Loo-a-vull" so when people say "Loo-ee-vill" or even worse "Loo-is-vill" you know they're not local.
Ah interesting. Thanks!
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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby James Y » Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:52 pm

I've heard both pronunciations, but had always pronounced it Bo-wee. Just like I've always heard David Bowie's name pronounced Bo-wee.

Jim

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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby Jazz » Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:16 am

ChrisinHove wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:54 am
Bow-ee as in bough/bow of a tree?

That's how I've always said it. How is bow pronounced as "boo"? :confused:
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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby Doc Dan » Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:23 am

Jazz wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:16 am
ChrisinHove wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:54 am
Bow-ee as in bough/bow of a tree?

That's how I've always said it. How is bow pronounced as "boo"? :confused:
Really it is a regional pronunciation. In Alabama the surname Jordan is pronounced jerdan.

As for Bowie being boowee, there is an alternate spelling of Bouie as the area was heavily influenced by the French.
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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby The Deacon » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:43 pm

ChrisinHove wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:54 am
I never knew! Boo-ee... I’ll need to get used to that.

Bow-ee as in bow and arrow?

Bow-ee as in bough/bow of a tree?

I’ve heard them both for the late, great musician.

I've heard the knife and its original owner's name prounouced Boo-ee and Bow-ee as in bow arrow or beau, but can't recall ever hearing it pronounced Bow-ee as in bough or "take a bow".
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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby MichaelScott » Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:09 pm

During the latter stage of his life, Bowie was a Mexican citizen, married to Bexar’s governor’s daughter, Ursula. Then, in 1836 he died as a Tejano revolutionary. How did he and his contemporaries pronounce Bowie? We don’t really know. My father and sister were born in Bowie, Texas and I lived there for some years. Fair or say that no one who is native to Texas or grew up there says Bow-ie.
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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby Doc Dan » Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:37 am

MichaelScott wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:09 pm
During the latter stage of his life, Bowie was a Mexican citizen, married to Bexar’s governor’s daughter, Ursula. Then, in 1836 he died as a Tejano revolutionary. How did he and his contemporaries pronounce Bowie? We don’t really know. My father and sister were born in Bowie, Texas and I lived there for some years. Fair or say that no one who is native to Texas or grew up there says Bow-ie.
Yep. If they say that they is furiners.
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Else, wherefore born?" (Tennyson)


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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby bearfacedkiller » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:02 am

Jazz wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:16 am
ChrisinHove wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:54 am
Bow-ee as in bough/bow of a tree?

That's how I've always said it. How is bow pronounced as "boo"? :confused:
Have you seen Swamp People? Do you know what the accents of our friends in the bayou sounds like. Take everything you know about phonics and throw it out the window. ;)

Regional language is strange. I grew up in Massachusetts and we have more phonetically bizarre town names of any place I know of.
Leominster= Lemon-stir
Worchester= Woo-stir
Some folks in New England can pronounce their “R”s and some cannot so those could also be Lemon-stah or Woo-stah.
The list goes on...
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theody ... usetts.amp

Also tons of whacky Native American names. Like Lake Chaubunagungamaug. also known as Lake Char­gogg­a­gogg­man­chaugg­a­gogg­chau­bun­a­gung­a­maugg. Say what!?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... sachusetts
Last edited by bearfacedkiller on Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby Ankerson » Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:37 am

MichaelScott wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:09 pm
During the latter stage of his life, Bowie was a Mexican citizen, married to Bexar’s governor’s daughter, Ursula. Then, in 1836 he died as a Tejano revolutionary. How did he and his contemporaries pronounce Bowie? We don’t really know. My father and sister were born in Bowie, Texas and I lived there for some years. Fair or say that no one who is native to Texas or grew up there says Bow-ie.

I am from Texas originally and we always said Boo-ee….

As in Bowie, Texas...

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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby James Y » Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:48 am

bearfacedkiller wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:02 am
Jazz wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:16 am
ChrisinHove wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:54 am
Bow-ee as in bough/bow of a tree?

That's how I've always said it. How is bow pronounced as "boo"? :confused:
Have you seen Swamp People? Do you know what the accents of our friends in the bayou sounds like. Take everything you know about phonics and throw it out the window. ;)

Regional language is strange. I grew up in Massachusetts and we have more phonetically bizarre town names of any place I know of.
Leominster= Lemon-stir
Worchester= Woo-stir
Some folks in New England can pronounce their “R”s and one cannot so those could also be Lemon-stah or Woo-stah.
The list goes on...
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theody ... usetts.amp

Also tons of whacky Native American names. Like Lake Chaubunagungamaug. also known as Lake Char­gogg­a­gogg­man­chaugg­a­gogg­chau­bun­a­gung­a­maugg. Say what!?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... sachusetts
I’m going OT a bit, but the original name for Bangkok, Thailand, is the longest place name in the world:

Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharet Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.

:)

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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby ChrisinHove » Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:44 pm

Bing Crosby pronounces it Boo-wie.

https://youtu.be/n9kfdEyV3RQ

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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby Kels73 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:54 pm

Thanks to Jim Bowie's role in the famous Sandbar Fight of 1827, Bowie knives became wildly popular, especially in the Old South. Today, most people I know from that region are adamant that it's pronounced "boo-ee." Because so much time has passed, this does not provide positive proof of original pronunciation. However, it leads me to guess that it probably is how the Bowie family pronounced their name. If I were a gambling man, my money would be on "boo-ee."

As popular as the Bowie knife was, I'd be interested to know if it is listed in old dictionaries from that era. Perhaps someone has access to a large university library with a good selection of old reference books. A dictionary entry from the mid-1800s would definitely add an interesting data point to the discussion.

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Re: The pronunciation of "Bowie"

Postby VooDooChild » Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:28 pm

I always said and heard boweee. Bow as in bow and arrow. Eee as in e.

Booeee, or even boowee sounds just like buoy to me.
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