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Monday, January 28, 2013

How Do You Pronounce the Word "Homage"?

Posted by on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Do you say it like a common, American "Ah-muj" or a pretentious, Frenchy "Oh-majsh"? Here's what Merriam-Webster says. Thank Christ.

 

Comments (58) RSS

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58
Agree with #9. The fact that certain among us must ALWAYS point out the perceived superiority (i.e. snootiness) of "others" proves how inferior, and simple minded Americans really are. Stick up YOUR Yank asses much?
Also #12 says "The pretentious pronunciation is new. No one EVER said it that way until a couple of years ago." Uhhhhm; save for roughly 60,000,000 French countrymen who know a bit more about their language than you. What a friggin arrogant, SNOOTY tool.
Posted by GotUrNmbr on January 26, 2014 at 1:33 AM · Report this
pfffter 57
I always hate it when people put on the momentary "I'm speaking with a foreign accent!" for one word, then drop it. Like Giada de Laurentiis does with any Italian word on her cooking shows. Irritating.
Posted by pfffter on January 30, 2013 at 11:43 AM · Report this
litlnemo 56
I never noticed it before, but el ganador @20 is right. I've always heard it pronounced in two different ways -- "paying homage" is ah-muj, but "it's an homage to a great artist" is "oh-mahz." Huh.
Posted by litlnemo http://slumberland.org/ on January 29, 2013 at 9:38 PM · Report this
55
I remember being REALLY weirded out the first time I heard someone pronounce the "er" in "foyer."
Posted by Gloria on January 29, 2013 at 3:12 PM · Report this
54
#20 has the right answer. Next?
Posted by GasparFagel on January 29, 2013 at 4:22 AM · Report this
53
Ahhhh now I see why everyone looked at me funny when I talked about that cute little bar across from rite aid. You all referred to it as "Bloo", didn't you?
Posted by zobot http://wsu.academia.edu/zoealeshire on January 28, 2013 at 11:39 PM · Report this
52

That Dictionary pronunciation is real good...if your goal is to speak like Lorraine Bracco.

I say homage like omelet.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on January 28, 2013 at 8:35 PM · Report this
pg13 51
Why do I get the feeling that Dominic has been called "dum-Oh-NEEK" one too many times?
Posted by pg13 on January 28, 2013 at 7:46 PM · Report this
JonnoN 50
"vice versa" is pronounced "wee-kay wer-sa"

:D
Posted by JonnoN http://www.backnine.org/ on January 28, 2013 at 7:43 PM · Report this
49
Jen @19--
Le Boog, I like it. Latte however is an Italian word and hence it is correct to pronounce the final e. The corresponding word in French is lait pronounced lay.
And Fnarf is correct, if you order a "latte" in Italy you will get a quizzical look followed by a glass of milk.
Posted by crone on January 28, 2013 at 7:22 PM · Report this
persimmon 48
I speak French, so I tend to say it the French way. Unless it's "pay homage to," and then I apparently combine the French and the American ways into some horrible chimera of a word. Then again, I live in the South, so nobody pronounces anything correctly.
Posted by persimmon on January 28, 2013 at 7:22 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 47
I sometimes listen to Alt Latino, an English language program featuring Latin music, and it drives me crazy that they pronounce "Los Angeles" as a Spanish speaker abroad would.

Fine, pronounce "Acapulco" as a native of Acapulco would, but go with the native pronunciation of American locales. Or should we all be pronouncing Mt. Rainier as "moh rhenyay?"
Posted by Free Lunch on January 28, 2013 at 7:13 PM · Report this
46
LOTS.
But, hey, that's the subject of lots of movie and in person jokes.
Posted by gloomy gus on January 28, 2013 at 7:05 PM · Report this
45
Movie AND IN PERSON.
But, hey, that's the subject of lots of movie and in person jokes.
Posted by gloomy gus on January 28, 2013 at 7:04 PM · Report this
44
But, hey, that's the subject of lots of movie and in person jokes.
Posted by gloomy gus on January 28, 2013 at 7:02 PM · Report this
43
I nominate @38's closer for the Hall of Fame. LOOK AT IT.
But, hey, that's the subject of lots of movie and in person jokes.
Posted by gloomy gus on January 28, 2013 at 7:02 PM · Report this
Fnarf 42
@41, I would say that people who do not mispronounce fairly uncommon words fairly often don't read at a high enough level. You're much more likely to first encounter words that are surprisingly pronounced in reading than in hearing them. Unless you're dumb.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 28, 2013 at 6:55 PM · Report this
Rhett Oracle 41
I would love to add another deux francs, but frankly je suis très fatigué. Pronouncing any word correctly is not a sin. I thought I was so smart the first time I used the word 'debacle' in public and was quickly informed that it wasn't 'debbicle'. I've been forever grateful to the smart-ass who corrected me. And for, now ah-DOO...
Posted by Rhett Oracle on January 28, 2013 at 6:49 PM · Report this
Fnarf 40
@38, why is it that you are unable to write intelligible English, Will? Don't say "Canadian".
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 28, 2013 at 6:35 PM · Report this
Knat 39
Count me as another of the usage-specific pronunciation crowd.
Posted by Knat on January 28, 2013 at 6:19 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 38
@36 there is a vast difference between a Spanish accent, a Barcelona accent (s instead), a Northern Mexican accent, a Baja Mexican accent, a Texan accent from someone who is Hispanic, and someone in Cali.

But, hey, that's the subject of lots of movie and in person jokes.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 28, 2013 at 6:16 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 37
It also depends on where you live. Some places like Louisiana have large French-speaking populations and pronounce the words differently from other regions of the US. I always add a ",y'all" to the end, like a good Texan born and bred.

Seriously, who the frack made you the language police.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 28, 2013 at 6:13 PM · Report this
Fnarf 36
@31, of course not, because those are not the accepted American pronunciations of those words. If they developed that way, then yes, they would be acceptable. That's extraordinarily unlikely, though, in a highly mediated country with 50 million Spanish speakers in it.

But you should not linger over the misapprehension that saying "kay sah DEE yah" and "tah MAH lee" in your ordinary American voice is correct Spanish. It'll do, but you're butchering the vowels (and the consonants). That's what having an accent is all about. If you pronounce those words EXACTLY as a Mexican (which one, though?) would, you'll sound affected -- the correct sounds are incorrect, to some extent.

This effect is greatly heightened for words that have not entered English. "Quesadilla" and "tamale" have. If you're saying "huitlacoche" or "cochinita pibil" it's normal to put a little Mexican accent on it without sounding like a dork because there's no English way to say it. Unless your Spanish is completely free of American accent (which is difficult) you'll still be a bit off, though. You'll be understood well enough to enjoy huitlacoche or cochinita pibil, though, so who cares?
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 28, 2013 at 6:12 PM · Report this
35
I say it with a lisp like a good Stranger bum boy.
Posted by Stranger'sWorstNightmare on January 28, 2013 at 6:02 PM · Report this
Womyn2me 34
Depends. If I am an underling of a royal type person, I do "ah-muj". as in 'Ah-Maj in the Middle Ages was the ceremony in which a feudal tenant or vassal pledged reverence and submission to his feudal lord, receiving in exchange the symbolic title to his new position (investiture).'

If I am doing something to honor something else, Im doing an 'oh-majsh'. As in "The concept now often appears in the arts where one author shows respect to a topic by calling it an oh-majsh, such as Homage to Catalonia.'
Posted by Womyn2me http://http:\\www.shelleyandlaura.com on January 28, 2013 at 5:47 PM · Report this
33
@13 - 'Allemagne" comes from the 'Alamans', a confederation of Germanic tribes, meaning 'all men'. This was, of course, way before nazi Germany but I can't tell whether you were being serious.
Posted by anon1256 on January 28, 2013 at 5:40 PM · Report this
Fnarf 32
The real problem is that the average American cannot say French vowels at all, or Spanish or any other language, and if you can you sound impossibly pretentious, or at least odd, because the tone of the word stands out from the rest of your speech. An American pronouncing "homage" in the French style isn't saying the second syllable as "ajzh"; it's more like "ah-uhjzh". It's almost impossible for an English speaker to not dipthong-ize his or her vowels, and sounds weird if you can manage it. Precisely correct foreign words sound like you're quoting something.

Besides, "homage" is not a French word. It's an English word of French origin, which is different.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 28, 2013 at 5:37 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 31
@17,

Well, there's also the matter of how Iowans pronounce "Des Moines" and how Washingtonians pronounce it, since Washington has the ignoble distinction of pronouncing the 's' in "Moines".

I also find it impossible to believe that Merriam-Webster, or any dictionary, wouldn't recognize both pronunciations for "homage" as valid.

@28,

So you're fine with Americans saying kwe-suh-dill-luh (quesadilla)? Or tuh-mail (tamale)? There are many Americans who bastardize Spanish words to that extent.
Posted by keshmeshi on January 28, 2013 at 5:37 PM · Report this
Fnarf 30
@16, you obviously have never had a delicious bowl of porr-AJZH.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 28, 2013 at 5:32 PM · Report this
29
Nope, going with the French.
Posted by westello on January 28, 2013 at 5:22 PM · Report this
Fnarf 28
@19, why would you ever want to pronounce that? It just means "milk". Say "milk". If you're in Italy and want milk, sure, go ahead and say "latte" (but don't expect any coffee in it, and expect smirking and snickering as they set the giant glass of plain milk in front of you). If you want a caffe latte, you should grow up. Adults don't drink milk in their coffee after 9 AM, and then they have cappuccino.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 28, 2013 at 5:10 PM · Report this
27
I grew up in Pittsburgh, where we pronounce Versailles as Ver-sails. I say hom-idge.

I live in south Louisiana now, though, so I have learned to use French pronunciation (or at least Cajun French pronunciation) more. I don't say Or-leens any more. I have learned that it is Or-lins, for example.
Posted by Sheryl on January 28, 2013 at 5:05 PM · Report this
Jaymz 26
PS - obviously, @20 and @21 are faster than I!
Posted by Jaymz on January 28, 2013 at 4:48 PM · Report this
Jaymz 25
A serious response would be that I agree with @2: That I "give homage" to a person or idea, but that when referring to the subject itself, such a collection is "an O-mage" to that person or idea.

Otherwise, potato poe-taa-toe, tomato tow-maa-toe.
Posted by Jaymz on January 28, 2013 at 4:46 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 24
@19 - Not quite as bad as the English with their GAAR-ridges and their VAL-letts, but yes.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on January 28, 2013 at 4:44 PM · Report this
originalcinner 23
And while we're here, why is Cordon Bleu pronounced Cordon BLUE here? It's not spelled blue, so it's not pronounced blue. (mutter mutter mutter)
Posted by originalcinner on January 28, 2013 at 4:44 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 22
Dominic, this is no time to talk about language control. Have you no shame, sir?
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on January 28, 2013 at 4:42 PM · Report this
douchus 21
Paying AHmidj to an ohMAHDJ.
Posted by douchus on January 28, 2013 at 4:41 PM · Report this
20
@2 I also thought it was pronounced differently for different uses. If you're "paying homage" to someone as in paying respect, it's ah-muj, but if you're representing something as a tribute (artistically for example), it's oh-majsh. Right? I've never not heard it differentiated that way, since I was a young-un.
Posted by el ganador on January 28, 2013 at 4:39 PM · Report this
19
So do all of you pronounce "latte" "Latt"?

We Americans have a special bug up our asses about France. A French bug. I call it Le Boog.
Posted by Jen Graves on January 28, 2013 at 4:37 PM · Report this
fletc3her 18
It should be pronounced like hom-modge.
Posted by fletc3her on January 28, 2013 at 4:35 PM · Report this
Fnarf 17
How do they pronounce it in Des Moines? Or Quinault? Or Detroit or St. Louis?

@12, that word should only be used in "fraught with meaning" and then only when describing noir movies or soap operas.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 28, 2013 at 4:34 PM · Report this
originalcinner 16
I grew up in Britain. I say "hommidge" to rhyme with "porridge". Homage does not rhyme well with oatmeal.
Posted by originalcinner on January 28, 2013 at 4:34 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 15
@13 and that is why you should drink ice cider. Cidre glassee.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 28, 2013 at 4:22 PM · Report this
14
I'm with @10.
Posted by Faber on January 28, 2013 at 4:18 PM · Report this
kk in seattle 13
Jen @9: You wouldn't have liked us when we sneered at our college classmate (who majored in French) for pronouncing "adroit" ah-DRAWH. I still remember the beer coming out my nose when another roommate, who was from Beloit, realized that he'd been mispronouncing his hometown his entire life.

(Our French major classmate committed suicide shortly thereafter, but we don't think our sneering was the only cause.)

When we import words from another language, we are under no obligation whatsoever to retain the initial pronunciation. And that's not just an American thing. Go to Japan and order chocolate ice cream and you'll get stared at. But if you order "chokorayto aisu creamu," you'll get dessert.

Trust me, the French, even if they speak a dozen languages, do not refer to Germany as "Deutschland." They call it "Allemagne," meaning: "Naziville."
Posted by kk in seattle on January 28, 2013 at 4:14 PM · Report this
kk in seattle 12
The pretentious pronunciation is new. No one EVER said it that way until a couple of years ago. Also recent, and spreading fast: using "fraught" without any further description. We used to say "fraught with danger" or fraught with something else--anything really (the original meaning being related to "freight," as in "laden with" or "heavy with"). Now it's just "fraught." Well, fraught with what? Fraught with fuck-all, I guess.
Posted by kk in seattle on January 28, 2013 at 4:04 PM · Report this
Dominic Holden 11
@9) I don't say "Par-EE"; I say "Paris."
Posted by Dominic Holden on January 28, 2013 at 4:01 PM · Report this
Ziggity 10
trib·ute
Posted by Ziggity on January 28, 2013 at 3:57 PM · Report this
9
I would like to say that I do pronounce it like an East Coast maintenance worker with a cigar in my lips might, but I do not think there's anything remotely pretentious about saying a French word in the French pronunciation. This sort of thing only makes us feel bad (I have my own versions of this story, even though this isn't one of them) because we're the only idiots in the world who only speak one language. Don't you agree, Doms?
Posted by Jen Graves on January 28, 2013 at 3:57 PM · Report this
8
Frechy, duh. I blame Canada as per usual.
Posted by tired and true on January 28, 2013 at 3:54 PM · Report this
7
I was raised by a Canadian. I say it the pretentious way, but with an 'eh' at the end.
Posted by ProstSeattle on January 28, 2013 at 3:51 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 6
@5 I say "Cheese".
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 28, 2013 at 3:48 PM · Report this
DVNODVNO 5
Do you say "Fromage" like a common, American "Frah-muj" or a pretentious, Frenchy "Froh-majsh"?
Posted by DVNODVNO on January 28, 2013 at 3:44 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 4
French, but with the H pronounced.

@3 for the What Real Americans Pronounce It Like win.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 28, 2013 at 3:39 PM · Report this
sirkowski 3
The H is silent?
Posted by sirkowski http://www.missdynamite.com on January 28, 2013 at 3:37 PM · Report this
joshinseattle 2
i believe it's "ah-muj" if you're just saying homage, but if you're saying AN homage it shifts to "oh-majsh"
Posted by joshinseattle on January 28, 2013 at 3:36 PM · Report this
1
I'm pretty sure I've never used the word except with ironic intent. And so I've always used the pretentious Frenchy form.

If I ever used it sincerely, I'd go with Mirriam-Webster's
Posted by Alden on January 28, 2013 at 3:35 PM · Report this

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