Pronunciation of "brooch"

Chuck Borsos sqeezbox at CRUZIO.COM
Fri Apr 21 18:51:30 UTC 2000

I'm curious about the pronunciation of "brooch".  My wife is originally
from Chicago and pronounces it to rhyme with "coach", I'm originally from
Northeast Ohio and pronounce it to rhyme with "pooch".

My handy Merriam-Webster Collegiate gives both pronunciations with the long
o pronunciation coming first.  The OED gives the long o pronunciation, and
then adds the long u pronunciation as occasionally heard.

The derivation of "brooch" is from "broach", the former spelling being
recent.  There are all kinds of meanings for "broach" having to do with
things that stick, the change to "brooch" in spelling seems to also involve
more specificity in meaning towards "an ornamental pin".

My questions are thus:  How common is the second pronunciation (long u, to
rhyme with pooch)?  Is there a regional distribution of that pronunciation?
It would seem that the second pronunciation is based on spelling.


Chuck Borsos
Santa Cruz, CA

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