Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Thu Nov 20 15:50:51 UTC 2008

I expect one problem is that most of us academic listfolks, and most of the individuals we converse with regularly, don't typically have occasion to use the word (or don its referent) much.

Until this present discussion, I myself (Texan/Georgian) would have pronounced--and spelled--the word as "cumberbun" (+b, -d).  However, if a student on a paper had spelled it some other way, I would have looked the word up in the dictionary.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 07:27:02 -0800
>From: Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
>On Nov 20, 2008, at 2:27 AM, Lynne Murphy wrote:
>> But in western NYS, I knew it as 'cumberbund'.  I would've thought the 'mispronunciation' is at least as widespread (if not more) than the 'real' pronunciation.

>"mispronunciation" was not my label, of course.
>in any case, i asked two friends (both ca. 50, both white) about the word at lunch yesterday -- by describing the object and asking what they called it.
>one (a woman who grew up in maine) offered "cummerbund", the other (a man who grew up in bethlehem, pa.) offered "cumberbund".  each was surprised at the other's variant.
>like several others who posted here, i heard only one "b" in the word in the rap song.  it then occurred to me that there are undoubtedly people who think that the word is *spelled* "cumberbund", but is normally pronounced, 'casually', with only one "b".

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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