Randy Alexander strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 20 16:06:15 UTC 2008

I think I remember looking the word up in a dictionary upon seeing it as
"cummerbund" in print.  This was probably when I was in college, in the late
80s.  I was pretty surprised, as I imagined it as "cumberbund" and didn't
question it, never having heard anyone say it without the extra b.

On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 11:50 PM, Charles Doyle <cdoyle at uga.edu> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "cumberbund"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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.
> --Charlie
> _____________________________________________________________
> ---- 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".
> >
> >arnold
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Randy Alexander
Jilin City, China
My Manchu studies blog:

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list