Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Nov 20 19:00:42 UTC 2008

At 11/20/2008 05:27 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'

And Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>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.

As we all know, there is New York and New England, and all else is
simply west of the Hudson.*  (See the New Yorker map, if I have the
right citation.)

* Except, apparently, for Neal Whitman's -- but not Charles Doyle's
-- Georgia and Texas localities.


P.S.  Talking about cummerbunds seems almost as popular here as
talking about Jane Austin is on the 18th-century list.


>>I, having been well-educated in New York City, and Webster (New
>>World, Collegiate Edition) both know it only as "cummerbund", and
>>know it is from the Urdu and Persian for "loin band".  (My) Roget
>>doesn't have it, so I don't know what else I can call it.

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list