Sunday, October 6, 2013

How to pronounce “Boehner”

Upon many an occasion, this jolly and scholarly site  has provided guidance on the pronunciation of surnames, courtesy of Doctor J, former Editor of Pronunciation for a major named U.S.-based dictionary-publisher, coffee-house wit, and man-about-town.  Thus:  Bashar al-Assad;  Amos Oz; Adalbert von Chamisso; and Tawakkul Karman.  Not to mention such de-onomastic adjectival derivata as:  Quinean, or Pigovian.

And thus we come to the pronunciation of the surname (I would say, “family name”, except that his family has presumably disowned him)  of the most despised, reptilian, contemptible man in America,  code-named John Sphincter, but referred to in the media as Johannes Boehner.

To pronounce "Boehner",  the essential phonological motion is that of the gag reflex

The answer may come as a surprise, though it should not:   It is to be pronounced precisely as you would imagine, given its spelling.  The Boe- part is like toe, roe; and the “h” just emphasises this, as in O, oh.  Thus, the name is pronounced Boner;  rhyming (appropriately enough) with stoner, loner, and zoner.   The prevailing expression in Washington for making an unanticipatedly idiotic political statement is to spring a Boehner.

{ Zur Aussprache:
  Man macht, als wenn etwas ekelhaftes dir im Kehlkopf steckt,
  das man nicht wagt, weder hinunterzuschlucken
 noch hinauszukotzen:
 öööööhhhhhhhhn’rrRRRRRh  }

Now, admittedly, there are those misguided creatures who opine it should be sounded as though it were spelled (which it is not) Baner or Bainer:  as in, “bane of our existence” or “Bain Capital”.  But here they are surely deceived.   I mean -- Look at how it’s spelled:  Boehner,  yo!  I mean seriously -- How do you get “Bainer” out of that?

Additional errant souls may object, that the loathsome outcast gentleman in question  himself demands (fruitlessly, for who would heed him at this point?) that it be pronounced with a long “a” as in anus.   But after months of bending unphotogenically over  and spreading his cheeks to be shtupped up the butt by the Teabaggers, he has forfeited any right to weigh in on the pronunciation of the surname which he has so basely disgraced.

These, then, are the teachings of phonetic science.

~ A simplified and illustrated version of this lecture ~
~ is available to teachers   for use in classrooms ~

The subhuman homunculus (artist’s conception)


In all humility, we realize that our attempt at polemic against this blistering pimple upon the heinie of History, is inadequate to meet the case.
Accordingly, we rang up our good friend and colleague, that master of scurrilous invective, Mr. William Shakespeare, via a version of the Wayback Machine, developed in secret cellars by an Agency we dare not name (and for which you are not cleared  anyway).   I inquired, whether he has had time to follow our present terrestrial follies;  he replied that, as a denizen of Eternity, he now has all the time in the world, or rather out of it. 
He intimated that he has indeed been following the farce, with great disgust;  and as regards Mr. Boehner (which he pronounced “Boner”, though with an Elizabethan twang), he could only call him

a stampy, stinking meat-breath minor strudelkopf;
a mimsy-mouthed, curtailed limping clod-wit;
a reeking, bleeding emerod -- a pus-puffed bubo -- a knave,   a nit.

  Good to see that the Bard of Avon has not lost his touch!

Für psychologisch tiefgreifende Krimis,
in pikanter amerikanischer Mundart,
und christlich gesinnt,
klicken Sie bitte hier:



Bonus funfact:  How to pronounce “Koch”

In a fascinating article, the New York Times revealed that this whole supposedly spontaneous outpouring of grass-roots wrath, that led to the shutdown, was in the planning for months, and bankrolled by the billionaire  Koch brothers.  So:  How do you pronounce “Koch”?

The answer is:  It is pronounced Cock.  And people who fall for the Koch brothers’ tricks are technically refered to as Koch suckers.

[Update 12 Dec 2013]  This post is formally retracted here:


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