Bowie (pronunciation)

lingobingo

Senior Member
English - England
<Split from another thread. Nat, Moderator>

More interesting to me is the pronunciation of David Bowie’s surname. For years everyone seemed to pronounce it as bough(rhyming with now)-ee, until suddenly it became bow(rhyming with toe)-ee.
 
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  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Does that BOW rhyme with Joe or with cow?
    Or "boo" - see post #2 - which ought to be the correct pronunciation of his name since he is supposed to have taken if from the knife named after the man (Jim Bowie) who almost certainly pronounced his own name as "boo-ee".

    He's always been David Boe-ee to me. I use the same pronunciation for the knife.
     
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    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Duncan Jones - Wikipedia
    "Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones (born 30 May 1971) is a British-American film director, producer and screenwriter. ...He is the son of the late English singer-songwriter David Bowie."

    I would pronounce Zowie and Bowie to rhyme with cow(ie). However, in line with what turned out to be misleading information, Wiki also says of Bowie: "David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie (/ˈboʊi/, BOH-ee)"

    I can't think that the son would be known as Zowie - /zoi:/ which sounds too much like Zoë.
     
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    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I went to a David Bowie concert in 1983-ish in the U.S. and his name always rhymed with Toe in that era. I don't know if it was ever different before that in the U.S. I've never heard any other pronunciation.

    The former baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn's name was always pronounced Boo-ee. And Kuhn was Kyoon.
     
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    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Moderator note: I have moved the discussion about the pronunciation of Bowie to its own thread. (And then wait till someone brings in the pronunciation of Rowling! :D )
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    This is another of those How do you pronounce it? / How did he pronounce it? questions.
    For years everyone seemed to pronounce it as bough(rhyming with now)-ee, until suddenly it became bow(rhyming with toe)-ee.
    :thumbsup:
    I've pronounced it /ˈbaʊwi/ since 1973. I'm too lazy/stubborn to change.

    Like Mr Q, I think /ˈzaʊwi ˈbaʊwi/ sounds a lot better than /ˈzəʊwi ˈbəʊwi/ for a male person:cool:
     
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