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How do you pronounce ‘lingerie’?

April 5, 2018

I’m watching Not Going Out – a very traditional, old-school comedy which I do think is pretty funny – and one of the characters just tried to say the word lingerie and pronounced it longeré. This is of course a very common mistake but I still can’t get used to it. I still can’t think it sounds OK. In French the sound in rhymes with pang (sort of) and -ie rhymes with wee. So the whole word would rhyme with…

Do you know, I just went on Rhymezone and tried it out and I was given options such as overstay. Truly. So now this mispronunciation is so entrenched that it’s actually an official rhyme – whoever compiles that rhyming website really does think that -ie (in French) is pronounced –ay.

Of course that’s obviously bollocks. Lingerie ought to rhyme with canopy (sort of).

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One Comment
  1. Simon Carter permalink

    Apparently this is called Hyperforeignism and appears to be an American pronunciation (like naieve-tay and noo-gut). As an aside in the 60’s football programmes often listed the colour of the players “stockings” and the New York Knicks basketball team are actually the New York Knickerbockers.

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