I have long been ridiculed, primarily by my good lady wife, for the time I first ordered a pint of Bombardier.

On that occasion, I pronounced it much as a Frenchman might, but without the French accent.

Bomb (rhymes with Tom)
Bard (from Stratford-upon-Avon)
Dee (my initial initial)
Ay (rhymes with hay)

Its correct pronounciation allegedly goes:

Bomb (see above)
Uh (uh-huh)
Deer (venison)

Whenever I’ve ordered it since, including a pint this evening, I’ve always struggled to choose the right pronunciation in my vain attempt at not sounding like a bit of a twat. Maybe I should go for the Pride.


3 Responses to “Bombardier”

  1. roger on November 3rd, 2008 22:55

    dan, in NI there is a key company in the province called Bombardier pronounced bomb bard ee ay. So you are both right

  2. Simon Everest on November 3rd, 2008 23:49

    The correct pronunciation is of course inherited from the televisual equivalent of an armed forces OED… namely ‘It Ain’t ‘Alf Hot Mum’, and it is (of course) the venison version.

    Conversely, the manufacturers of this – – use the namby pamby version you preferred for your pint. Probably what you’d expect from the almost French.

  3. Steve on November 11th, 2008 06:37

    You are not entirely incorrect. The word is of course derived from the French and was adopted as a non-commissioned rank in the British Royal Artillery, subordinate to a Corporal up until 1920 when it replaced that rank. The correct pronunciation within the British armed forces is of course the latter (venison). In the same way that we have “Leff-tenant” to the American “Loo-tenant”.

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