Friday, February 3, 2006

Shubenacadie Mactaquac. Eh?

Got this email from my little sister in Stratford, Ontario:

I am thinking of you as our local newscasters keep bungling their attempts to report your local prognosticator's name. The Stratford station was having difficulty with it this morning, until a displaced Nova Scotian called in to set them straight. The last guy, from the Wingham station, didn't even attempt it..."...and in Nova Scotia, ......(pause) ..... the groundhog there said...."

That'd be Shubenacadie Sam. SHOO-buh-NACK-uh-dee. One of many tricky names around these parts.

I got through most of the Federal Election coverage without trip-ups, but on my final run through the Atlantic Canada ridings, I messed up the one I'd actually practised saying beforehand. The New Brunswick riding of Tobique-Mactaquac. I think it's supposed to be "TOE-bick MACK-tuh-QUACK." I ended up saying "toe-BEEK MACK-attack." Must've been hungry for a burger. Got thoroughly razzed for that one.

Also got hung on Lingan. I figured it was LING-uhn. Or perhaps LIN-gun. Turns out it was lin-GANN.

It's tricky 'cuz there's a lot of names that look like they should be pronounced in French. Or are they said the English way? Or is it some bastard deviation from both? Musquodoboit, for instance. Would you guess that it was MUSS-kuh-DAW-bit?

For more on Maritime Canadian English, see Wikipedia.

1 comment:

  1. I think you need a dedicated section on your blog for the pronunciations. It could be a reference page for you while you work, even.

    My two favourite Toronto sticky names? Balliol and Tecumseth.

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