Follies O'Barry

Most of us pronounce foreign names according to our native scheme of pronunciation. Some of the results are bizarre: How did the British (surely it was they) get "Leghorn" from "Livorno"? But others make some sense, at least to us: Why would the French say "Paree" when the word "Paris" has an "s" right there in front of you?
In the case of my own first name, "Jud," as spoken by a Parisian, the foreign mispronunciation was a gift. American, it's prosaic: Mud with a "j." No puff on the "d"--it's a dam. But the first time I heard a French person try it (admissions office, L'Alliance Francaise), I was entranced. Say what? Jeux de Barry? Was she talking to me?
"De." I now had a shiny, fake aristocratic particle next to my last name. And "Jeux." It's the plural of "jeu"--the "x" is silent--which is French for "game." Why did I hear it as plural? Maybe because the Olympic Games are les Jeux Olympiques? Regardless, it seemed to fit my propensity for taking not so much the road less traveled as striking out into uncharted territory again and again and again.

What else could it be but Follies O'Barry?

Subpages (1): Blog