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Posted by Henry on April 20, 2004

In Reply to: The plot thickens posted by ESC on April 20, 2004

: : : : : : In the US, we pronounce it "More-eese". I was just told that the British pronunciation of this is "Morris". Is this correct? How do you pronounce this across the pond?

: : : : : Morris - that's it.

: : : : Thanks. First "scones" and now "Maurice". I am sure that there are other words mispronounced
: : : : in the US. I guess I'll have to educate myself one word at a time.

: : : (Steve Miller Band)

: : : Some people call me the space cowboy, yeah
: : : Some call me the gangster of love
: : : Some people call me Maurice
: : : Cause I speak of the pompitous of love.

: : : "Pompitous" mystified millions when Steve Miller used it in his 1973 hit "The Joker": "Some people call me the space cowboy. / Yeah! Some call me the gangster of love. / Some people call me Maurice, / Cause I speak of the Pompitous of love."
: : :

: :
: : As I recall is "Maurice" was pronounced more like Mar-is rather than the American pronunciation of Mor-is. The vowel sounds are different. Where is Henry Higgins when you need him? I also wouldn't go as far as to say Americans are mispronouncing the name. The American pronounciation is closer to the French, and therefore, could be considered more correct since Maurice is a French name. British people also pronouce "cafe" like "calf" and filet as "fill-et" rather than "fill-ay". Don't get me started on the British pronounciation of the name, "Regina'. Suffice it to say it doesn't rhyme with "Tina". It's a funny old world.

: : Camel

: And the Brits have men called "Evelyn."

One of the great Britsh explorers of recent times was Sir Vivian Fuchs. One of the greatest cricket players was the West Indian batsman Vivian Richards, now retired. Big Daddy was an English wrestler born in Halifax, England in 1930 (or 1937) and christened Shirley Crabtree. I wouldn't want to make fun of his name. Here's a poem from A Shropshire Lad by A E Housman which includes a reference to Maurice.

"Farewell to barn and stack and tree,
Farewell to Severn shore.
Terence, look your last at me,
For I come home no more.

"The sun burns on the half-mown hill,
By now the blood is dried;
And Maurice amongst the hay lies still
And my knife is in his side.

"My mother thinks us long away;
'Tis time the field were mown.
She had two sons at rising day,
To-night she'll be alone.

"And here's a bloody hand to shake,
And oh, man, here's good-bye;
We'll sweat no more on scythe and rake,
My bloody hands and I.

"I wish you strength to bring you pride,
And a love to keep you clean,
And I wish you luck, come Lammastide,
At racing on the green.

"Long for me the rick will wait,
And long will wait the fold,
And long will stand the empty plate,
And dinner will be cold."