What's in a Word | All Blogs


A French twist to phonics

By Debra Dobbins

The internal rhyme in the headline above is a bit unusual. Can the vowels “eau” really rhyme with the long “o” in go? Yes, in a few words, they can.

LeBeau is a French name. It is pronounced “leh bow" (as in bow and arrow). In French these three letters often have the long o sound.

English has imported a number of French words that end this way. Examples include:

beau     - a male sweetheart
bureau - a dresser, an agency or a government department
plateau - a tableland or mesa (Grand Mesa is a plateau.)
tableau - “a striking, dramatic scene or picture” (Webster’s)

We also have chapeau (hat) and nouveau (new).

The story on Dick LeBeau notes how much the Pittsburgh Steelers respect their defensive coordinator. Check out what they have to say about him in today’s print edition or e-edition.

 


 

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