How to Pronounce Meunier

Russ Beattie had a similar post on how to pronounce his last name a while ago, and since mine is infinitely more difficult for American English speakers, I hope that my readers will allow me this indulgence. If you see me at a conference or in a business setting you can impress me right off the bat by not mangling my name. Here’s how…

I pronounce it MIN-YAY. When my father entered college in the late sixties, he changed it from the more Americanized pronunciation of MEW-NEAR to this pronunciation, in order to return it to the original pronunciation.

What I discovered in doing some genealogy research is that he would have to change it to Meunier dit Lapierre if he were to take it back to our French Canadian roots, and Meunier if he were to return it to our French roots in Rennes, Bretagne, France in 1625:

I was born in Canton, Ohio, though, and have always pronounced my name MIN-YAY.

However, the proper American English pronunciation and the proper French pronunciation are both acceptable to me. These variants (that I’ve heard several times in my life) are not:

Moo-Nay
Manure
Etc.

The ironic thing about my name in America is that in French it means “Miller”, which is an extremely common surname in the states. I’m told it’s also a very common name in France, where I do not live.

Again, pardon the aside. If you never meet me you can still use this information at cocktail parties to properly pronounce the kind of wine made from a grape primarily used for champagne– Pinot Meunier— or the Belgian painter and sculptor known for his peasant sculptures and indirect influence of Vincent Van Gogh– Constantin Meunier (no relation).

All wav files in this post were generated by the AT&T text to speech engine.

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