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Buttocks
Posted: 11 January 2018 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’ve noticed more and more of late on US TV shows, police procedurals and the like, the pronunciation of buttocks with the last syllable rhyming with clocks rather than the standard pronunciation (given in OED for both the UK and US) using a schwa. Anyone else heard this? It may be down to the tendency of police when they’re speaking in a courtroom to enunciate very deliberately, with an even stress on each syllable, thus leading to butt-ocks (difficult to use a schwa unless the syllable is unstressed.)

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Posted: 11 January 2018 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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My grandchildren (10 and 13) do this, but I had ass(ahem)umed it was because they were kids.  Now it seems like it might be language change.  Butt who knows!

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Posted: 12 January 2018 07:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Whenever I use the word buttocks, it is always jokingly, and I pronounce the last syllable to rhyme with “clocks”, affecting my idea of a refined or, you might say, posh accent, a la Buddy Hackett.

Perhaps enough people have heard it pronounced this way that they think this is the normal pronunciation.

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Posted: 12 January 2018 08:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Isn’t buttocks pronounced this way in Forrest Gump, when the title character is talking about having been shot there? It’s been a long time since I last saw the movie, but I seem to recall “In the butt-tocks” being a line that was repeated often for a laugh among my circle of friends at the time.

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Posted: 12 January 2018 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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aldiboronti - 11 January 2018 11:48 AM

I’ve noticed more and more of late on US TV shows, police procedurals and the like, the pronunciation of buttocks with the last syllable rhyming with clocks rather than the standard pronunciation (given in OED for both the UK and US) using a schwa. Anyone else heard this? It may be down to the tendency of police when they’re speaking in a courtroom to enunciate very deliberately, with an even stress on each syllable, thus leading to butt-ocks (difficult to use a schwa unless the syllable is unstressed.)

I always find it comical when the second syllable is pronounced (over pronounced) to rhyme with “clocks.”

I would normally pronounce it “BUTT-icks” I suppose that’s the schwa that you are speaking of.

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Posted: 12 January 2018 08:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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In a formal context, what word for that part of the body would normally be used in the USA?

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Posted: 13 January 2018 03:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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OP Tipping - 12 January 2018 08:14 PM

In a formal context, what word for that part of the body would normally be used in the USA?

That would be buttocks.

Sometimes hind parts, but I think that’s said by people who are unsure of what term to use in polite company.

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Posted: 13 January 2018 05:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Rear and rear end are quite common.

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Posted: 14 January 2018 07:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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OP Tipping - 12 January 2018 08:14 PM

In a formal context, what word for that part of the body would normally be used in the USA?

Once upon a time, one would have said posterior, but that was both formal and jocular.

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Posted: 14 January 2018 07:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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And therefore not the normal way of referring to it.  I’m pretty sure buttocks was all that was available unless you retreated into scientific vocabulary or took the dive into jocularity or vulgarity.

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Posted: 14 January 2018 09:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I prefer the more eloquent, derriére, but I’m certain I’m in the minority.

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Posted: 14 January 2018 11:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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In reference to NotThatGuy’s question, that is how I, too, recall Forrest Gump pronouncing it, when President Johnson asked him where he had been wounded.

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Posted: 14 January 2018 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Logophile, you remind me of this exchange from the 1966 movie Carry On - Don’t Lose Your Head, which spoofed The Scarlet Pimpernel:

Citizen Camembert, the Big Cheese of the Revolutionary Terror (Kenneth Williams), and his mistress Desiree Dubarry (Joan Sims) have come to London to unmask the mysterious Black Fingernail who has been rescuing so many aristos from Madame Guillotine. As they descend from their coach, Desiree complains about the number of humpback bridges on the road from Dover:

DD: …I shan’t be able to sit down for a week!

CC: I wish you wouldn’t be so vulgar. Try and remember you’re supposed to be an aristocrat.

DD: Well, don’t they have bottoms then?

CC: Of course they do but they don’t refer to them as such. Down here they’re called country seats. 

DD: So what do they call them in London?

CC: Surely you’ve heard of the Londonderry Air?

DD: Oh. Well, it’s going to be a long time before I can put my derrière on a country seat…

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Posted: 14 January 2018 03:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Logophile - 14 January 2018 09:37 AM

I prefer the more eloquent, derriére, but I’m certain I’m in the minority.

In Wisconsin, the US “dairy state” we have a faux state motto, “Come smell our derriére,”—a tip o the hat to our dear departed Lionello who delighted in such ribald play on words.

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Posted: 15 January 2018 07:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Argh I can’t take it any more… my copyediting brain is breaking… it’s derrière with an accent grave!!

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Posted: 15 January 2018 09:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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languagehat - 15 January 2018 07:03 AM

Argh… my copyediting brain is breaking… it’s derrière with an accent grave!!

An acute case of copyediting brain, alas.

Is bottom formal, or just euphemistic?

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