Bombardier

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The word bombardier is pronounced in two ways in English, depending on its context and meaning.

  • In traditional English, where it is a noun used in military discourse, it is pronounced in a seemingly naturally English fashion, as 'bomb-ber-DEER' (IPA: /ˌbɒm bə ˈdiːər/). Its meanings, more precisely, are:
    • an artilleryman, particularly one dealing with mortars, howitzers and other pieces 'lobbing' projectiles to fall on their target from a height ('plunging fire')
    • this has come to be the name of a Non-commissioned officer in the Royal Artillery (British army)
    • and the equivalent in the United States Air Force of the post of bomb-aimer in the RAF
  • As a proper noun, usually denoting a Canadian firm making aeroplanes and railway trains, etc., it is pronounced in the French way, 'bom-BAR-dee-eh, /bɔ̃baʁdje/, reflecting the French-Canadian origin of its founder Joseph-Armand Bombardier (1907–1964).