Brougham (pronunciation)

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The name of the former Lord Chancellor Henry Peter Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux (1778–1868), and the common noun brougham denoting the carriage (a "one-horse closed carriage, with two or four wheels, for two or four persons", OED 1888) whose design he specified, is traditionally pronounced in RP as a near-homophone of 'broom', IPA: /ˈbruːm/ or /brʊm/, or as a disyllable 'BREW-em', IPA: //ˈbruː(ə)m //. OED (1888) states "['BROWE-em'] /ˈbrəʊəm/ to have been the most common [pronunciation] in educated use [for the carriage] in the late 19th cent[ury]", adding, in rather disparaging tones, "['Brome'] /brəʊm/ was heard from the vulgar".

  • Lord Brougham's surname (and later, in 1830, his title) are derived from the family's seat in Westmorland (now Cumbria) Brougham Hall. The locals traditionally pronounced this as 'BROOX-em', IPA: //ˈbrʊxəm/, 'BROOSH-em', /ˈbrʊfɛm/, and 'BREW-hem', /ˈbruːhəm/