Why precisely do the British say lieutenant as ”leftenant?: Hi, Dear All Today, I will explain more excitable information on why exactly the British say Lieutenant as ”leftenant?
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Here are some of the Meanings of lieutenant by various Scholars:
Word originally two Latin terms, “locum” meaning in place of and “generic” meaning holding. Together the phrase applies to anyone “holding in place of” someone else. Over time the word “locum” develop gradually into the French word “lieu.” Pronounces in French as it writes.
It’s possible that when the English heard the French pronounce the compound word lieutenant. They become aware a speak not clear that they heard as a “v” or “f” sound between the first and second syllables. Most English-speaking nations, except the United States, continuously pronounce the word as though there is an “f” in it.
By Richard Thompson, Allerod Denmark
The British did not like the French at one time and make English in form words that may mistake as French. Like Beauchamp’s Square, De Beauvoir Town.
By Albert, Derby United Kingdom
Because it is the correct pronunciation, by Nomad, London England
I think it pronounces with an “F” sound (spells V) in Russian. It may be Russian, and British English got the word by the language German. That regularly changes the ‘U or W’ sound to the ‘V’ sound. Whereas we Americans took the pronunciation directly from the French? ‘V’ is naturally becoming a voiceless ‘F’ in absorption to the following ‘T’ in many languages.
By Lars, Dallas, United States of America
The Norman-French phrase ‘Lieutenant’ may have exists in the Latin rendering ‘locum teens. The previous examples in OED are all from Scotland. It sees even then that the “Lefftenant” pronunciation using. Barbour’s “Bruce” has “Luftenand” in the mid of 14th century.
However, an Old French rending of Lieu was “Luef.” It still uses Sti British pronunciation in the United States of America in 1793 but had almost died out except in military circles by the year 1893. One could explain the influence of non-British immigrants. He was applying the standard French pronunciation to a word with as far as one knows obvious the French origins.
By Ross Turner, St Monans Fife
Way back in the gradual development of English as a language, the letters ‘V’ and ‘U’ were the same. So lieutenant could have been writing as a lieutenant. But, on the other hand, the pronunciation may just have stuck.
By Charles Peters, Front Royal, United States
The British person is weird.
By Jon, Cambria United States
Back in the year 1800s, Lieutenant Mark Lifting wounds during a war. His men presume him to be dead. They left him there when they could not find him. One of his wounds was a thrust in the mouth that partially destroys his tongue. When he arrives at camp the next day, he went to the Colonel’s office.
The Colonel asks him his name; because of his wound pronounced it ‘lieutenant. Because of the relation to his name ‘lifting his pronunciation of ‘lieutenant. The phenomenon that he left on the battlefield. That battalion changes the traditional word ‘Lieutenant to ‘Leftenant .’I suppose after spreading the story, it just stuck.
By Calum Blake, Burntisland Scotland
Webster’s dictionary only lists lieutenant not listed. But I would imagine in the United States. We say lieutenant junior grade because of how it wrote. According to Webster’s, Lieu pronounces, loo.
By Rob L, Baltimore United States of America
In the British slang, of that, there is a great deal. The word loo defines a toilet. I assume that I do not want to impress that a Lieutenant is a bathroom resident in Loo-Tenant.
By Sean Eris well, Broomfield Colorado
One makes a good point on the whole ‘Loo’ part of it.
By Matt Amsden, North Las Vegas, United States of America
Because it is our language, and we can speak it any way we like. And what is it with these Americans? Those who talk about British English and a British version – hello!! It is English – our language. One may want to rule the world from Washington. But it is still English. About time one all clean up on the Spanish!
By Peter Charles, London, England
My fellow Brit’s distrustful intolerance for the Americans makes me ashamed to be British. No response from any American on the page that has earned such bitter expressions has some class.
By William Franklin, Brighton, United Kingdom
This little story gives another simple explanation of the inserted “F” in the pronunciation. As a student, I take a summer job working in my Local Vegetable and Fruits’ shop many years ago. Towards the end of a busy day, having a narrow face lady came in. After looking around, she looks down her nose and says.
I want savoy cabbage, please I reply, I am sorry madam. But we have run out of cabbage today, would one like cauliflower? The lady’s expressions and swollen, and she says. But I want a Savoy Cabbage. I try to sound sympathetic and replied, I am sorry. It has been a hectic day, and we have no Cabbage. Would one like to try some Broccoli?
Once again, the lady huff and puff and repeats now in a very cross tone. That suggests the shortage was my fault. I said I want a Savoy Cabbage. I am sorry, madam, I respond, again trying to be helpful.
What on some Spinach Orchard? Now the lady became very fierce and almost spit out the words, slowly and meanly. I told one I want a Savoy S.A.VO.Y Cabbage. One idiot. I look at her carefully; Madam.
I said one, and we have no CABBAFG.E cabbage! She stares angrily at me. You idiot, and there’s no F in cabbage.! I reply very slowly. Madam, that is what I have been trying to tell one for the past five minutes.
By Tony Hastings, London, United Kingdom
I want to clear out Americans speak proper English, not the British. English is an English variety language. Same time as the American Revolution, everyone spoke English as Americans talk about today.
After the American Revolution, to recognize themselves. Pretend to be of higher class, and the British start is incorrectly pronouncing their R’s. Now, British English is a Non-rhotic language. Such as Boston English, that traditional English is not.
By Ben, Denver United States of America
I think regardless of the tradition, the simple more of a letter F should mean that one doesn’t pronounce it “left-tenant.” It makes one sound brain-damages.
By Steve, Hamilton Canada
@ben What on “Aluminum” as opposes to the original British English “Aluminium”? “jelly” as opposes to “Jam,” “Color” not “Color,” “Gray” instead of “Grey”? I think one will find that American English is a simplified and lower quality. Once again, “S” is not the “Z” version of British English.
Any changes to the English language in America that have by the United States.’ Citizens are spelling the language phonetically instead of firstly written and pronounced. In the year 1700s, an American English dictionary wrote by a man named Noah Webster. He purposely wrote words differently to separate the newly independent Americans from the English.
To say that British English does not speak accurate English is just pure ignorance. The language creates here and continues to be told by the vast majority of English people. The only deviations one will find are regional accents. That I am sure, one will also find in the American English language.
I come from a military family and have raise pronouncing Lieutenant as Leftenant. I have never been able to consider the reason for the spelling or pronunciation difference. Still, I would imagine in hundreds of years of military history.
There have been more than a few words wrote or spoken differently. The most widespread opinion seems to be down to the Roman Latin use of the letter “V” in place of a “U.”
By Amanda, Manchester England
It all depends on my mood on the grey or gray matter. And thee are interchangeable. I understand the phonetic spelling of how we write in the United States, like Maneuver or Maneuver.
But what I don’t understand is how there is this significant difference in the pronunciation of our words—seeing as we leave off of one. They should still be accents that reflect where our accents came from because accents don’t change overnight. They are sure as hell don’t depart from themselves.
Fun Fact: American English and all of its accents are name general American.
By Bryan, St Paul United States
Oh, for goodness sake, grow up, will one? Not all of one, some of one had some perceptive comments above. But the pertaining retentive display aggressive above know who are they.
Here listen to Mr. Fry. Website http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7E-aoXLZGY and go away feeling very ashamed of yourselves.
By Dario, Icod Spain
I like that “U” or “V” explanation. I have some 18th Century’s New England ancestors. Those were names “Zerviah, although much of the time, the name shows up as “Zeruiah.” That is nearly impossible to pronounce. IMHO, All languages have been gradually developing for thousands of years.
Think vowel shift! That says it sounds ridiculous to pronounce “Lieu” as “Left.” But if Brits like it that way, it is fine with me. I postpone to the right to say it anyway, please. But, that does not mean the rest of us are ignorant, stupid people. Let one think I am not a grammar.
I have always said, “Am I not?” unless of “Are not I?”. It sure causes some puzzle looks. But an “ah-ha” nod frequently follows them. 😉
By Ann McReynolds, Saint Louis MO United States of America
Accents in South American, especially in coastal places like Mobile and Charleston, can still resemble English English. Appalachian’s accents are much tangier. But some have put forward that Elizabethan English sounds a lot like Appalachian speak. I have to say, therefore, that guy that tries to say that British people use to speak like Americans.
That they purposely change their accents out of extreme patriotism is pretty much a colossal stupid person. He must be a right-winger trying to creates a false historical reality. British language at the time was far more concerned with a guy name Napoleon than they were with us. We wound the pride of the Royal Navy more than anything.
The satisfaction that they soon recover during the Napoleonic conflict. I like the Latin U or V explanation. Also, the early Americans like Washington heavily influences the French military’s theory. We were more close to them back then, not that we are not now. It could have something to do with it.
I mean, suppose Lafayette was walking around at Valley Forge saying Loo-tenant to many rebellious farmers. I could see that catching on.
By David, Birmingham United States of America
According to Military customs, a lower-ranking soldier walks on the left side of a senior officer. This courtesy develops when still uses swords on the battlefield. The lower-rank soldier on the “left” protects the senior officer’s left side. Therefore, the term lieutenant developed.
Debbie, Manchester United States of America
Because that’s what it should say, Americans changed it to fit their type of behavior disorder version of a perfect language.
By Sid, Saffron Walden England
Nothing like several egos giving their views. Where is that “Hot for the Words” Russian sweetheart when one needs her?
By W Poehlmann III, Houston, Texas
I think it will all be scholarship soon as an overall process of gaining knowledge of American English. That is, Movies and Television are develops gradually English usage in many ways. I, personally, have always pronounced it as Lieutenant. Due to it simply makes sense to say it this way.
I think most of the younger people in the United Kingdom also do so. Left – tenant will, in the end, become very old usage here. Language change is speeds up as global communication deals successfully out the differences.
Regional accents will always create some normal. But those cases with an unmistakable sense in pronouncing as wrote. Such as Lieutenant – will not see.
By Jenny, Abergele Wales
In medieval times battle, The Lord of the manor was in the middle, the head knight on the right, and the head tenant was on the left. As the head tenant became more prosperous, he could pay for a knight to stand instead of him. After that, his designate says the “Leftenant.”
By Michael T. Prosser, Campbell River BC. Canada
I came here looking for an answer unless I found 20 or so different answers still puzzles.
By Peggy, Anchorage, Alaska United States of America
As I said before, I think it was to do with more of adopting one’s standard on spelling and pronunciation with U and V. I also believe that Leftenant was the English pronunciation until the American Revolution. When the Americans start to pronounce it “loo-tenant.” Both to differentiate themselves from the British to better communicate with their French groups.
By Kate, Doncaster United Kingdom
The answer is that it is the original pronunciation. Moreover, I regret to inform you that I am not commenting to answer. I am commenting to apologize to the British on behalf of the Americans. Those are not willing to listen and appreciate other cultures. I am sorry for some of the rude comments produced by some of the Americans’ answers.
We are not all narrow-mind fools. I think language is a part of the culture. I respect the culture and find the way of speaking and pronunciation elegantly.
By Aisha, Raleigh United States of America
I was excited about why it is pronounced that way by the British. I don’t understand all the nasty comments. I am glad I know now why it pronounces that way. Thank you for the information.
I like all various accents from any country – it is interesting to me and is 2013. Don’t one think it is time to put away our swords? In this case, hateful words?
By Tammy, Pittsburgh, United States
I think the people who address the old U and V problem are on the right track. Moreover, I think a better explanation is that in old French, lieu wrote life. The word continuously pronounces loo. It would suggest that the term has firstly been French. The lieutenant pronunciation is down to some poor type of conversion of a text during the middle ages.
By Jason, Las Vegas, United States
I enjoy the conflict between the Americans and the British that’s the “proper” English.” There are people from the States who make me bend when I hear them speak. As I am sure, people from the United Kingdom made people native to that country bend.
I speak no more like a parochial than Tony Blair tells like Russell Brand. With that says, my best images would be the translation from French is the most likely reason for the difference in pronunciations.
PSP.S. To the man referencing Webster’s English dictionary. Do yourself a favor and picks up an Oxford English Dictionary.
By Mike, Washington DC, United States
English is a beautiful language with flexible properties influences by Nordic, Germanic, and Arabic languages, Latin and Greek. It allows for the great expression of things like Technical, Poetic, Spiritual, and Esoteric.
Thanks to the British for the language and New York. Else it would be speaking Dutch in New Amsterdam or, moreover, the Dutch spell it.
By Mat, Parma United States.
David from Birmingham, one is flat wrong on Ben from Denver. Being a moron, because he facts that British people use to speak like Americans. He is correct. It’s a link to the article that explains the whole thing. Link -http://mentalfloss.com/article/29761/when-did-americans-lose-their-british-accents.
The idea that change in pronunciation is because of Nationalist jingoism is somewhat misguiding. It was more of a path for the educated upper class to distance themselves from the uneducated poor. But the fact that the sounds “Posher” than their colonial cousins.
Whom people had just connected in two bloody wars serves to sweeten the pot. As to the original “lieutenant” problem, the commonly accepted explanation is the U or V Old French connection.
Moreover, even though it is the accepts the explanation. There seem to be some who feel uncertain as to the truth of this theory. It is funny that one mentions how some American Southerners or Appalachians sound like they speak Elizabethan English.
Elizabethan’s pronunciation was rhotic like American English; it says much closer to Northern Irish or Cornish than the American south. For a great example of Elizabethan’s Pronunciation.
Like which, by the by, was uses over 200 years before the RPR.P. Non-Rhotic pronunciation is becoming popular. Check out the you tube link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPlpphT7n9s.
By Ian, New York United States of America
Just the three things: 1/ In the Royal Navy, it is pronounced Lieutenant. 2/ What is British English? 3/ It is a good job. Ben from Denver is not from Dover.
By Baz, Whitley Bay England
2. A commissioner officer in the British and Canadian navies ranking just below a Lieutenant Commander. – freedictionary.com
By Nicole H, Reading, MA United States of America
I don’t know, but I love how the British pronounce particular words. Like schedule, it sounds so much more proper.
By Nanette Y. Mitchell, Fredericksburg, United States
It seems Ben was right on the Political Revolutionary War. That is being the dividing point of British and American pronunciation. Still, IMO, it is pronounced with the F or V sound. Because of the U or V being very similar during that time. Here is a link to the Revolutionary War Theory: http://www.livescience.com/33652-americans-brits-accents.html
By P Melrose, Swansboro, United States
Thanks to all the kind people who understand the value of debate. Suppose we cannot ask the questions of each other. Then we cannot learn from each other.
By Ann, Los Angeles, the United States of America
I like the person’s answer. He mentions vowel shift, and English had its most significant changes like the Collection of Tribes. Those were likely influence by Phoenician sailors or explorers. see John McWhorter’s “Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue.” The French don’t swap v and you, but their Latin Roman ancestors did the Semites (Phoenicians and Hebrews. The concept of a person holding a place on the left side of his Commanding Officer has merit.
Therefore, the “left” came into it, but only orally. English’s beauty or comical comes from how Brits spell the words as they came to us. It is a type Shortened from a miniature in every word. Simplifying it as cheating and laziness. Colour has one to credit the path lie the French. True, the original Latin did not have one.
But we did not get it directly from Rome. We got it from France, and Americans need to stop hating on the French. Without Benny Franklin’s request for help from King Louis in the year 1775. There would be no United States of America. Please don’t hate on the British or English, both without them. One would not exist both, and the war of 1776 is long over.
By George Pope, Richmond Canada
Why does everyone tell Colonel as “Kernel.” Coxswain as “Koksin”? How language spoke and how it wrote is constantly develops gradually. Some people from the commonwealth say “Lef-tenant” is quality to the U misreads as a V during the middle ages. That, in turn, develops into an F sound.
Unlike the other words that have been standardizing to read more phonetically. Especially true in the United States. The military terms regularly have to gain their strange habits out of a desire to maintain the traditions.
As for the Rhotic accents like pronouncing the R in Water. Should note that their decrease in England is a relatively recent fact. Here is a map of Rhotic accents in the year the 1950s: Linkhttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/RhoticEngland.png. But it is what it looks like now: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RhoticEngland2.png.
By Elijah, London United Kingdom
So we have the intense and exciting information answer from an American. He says: “The Brits are bad’. Well, thanks for that gem, Einstein. Has not one got a chat show that one can go off? ‘Whoop Woo’ at or something?
By Tel McCormack, Rochdale, United Kingdom
I was just eager, but all of the above was both enlightening and entertaining. Thank you.
By KMK.M., Bastrop United States of America
Bryan from St Paul’s says, ‘off of.’ Oh dear Bryan, don’t one mean ‘off.’ ‘Off of’ is entirely and grammatically very incorrect. Of means to show the act.
By Peter, Auckland, New Zealand
But I will give that an American film views. With the subtitles, that does bring correct than one in the Queen’s. More of an observation than fact.
By AJA.J., Queens, NYC, United States
WOW! There are so many choices that deny the truth to each other. Unfortunately, some contributors have only repeat without examination what they have heard as rumors or old wives’ stories. I am going to look at a convincing site now.
By Lee, Laie, Hawaii United States of America
They left versus lieu. Let us promote all to captain and done with it. English says English because it develops gradually from England. It’s as far as we go with the Nationalist claims to the language. As a language, it spoke throughout the world.
That helps everyone. There are differences in the way it wrote and said. But ultimately, is not it incredible that so many people can share a common language. So be able to develop a share and understanding.
GBG.B., Oxford, United Kingdom.
So, it is essential information on the topic of why exactly the British say Lieutenant as ”Lieutenant?
If Queries or Questions is persisting then, please comment on the viewpoints.