Ben or Benoit? Pronounciation and poll

See the results of this poll: Love Benoit but aren’t French and worried about mispronounciation. What’s best?

Respondents: 30 (This poll is closed)

  • Benoit Wynn : 11 (37%)
  • Ben Wynn : 0 (0%)
  • Benjamin Wynn : 18 (60%)
  • Other: 1 (3%)

I’d say it as [name_m]Ben[/name_m]-wah. But most people I’ve heard pronounce the surname as [name_m]Ben[/name_m]-oyt. I knew some people with that last name and it was always [name_m]Ben[/name_m]-oyt. So I reckon a lot of people may pronounce it like that.

I think it helps that you live in [name_f]Canada[/name_f]. Were it in the States or any other place where English (or any non-[name_m]French[/name_m] language) I would say no. In [name_f]Canada[/name_f], I think (correct me if I’m wrong), even those who are not native [name_m]French[/name_m] speakers are a little more aware. One simple correction or explanation is all it takes.

[name_m]Benoit[/name_m] is a guilty pleasure of mine for pronunciation reasons specifically. My second option for you would be [name_m]Benjamin[/name_m]. Also, have you thought of [name_m]Bennett[/name_m] as an alternative? [name_m]Benedict[/name_m] might sound a bit too harsh for your ears. I think [name_m]Bennett[/name_m] is a nice compromise - nothing prevents you from nicknaming your baby boy [name_m]Benoit[/name_m].

I’d pronounce it “ben-OYT” absent other instruction - even though I speak [name_m]French[/name_m], it’s familiar enough as a surname and those with it I’ve known have pronounced it that anglicized way. But you’re in [name_f]Canada[/name_f], and even if you weren’t, you should give the name you love - it’s a simple enough correction.

Thanks for your comments, everyone. To add to the pronounciation confusion, as a surname the pronounciation is [name_m]Ben[/name_m]-OYT!

Am interested to see what the majority say. :slight_smile:

I live in [name_f]France[/name_f], and I’d say “Buh-nwah”–but since the first vowel sound doesn’t really exist in English so I’m not sure how to type it out. I think [name_m]Ben[/name_m]-wah works well as an anglicized version, since lots of [name_m]French[/name_m] vowel sounds need to transform when pronounced in English (in [name_u]Dominique[/name_u], for example, the “o” and first “i” sounds become quite different from [name_m]French[/name_m] to English, but the name stays overall pretty much the same). Lots of people use [name_m]French[/name_m] names who are not [name_m]French[/name_m] (interestingly girls’ names more so), so I think that it’s not silly at all, but with a name like this that is not generally used outside [name_m]French[/name_m]-speaking places, you probably will get questions about whether you’re [name_m]French[/name_m], why you chose the name, etc. But I think, “we’re not [name_m]French[/name_m] but we love the name!” is fine as an answer.

I think an Anglophone [name_m]Benoit[/name_m] would probably sometimes get a pronunciation that rhymes with [name_m]Detroit[/name_m] (which of course is pronounced very differently from the way the [name_m]French[/name_m] say it!), but I imagine in [name_f]Canada[/name_f] people should probably be more familiar with [name_m]French[/name_m] names/phonetics and quickly understand the correct pronunciation…hopefully :wink:

One last question, in [name_f]Canada[/name_f] are accent marks used on official documents? If so, I would say to go all in with [name_m]Beno[/name_m]ît as as it spelled in [name_m]French[/name_m] (with the accented “i”). I know the US doesn’t use accent marks on official documents, but I’m not sure what is the case for English-language paperwork in [name_f]Canada[/name_f].

I live in the UK, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m a namenerd, or just realised it’s [name_m]French[/name_m], but when I first saw [name_m]Benoit[/name_m] I thought it was [name_m]Ben[/name_m]-wah. I really like it (love the meaning), and I think it could work even in English speaking countries (like UK and US) with some explanantion and even better in [name_f]Canada[/name_f]. I didn’t know about the surname pronunciation!

[name_m]Benoit[/name_m] is nice! I’ve never seriously considered it, but I can certainly see the appeal now! I’ve taken years of [name_m]French[/name_m] courses and my best friend was [name_m]French[/name_m], so I’m familiar with the [name_m]French[/name_m] pronunciation and would have had no idea that [name_m]Benoit[/name_m] as a surname wasn’t said exactly as the [name_m]French[/name_m] fn! [name_m]Ben[/name_m]-wah is nice. He could always be [name_m]Ben[/name_m] almost exclusively if [name_m]Benoit[/name_m] gives you issues. I wouldn’t do [name_m]Ben[/name_m] nn [name_m]Benoit[/name_m], though–it seems backwards to me. :slight_smile:

As for which goes best with [name_u]Wynn[/name_u], I’m not sure any of them are ideal with [name_u]Wynn[/name_u]. [name_m]Ben[/name_m] [name_u]Wynn[/name_u] is really choppy (and almost rhymey), [name_m]Benjamin[/name_m] [name_u]Wynn[/name_u] is okay, but also rhymey, and the wah-win sounds awkward and hard to say on my tongue with [name_m]Benoit[/name_m] [name_u]Wynn[/name_u]. So I’d honestly just go with what you like best, since [name_u]Wynn[/name_u] is there for significance and not necessarily flow. :slight_smile: I think I’d go with [name_m]Benoit[/name_m] [name_u]Wynn[/name_u], honestly. The more I write out and say [name_m]Benoit[/name_m], the more I love it! He’s so darling!

I know someone with the surname [name_m]Benoit[/name_m], and they pronounce it [name_m]Ben[/name_m]-wah, so that’s how I automatically say it (I’m from the UK) :slight_smile: I like [name_m]Benoit[/name_m] - it gives him a chance to have a longer formal name for certain occasions, rather than just [name_m]Ben[/name_m], and it’s one that you like. I think it could work really well -particularly in [name_f]Canada[/name_f] - though you might have to explain the pronunciation sometimes :slight_smile:

Also, as for the [name_m]French[/name_m] aspect–I wouldn’t worry too much about it. I’m a little bit [name_m]French[/name_m], but not very much at all (and the [name_m]French[/name_m] ties were so many generations ago that I don’t really feel like I have a right to claim it!), but I love [name_m]French[/name_m] names and I have Amélie, [name_f]Odette[/name_f], Frédéric, [name_f]Adele[/name_f], [name_f]Isabelle[/name_f], [name_f]Arianne[/name_f], [name_u]Ali[/name_u]énor, [name_m]Gaspard[/name_m], etc., etc. all over my list! [name_m]French[/name_m] is an official language of [name_f]Canada[/name_f], so I would embrace that. An excuse to embrace all my favorite [name_m]French[/name_m] things, I’d think. :wink:

I say ben-wah. I prefer [name_m]Benjamin[/name_m] nn [name_m]Ben[/name_m].

Avoided the inevitable issues and go with [name_m]Benjamin[/name_m]. Or:


I live in the States but I’m french. I pronounce it Buhn-wah. [name_m]Ben[/name_m]-wah works too :slight_smile:

I’m surprised to see people saying they speak [name_m]French[/name_m] yet would say [name_m]Ben[/name_m]-oyt…
Go for it, you’ll correct the people that don’t know how to say it until they get it. It’s not that strange.