Friday, September 19, 2008

You say tomato, I say...

Well the results are in for the 2nd poll, which was meant to just satisfy a curiosity and not to point the "accusatory mispronunciation finger."

Perhaps not as decisive and nose-turning as the pronunciation of Bianchi (Bee AHN kee, or Bee-AHN-chee). The pronunciation of panniers does lead to some minor campsite squabbles and uncomfortable blank looks at bike shops when members of separate pronunciation camps try to communicate.

19% (21 votes) pronounce it the French way...Pan-NEE-yay
54% (59 votes) pronounce it the 'Merican way..Pan-yers
26% (29 votes) pronounce it some way that is not rooted in any known linguistic logic (just kidding) PA-neers

Sadly, when I walk in to most bike shops around my area, it doesn't matter how I pronounce it since they don't know/carry panniers.

From Sheldon Brown:

Contrary to popular belief, "pannier" is not a French word, and should not be pronounced as one. The normal English pronunciation is: "PAN-yer".

"Pannier" is, in fact derived from a French word: "panier", a basket (more specifically, a bread basket, from "pain", the French word for "bread."

If you want to HEAR it spoken, click on the little speaker icon on this link from

In other news...check out the new poll. What kind of pedals do you use?


Ricardo said...

Is there a dispute on how to pronounce Bianchi? It is an Italian proper name of an Italian bike built in Milan, Italy (some of them at least). As an Italian speaker I must insist that there is no dispute: chi is KEY, and that is that. Bee AHN kee. (Both of your choices are incorrect. the stress is on, as in 95% of Italian words, the penultimate syllable.)

RussRoca said...

ricardo....thanks for that...not so much dispute, but it's a word that i hear gets butchered often..

Joel said...

Never mind - I'm an idiot and didn't see the last option.