How Do You Pronounce the Word "Homage"?


I'm pretty sure I've never used the word except with ironic intent. And so I've always used the pretentious Frenchy form.

If I ever used it sincerely, I'd go with Mirriam-Webster's
i believe it's "ah-muj" if you're just saying homage, but if you're saying AN homage it shifts to "oh-majsh"
The H is silent?
French, but with the H pronounced.

@3 for the What Real Americans Pronounce It Like win.
Do you say "Fromage" like a common, American "Frah-muj" or a pretentious, Frenchy "Froh-majsh"?
@5 I say "Cheese".
I was raised by a Canadian. I say it the pretentious way, but with an 'eh' at the end.
Frechy, duh. I blame Canada as per usual.
I would like to say that I do pronounce it like an East Coast maintenance worker with a cigar in my lips might, but I do not think there's anything remotely pretentious about saying a French word in the French pronunciation. This sort of thing only makes us feel bad (I have my own versions of this story, even though this isn't one of them) because we're the only idiots in the world who only speak one language. Don't you agree, Doms?
@9) I don't say "Par-EE"; I say "Paris."
The pretentious pronunciation is new. No one EVER said it that way until a couple of years ago. Also recent, and spreading fast: using "fraught" without any further description. We used to say "fraught with danger" or fraught with something else--anything really (the original meaning being related to "freight," as in "laden with" or "heavy with"). Now it's just "fraught." Well, fraught with what? Fraught with fuck-all, I guess.
Jen @9: You wouldn't have liked us when we sneered at our college classmate (who majored in French) for pronouncing "adroit" ah-DRAWH. I still remember the beer coming out my nose when another roommate, who was from Beloit, realized that he'd been mispronouncing his hometown his entire life.

(Our French major classmate committed suicide shortly thereafter, but we don't think our sneering was the only cause.)

When we import words from another language, we are under no obligation whatsoever to retain the initial pronunciation. And that's not just an American thing. Go to Japan and order chocolate ice cream and you'll get stared at. But if you order "chokorayto aisu creamu," you'll get dessert.

Trust me, the French, even if they speak a dozen languages, do not refer to Germany as "Deutschland." They call it "Allemagne," meaning: "Naziville."
I'm with @10.
@13 and that is why you should drink ice cider. Cidre glassee.
I grew up in Britain. I say "hommidge" to rhyme with "porridge". Homage does not rhyme well with oatmeal.
How do they pronounce it in Des Moines? Or Quinault? Or Detroit or St. Louis?

@12, that word should only be used in "fraught with meaning" and then only when describing noir movies or soap operas.
It should be pronounced like hom-modge.
So do all of you pronounce "latte" "Latt"?

We Americans have a special bug up our asses about France. A French bug. I call it Le Boog.
@2 I also thought it was pronounced differently for different uses. If you're "paying homage" to someone as in paying respect, it's ah-muj, but if you're representing something as a tribute (artistically for example), it's oh-majsh. Right? I've never not heard it differentiated that way, since I was a young-un.
Paying AHmidj to an ohMAHDJ.
Dominic, this is no time to talk about language control. Have you no shame, sir?
And while we're here, why is Cordon Bleu pronounced Cordon BLUE here? It's not spelled blue, so it's not pronounced blue. (mutter mutter mutter)
@19 - Not quite as bad as the English with their GAAR-ridges and their VAL-letts, but yes.
A serious response would be that I agree with @2: That I "give homage" to a person or idea, but that when referring to the subject itself, such a collection is "an O-mage" to that person or idea.

Otherwise, potato poe-taa-toe, tomato tow-maa-toe.
PS - obviously, @20 and @21 are faster than I!
I grew up in Pittsburgh, where we pronounce Versailles as Ver-sails. I say hom-idge.

I live in south Louisiana now, though, so I have learned to use French pronunciation (or at least Cajun French pronunciation) more. I don't say Or-leens any more. I have learned that it is Or-lins, for example.
@19, why would you ever want to pronounce that? It just means "milk". Say "milk". If you're in Italy and want milk, sure, go ahead and say "latte" (but don't expect any coffee in it, and expect smirking and snickering as they set the giant glass of plain milk in front of you). If you want a caffe latte, you should grow up. Adults don't drink milk in their coffee after 9 AM, and then they have cappuccino.
Nope, going with the French.
@16, you obviously have never had a delicious bowl of porr-AJZH.

Well, there's also the matter of how Iowans pronounce "Des Moines" and how Washingtonians pronounce it, since Washington has the ignoble distinction of pronouncing the 's' in "Moines".

I also find it impossible to believe that Merriam-Webster, or any dictionary, wouldn't recognize both pronunciations for "homage" as valid.


So you're fine with Americans saying kwe-suh-dill-luh (quesadilla)? Or tuh-mail (tamale)? There are many Americans who bastardize Spanish words to that extent.
The real problem is that the average American cannot say French vowels at all, or Spanish or any other language, and if you can you sound impossibly pretentious, or at least odd, because the tone of the word stands out from the rest of your speech. An American pronouncing "homage" in the French style isn't saying the second syllable as "ajzh"; it's more like "ah-uhjzh". It's almost impossible for an English speaker to not dipthong-ize his or her vowels, and sounds weird if you can manage it. Precisely correct foreign words sound like you're quoting something.

Besides, "homage" is not a French word. It's an English word of French origin, which is different.
@13 - 'Allemagne" comes from the 'Alamans', a confederation of Germanic tribes, meaning 'all men'. This was, of course, way before nazi Germany but I can't tell whether you were being serious.
Depends. If I am an underling of a royal type person, I do "ah-muj". as in 'Ah-Maj in the Middle Ages was the ceremony in which a feudal tenant or vassal pledged reverence and submission to his feudal lord, receiving in exchange the symbolic title to his new position (investiture).'

If I am doing something to honor something else, Im doing an 'oh-majsh'. As in "The concept now often appears in the arts where one author shows respect to a topic by calling it an oh-majsh, such as Homage to Catalonia.'
I say it with a lisp like a good Stranger bum boy.
@31, of course not, because those are not the accepted American pronunciations of those words. If they developed that way, then yes, they would be acceptable. That's extraordinarily unlikely, though, in a highly mediated country with 50 million Spanish speakers in it.

But you should not linger over the misapprehension that saying "kay sah DEE yah" and "tah MAH lee" in your ordinary American voice is correct Spanish. It'll do, but you're butchering the vowels (and the consonants). That's what having an accent is all about. If you pronounce those words EXACTLY as a Mexican (which one, though?) would, you'll sound affected -- the correct sounds are incorrect, to some extent.

This effect is greatly heightened for words that have not entered English. "Quesadilla" and "tamale" have. If you're saying "huitlacoche" or "cochinita pibil" it's normal to put a little Mexican accent on it without sounding like a dork because there's no English way to say it. Unless your Spanish is completely free of American accent (which is difficult) you'll still be a bit off, though. You'll be understood well enough to enjoy huitlacoche or cochinita pibil, though, so who cares?
It also depends on where you live. Some places like Louisiana have large French-speaking populations and pronounce the words differently from other regions of the US. I always add a ",y'all" to the end, like a good Texan born and bred.

Seriously, who the frack made you the language police.
@36 there is a vast difference between a Spanish accent, a Barcelona accent (s instead), a Northern Mexican accent, a Baja Mexican accent, a Texan accent from someone who is Hispanic, and someone in Cali.

But, hey, that's the subject of lots of movie and in person jokes.
Count me as another of the usage-specific pronunciation crowd.
@38, why is it that you are unable to write intelligible English, Will? Don't say "Canadian".
I would love to add another deux francs, but frankly je suis très fatigué. Pronouncing any word correctly is not a sin. I thought I was so smart the first time I used the word 'debacle' in public and was quickly informed that it wasn't 'debbicle'. I've been forever grateful to the smart-ass who corrected me. And for, now ah-DOO...
@41, I would say that people who do not mispronounce fairly uncommon words fairly often don't read at a high enough level. You're much more likely to first encounter words that are surprisingly pronounced in reading than in hearing them. Unless you're dumb.
I nominate @38's closer for the Hall of Fame. LOOK AT IT.
But, hey, that's the subject of lots of movie and in person jokes.
But, hey, that's the subject of lots of movie and in person jokes.
But, hey, that's the subject of lots of movie and in person jokes.
But, hey, that's the subject of lots of movie and in person jokes.
I sometimes listen to Alt Latino, an English language program featuring Latin music, and it drives me crazy that they pronounce "Los Angeles" as a Spanish speaker abroad would.

Fine, pronounce "Acapulco" as a native of Acapulco would, but go with the native pronunciation of American locales. Or should we all be pronouncing Mt. Rainier as "moh rhenyay?"
I speak French, so I tend to say it the French way. Unless it's "pay homage to," and then I apparently combine the French and the American ways into some horrible chimera of a word. Then again, I live in the South, so nobody pronounces anything correctly.
Jen @19--
Le Boog, I like it. Latte however is an Italian word and hence it is correct to pronounce the final e. The corresponding word in French is lait pronounced lay.
And Fnarf is correct, if you order a "latte" in Italy you will get a quizzical look followed by a glass of milk.
"vice versa" is pronounced "wee-kay wer-sa"

Why do I get the feeling that Dominic has been called "dum-Oh-NEEK" one too many times?

That Dictionary pronunciation is real good...if your goal is to speak like Lorraine Bracco.

I say homage like omelet.
Ahhhh now I see why everyone looked at me funny when I talked about that cute little bar across from rite aid. You all referred to it as "Bloo", didn't you?
#20 has the right answer. Next?
I remember being REALLY weirded out the first time I heard someone pronounce the "er" in "foyer."
I never noticed it before, but el ganador @20 is right. I've always heard it pronounced in two different ways -- "paying homage" is ah-muj, but "it's an homage to a great artist" is "oh-mahz." Huh.
I always hate it when people put on the momentary "I'm speaking with a foreign accent!" for one word, then drop it. Like Giada de Laurentiis does with any Italian word on her cooking shows. Irritating.
Agree with #9. The fact that certain among us must ALWAYS point out the perceived superiority (i.e. snootiness) of "others" proves how inferior, and simple minded Americans really are. Stick up YOUR Yank asses much?
Also #12 says "The pretentious pronunciation is new. No one EVER said it that way until a couple of years ago." Uhhhhm; save for roughly 60,000,000 French countrymen who know a bit more about their language than you. What a friggin arrogant, SNOOTY tool.
'Homage' is a French word which rhymes with 'fromage' (cheese). The word has been adopted into English (along with countless others like 'cigarette' 'deja vu' and 'imbecile') What makes 'homage' somewhat special is that English speech has developed an idiomatic expression especially for its use that incorporates the verb 'pay' with 'homage' acting as object.

When used as part of the expression "to pay homage to" it is pronounced "haw-muj",

But when it is used as a complementary noun (following the verb 'to be') as it is used in French, as in "This book was written as an homage to his mentor" or "The song became an homage to those who fought in the war" it is pronounced with a silent 'h' in the French manner "Oh-mahj"