The post of today is about pronunciation but not only, it is also about a story a student shared with me and I think it’s super interesting but as you might as well understood from the title, this post is about how to pronounce the word Levi’s.
Yes, you heard me right, Levi’s. I know, it sounds weird, doesn’t it?
Sometimes we are certain we know what the name of things are. No, I don’t mean “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” that’s a reference to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. I mean, there are English words or brand names that we use in our everyday language and when speaking English we inevitably mispronounce. We do so either inadvertently or worse, carelessly.
The list seems to be endless but I will name just a few such as NIKE, IKEA, H&M, ADIDAS, ADOBE, or BMW. There are also words from other languages such as CHAMPAGNE, GARAGE, SALIVA and brace yourself… VAGINA.
But, let’s not get carried away.
Let’s go back to the clothes, Levi’s Denim Jeans.
So, as I told you, a few weeks ago a student sent me a screenshot of a short story about the origin of the term Jeans and Denim and I thought it was worth a post on the blog.
It is undoubtedly a garment you have had in your closet, and in my case, it has been one of the most durable ones. When I come across pictures of my teenage years I can recognize the same 2 or three pairs of jeans…yeah my younger self was definitely reducing, reusing and recycling: I was being green basically.
The style of the garment has changed over the last 150 years but the fabric of modern versions…skinny or slim fit for the hipsters are not too far from the original dungarees for the miners ….as the saying goes …if it ain’t broken don’t fix it.
The importation of the fabric answered the need for a strong material that wouldn’t rip when miners were digging gold in California during the gold rush;. The denim ticked all the boxes : stronger than cotton fabrics, its sturdiness walked the talk or so figured Levi Strauss, an American merchant who came across the fabric in France. He started importing it from the city of Nîmes and the producers of this cloth sent their shipments to America from the port of Genoa, marking them with the French names of the two towns, ‘’de Nîmes’’ and ‘’ Gênes’’. The modern words are corruptions of these names. Nowadays Denim is used for the material, while jeans refers specifically to trousers made of such material.
Did you like this story?
I hope you did and next time perhaps I’ll tell you why carrots are orange…
I am not the only one concerned with mispronouncing words… check this out: How to pronounce drugs names…