We had a potentially interesting question based on pronunciation of a common house-hold chemical....

The question was quickly shoved off without much ado to the closed questions queue and closed.. It was actually an interesting question, just badly put.

In the particular post, a comment was made by a well-respected user: "It's not clear to me what research Tomás should have done that he didn't do."

We need to start polishing good ideas, not discourage new users. There are still some of us that look for the germ of an idea, a kernel of interesting data that will expand our knowledge.

The question is apparently based on regional pronunciation, or more probably, socioeconomic.*

I would like to see that post re-opened.


the post was re-opened, and then re-closed.

Please vote to re-re-open. We need more questions of this type that draw interest and traffic to the site...

*Look at the number of comments and good answers.

  • 2
    Why do we need more questions of this type? And, btw, exactly what is "this type"? Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 16:19
  • 1
    @JohnLawler I am talking about questions concerning regional accent...also, please notice how much traffic this has drawn to the site, and how many users are interested. That's two types. Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 19:08
  • The OP never said it was a common household product for oiling mechanical parts. I cannot stand it when OPs put up questions and do not identify them. In fact, there is regional pronunciation AND the FACT that for the BUSH name everyone says Dubbya, regardless of where they live. :)
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 21:27
  • 1
    @Lambie I don't wanna sound like a mansplainer, but most guys that oil their machine parts and knives would be aware of this product...for manly men, we all know WD-40....(I think my cousin and daughter use it for sewing machines)...but is universal for simple lubricant needs of machine parts. Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 21:35
  • Well, dearie, I know what it is, too. But there are participants who aren't American and would not know it. :) In other words, it's a product not a "term". :)
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 21:38
  • 1
    It's regional, that's what makes it interesting. It includes pronunciation of products going back like 80 years And don't call me dearie. If anything I am quite unbearably bearish.. Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 21:41
  • It's likely not regional. If it has any specific associations, socioeconomic speech groups are more likely than areal groups. I.e, you shouldn't be asking Where?", you should be asking Who?, with special details on race, status, and income level. Sociolinguistic variation rarely refers to areas, but rather to independent speech group habits. Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 1:21
  • 2
    @JohnLawler Sorry, but I just can't picture, as a general proposition, any real Texan with a Texas drawl not saying dubbya, even if highly educated. Similarly, I don't think anyone in the Boston area goes around saying dubbya, unless referring to George W. as Dubbya.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 15:04
  • 1
    That's why there are sociolinguistic surveys, so we don't hafta depend on what we can imagine. Turns out the distribution of features like this is more temporal and contextual than anything else. I.e, somebody in group A might use it an average of 40% of the time, but those in group B use it 65% of the time. And there's a lot of groups. Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 15:29
  • 1
    @Lambie (all these content comments should probably be over at the question on main)... IPA is not catching all the nuance... the Texan version is very much 'duh-byuh', the Boston (or rather the GenAmE version is closer to 'duh buh yuh' with the middle one very short, not Texan but enough to tell that there might be a difference.
    – Mitch
    Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 22:16
  • @Mitch You don't get what I am saying: The president's nickname is pronounced the same everywhere. Dubya. Even by Bostonians when they say it. That's the whole point of it.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 15:34
  • @Lambie oh I'm sorry I missed that. I was talking about the letter in general. Currently in the Boston area, 'dub yuh' for the former president isn't a universal (and I think not -that- common there)
    – Mitch
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 18:24
  • @Mitch No, you are wrong., "Dubya" is a nickname precisely because of the Texas drawl for the letter. As such, everyone pronounces it the same way. Geesus. /"WHAT DOES DUBYA MEAN? Dubya is a nickname for the 43rd president of the United States (2001–2009), George W. Bush. It’s based on that middle initial, W., used to differentiate him from his equally presidential father of the same name.".dictionary.com/e/politics/dubya///What is the matter with everyone about this??
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 18:39
  • 1
    The pronunciation information is on the Wikipedia page for the letter W, under "Name". That should be a fairly obvious place to do research. I think there are many worse cases of failure to do research in a question, but claims that "there's no way to research this" are plainly incorrect.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Mar 28, 2022 at 14:34
  • How was that Question not purely dependant on one speaker's pronunciation or worse, one listener's hearing? Doesn't that suggest any Answer will always be a matter of opinion? A site with a mechanism for producing "pure" pronunciation might be helpful, but how would that "pure" be defined? Commented Apr 3, 2022 at 19:17

2 Answers 2


It's been reopened and the title has also now been edited to remove the obvious misconception from generalising the particular (which probably contributed to closure).

  • Though it now has a close vote again. (Maybe the title needs to be changed more?)
    – Laurel Mod
    Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 11:32
  • @Laurel If you think it needs to be changed again, go for it. However, the suggestion you link to supposes that everyone misses the third syllable of W, which isn't the case.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 12:02
  • Yeah I think that not assuming a universal pronunciation is good, but it might be necessary to remove the misconception from the title (since it's "doubya" not "double").
    – Laurel Mod
    Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 12:09
  • 7
    But that misconception is crucial to the question. The OP there is definitely discerning "double D forty" instead of "double-U-D-Forty", possibly because he's unaware of dubya, which is the answer to the question (as indeed has been given).
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 12:22
  • 1
    It looks like OP edited the title along the lines I was thinking anyway.
    – Laurel Mod
    Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 20:21
  • The OP also assumed that the phonological variation was geographical, which is unlikely, but insists on getting an areal name. When it would take a language survey to begin to answer the question. I bet it could be done for under a million in the US. Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 1:34
  • 1
    @JohnLawler Even if it is a socioeconomic issue, and not regional, how does it make it off-topic on EL&U? C'mon, this is our bread and butter. Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 17:37

It should remain closed. I (British English - Yes, they sell it here and in the rest of Europe) have listened to the linked Youtube video and nowhere do I hear anything but "double-you-dee-forty". The question was asked on the basis of a mishearing by a Spanish speaker who admits the mishearing might be his fault. EL&U cannot explain why the mishearing took place, nor does it need to: the question does not need an answer as it does not exist.

  • 1
    I am from New York, and still pronounce it "dubya dee fordy"...that is the way I always heard it. Commented Mar 29, 2022 at 19:54
  • @Cascabel_StandWithUkraine - close enough.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Mar 29, 2022 at 22:53

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .