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Luke Butchers ‘Boner’ Surname

This morning NBC Capitol Hill Correspondent Luke Russert fell into the unfortunate trap of mispronouncing either House Minority Leader John Boehner‘s or Rep. Jo Bonner‘s (R-Ala.) last name. Russert was on MSNBC discussing the House ethics proceedings against Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.). “It’s up to Zoe Lofgren and John Boner, John Bonner…it’s up to those two to schedule it. The Republicans say it’s up to the Democratic chairwoman. So now it probably won’t happen until 2011.”

It’s hard to know who Russert was referring to since both Boehner and Bonnor have roles in Rangel’s hearing. Bonner, who sits on the Ethics Committee, released a letter accusing Democrats of stalling resolution of Rangel’s ethics situation before the November election. Boehner today announced support for a trial to happen before the November elections.

As surnames go, Boehner (R-Ohio) doesn’t have it easy…

Boehner’s is an easy name to butcher – purposely and otherwise. It’s that o-e-h letter combo that can mystify. For late-night comedians such as Jon Stewart, the Leader’s name allows him and others a Beavis n’ Butthead opportunity to repeatedly say “Boner” in place of “Boehner.”  “Pronounced Boehner, spelled Boner,” Stewart cracked in February 2006.

Genealogymagazine.com gets it right. They say it is pronounced “bay ner.” Even the person who wrote Boehner’s congressional bio feels the need to spell it out – in the first sentence. “John Boehner (BAY-ner), elected to represent the 8th Congressional District of Ohio for a 10th term in November 2008, is a national leader in the fight for a smaller, more accountable government.”

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