Just Call Me “Adrien”

talabarderI’ve seen my surname spelled just about every conceivable way — from “LaBombaarde” to “Lombard” to “LamBombarb” and dozens of other attempts.

And I’ve heard it pronounced just as many different ways.

It’s actually rather simple. Just say, “Bombard” as if you are giving the cannon command at the Alamo or warning ISIS what’s coming their way. That final “e” is silent, just “Bombard” with the emphasis on the final syllable. Now put a “La” at the beginning like you’re about to sing “La la la la la” before beginning your bombardment, and you’ve got it: “LaBombarde!”

These days, we think of a bombard (French: bombarde) as a double-reed instrument used to play traditional Breton music. The musician in a duet with the accordian player in the picture shown here is playing a bombarde. As in, “la bombarde.”

In medieval days, the bombard was a muzzle-loading cannon used to fire stone balls at walls during a seige. Again, as in “la bombarde.”

The only person I’ve ever met who has pronounced it correctly on sight, without hearing me say it, has been Susan, the love of my life.

I don’t mind everyone else getting it wrong. But if you want to keep it easy, just call me Adrien.

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