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Thread: How do you pronounce Lieutenant?

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    Default How do you pronounce Lieutenant?

    Hi guys

    My Grandfather was a Flight Lieutenant Navigator on Lancaster during WW2.

    In a small debate with a family member they say Lieutenant is pronounced Lef tenant. I thought that was an Amerian rank and actually an Army rank. Please advise on the pronunciation and meaning?

    Thankyou
    Sam
    Last edited by Sam_martin82; 5th June 2014 at 07:43. Reason: Grammar

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    Hi Sam, an interesting question! Lieutenant (British Lef-tenant; US Loo-tenant) is originally French. Where a Captain commanded a unit and disposed the sub-units within it, the Lieutenants held intermediary posts and acted 'in Lieu' of the Captain to translate his intentions into action. Ships used to be commanded by Captains, with Lieutenants reporting to them and commanding the various divisions of the ship's company. The junior officers were Midshipmen. The Army has Second Lieutenants and Lieutenants (both Subaltern rank, with emphasis on the 'sub' in that they receive orders within their unit). The RAF slightly complicate the matter because a Flight Lieutenant is equivalent to an Army Captain. In Fighter Command he would command a flight, but in Bomber Command, flights were commanded by Squadron Leaders due to their size, complexity and the number of men involved.

    Clear as mud?

    Richard

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    Thank you Richard.
    My Grandfather was RAF Bomber Command and was Flight Lieutenant between 1944 and the end of the War.
    I know from London Gazette - 20th October 1942 he was Ldg Acm. His service number changes on this entry. I assume that's his commission. On 20th April 1943 he changes from Plt Off-->Flg Off. On 20th October 1944 he changes again from Flg Off--> Flt L/T.

    So to sum up who is right? I think you are saying my relative saying Lef tenant is correct. Thankyou.

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    Your thinking is correct, 'Left-tenant' is the correct UK and Commonwealth version.
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    In that case I stand corrected as I thought it was pronounced Lieutenant as it's spelt.
    Runs away with tail between legs...........
    Thankyou very much Richard and Johnny.

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    Oxford English Dictionary, cf.
    http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/108088...om=Lieutenant&

    The phonetics indicate the difference in pronunciation between British-English and US. On Merriam-Webster you can actually hear the pronunciation, cf.
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lieutenant

    Mikkel (a non native English speaker)
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

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    I can already feel a DERBY moment coming on or even Chalmondelay-Marjorybanks, perhaps a Featherstonhaugh event!!!!

    Colin Cummings

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    Nice one, Colin!
    And Happisburgh!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Dear All, of a certain British vintage!
    It reminds me of Captain Square calling Captain George Mainwairing (Dads Army) 'Main Wairing' as apposed to 'Manaring'
    Long live Colonel Metchett and 'Slackbladder'
    Yours in BBC humour!
    James

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    Or Crabtree from Allo Allo - Good Moaning! not to mention some slightly more 'earthy' miss pronunciations, with which this readership should not be troubled!!!!!!!!!!

    Colin Cummings

    PS This is a fairly spectacular Thread drift

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