In the past I have noticed and enjoyed discussions on your site regarding movies based on historical events. I recently viewed ( again) "The Bounty". Which I really enjoyed. I thought the detail authentic, including the pre-1801 flag, but I was puzzled by the use of the "loot" pronunciation when" lieutenant" was spoken, ie as opposed to "left" tenant. I always thought "loot" was the US pronunciation while "left" was UK. Perhaps you could throw some light on this? Rgds Robert Marsh
I think you're right and 'leftenant' is Britspeak and 'Lootenant' is US, but was it always thus? I don't know. It comes from the French, of course, lieu meaning place and tenant a holder, so a lootenant is a place holder, which doesn't help much. But the Oxford English Dictionary, as usual, comes to my rescue and says that a Mr Walker, in 1793, gives the pronunciation as Leftenant but he hoped that the correct pronunciation Lootenant will in the end win out. So it looks as if the Brits always said Left, and were wrong, and still are, and so were the folk who made the film.