Put Guh and Zhou back in Gushue, Canadian word skip after years of mispronunciation

LAS VEGAS – Run a memo for the curling ring host and tell the television broadcaster too. The surname of one of Canada’s top curlers has been mispronounced for years.

The broadcaster has been using the term ‘GOO-shoo’ for Brad Gushue’s last name since he appeared on the national scene nearly two decades ago.

A household name for Game Roaring fans, it’s a subtle, yet distinct adjustment.

“Let it flow: GUH’-zhoo,” said Gushue.

Instead of the one-two rhyming punches of ‘goo’ and ‘shoo,’ proper pronunciation is more compact with a clear emphasis on ‘ZH’ at the beginning of the second syllable.

“When I first came to the scene, people would ask and I would say it like I always say: ‘GUH’-zhoo,’” he said. “It (later) became a heavy emphasis on ‘GOO’ and then ‘GOO-shoo.’

“I would try to fix it and they would make it worse, so I just gave up.”

Gushue, 41, won Olympic gold at the 2006 Turin Olympics and took bronze at the Beijing Olympics in February.

He represented Canada again at this week’s men’s curling world championships in Las Vegas after winning his fourth national title in six years.

The subject of pronouncer has recently come to his attention on social media.

“I don’t usually reply too much on Twitter,” Gushue told The Canadian Press. “I use Twitter to get my news. But then I saw it appear and I thought, ‘This is an opportunity to say what it is.’ It kind of took off a bit more than I expected.

“I thought I was the only one replying to that one person and some people might see it. But it’s taking off and more people are pronouncing it correctly now which is a good thing.”

The skip family based in St. John has lived in Newfoundland and Labrador for at least three generations, he said, adding that he believed the surname’s origins had its roots in Wales.

The firm introduction of “BRAAAAD GOOOOOOOOOO-SHOOOOOOOOOOO” at major curling events requires a bit of tweaking.

On-air TV broadcasters should update their broadcaster lists as well.

“Like I said on Twitter, I get called worse so it doesn’t bother me too much,” Gushue said with a laugh. “But yeah, it’s GUH’-zhoo. Let it flow a little more gently than most people.

“I think most people have learned from what they hear on TV and in the media. Maybe I should have put more emphasis on it that day.”

Gushue, who won 2017 world gold and 2018 silver, will play in the semifinals Saturday night at the Orleans Arena. The medal match is scheduled for Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on April 9, 2022

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.


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Laura Davis

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