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How Do You Pronounce “Brooch”?

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A New York Times article about that trendy accessory, the brooch, prompts a question: How do you pronounce brooch? Does it rhyme with pooch or coach? It’s more commonly pronounced to rhyme with coach, although some dictionaries do countenance the other pronunciation as well. Broach goes back to a Latin word that means “long needle,” and arrived in an Old French word for “needle,” broche. The name refers to the way the jewelry fastens to a garment. That’s also where we get the notion of broaching a subject, from the idea of piercing or penetrating something with a sharp instrument. Is there a word you have to keep looking up again and again because you can’t remember how it’s pronounced? How about the word askance? This is part of a complete episode.

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