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Bonnie vs. Bonny

Joe Offer 31 Jul 14 - 01:16 AM
Jack Campin 31 Jul 14 - 04:44 AM
Richard Mellish 31 Jul 14 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,Derrick 31 Jul 14 - 05:06 AM
GUEST,Grishka 31 Jul 14 - 06:54 AM
Susan of DT 31 Jul 14 - 07:15 AM
Jack Campin 31 Jul 14 - 07:35 AM
clueless don 31 Jul 14 - 09:04 AM
Jack Campin 31 Jul 14 - 09:51 AM
Steve Gardham 31 Jul 14 - 11:36 AM
GUEST,FloraG 31 Jul 14 - 12:43 PM
GUEST 01 Aug 14 - 05:52 AM
Lighter 01 Aug 14 - 08:28 AM
GUEST,leeneia 01 Aug 14 - 09:33 AM
MGM·Lion 01 Aug 14 - 10:24 AM
Steve Gardham 01 Aug 14 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Aug 14 - 09:42 AM
Jack Campin 02 Aug 14 - 10:14 AM
Steve Gardham 02 Aug 14 - 06:23 PM
Phil Edwards 02 Aug 14 - 08:25 PM
Steve Gardham 03 Aug 14 - 10:29 AM
GUEST 03 Aug 14 - 04:55 PM
GUEST 03 Aug 14 - 05:14 PM
GUEST,Phil 03 Aug 14 - 06:32 PM
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Subject: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 01:16 AM

OK, so this is one of those dumb things I've wondered about. I'm hesitant to ask, in fear of derision, but I don't know the difference between "bonnie" and "bonny." I thought that "bonny" was masculine and "bonnie" feminine, but that often isn't the case in songs I've seen posted here.
Which is what?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 04:44 AM

Bonny is the older spelling. Bonnie started to take over in the 18th century and is more common now. No difference in meaning, it's just personal preference.


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 04:49 AM

There is also a tendency to use "bonnie" in Scots contexts and "bonny" in northern English contexts.


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 05:06 AM

Spelling of words only became rigidly standardised when the first dictionaries were written.
Prior to then people spelt words using the phonetic method.
The written word is a representation of the sound of the spoken word,
each letter indicates a sound, combine those sounds in your mind and you "hear" the word.
The spoken word can convey a depth of meaning by means of tone and emphasis that the written word can never do.


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 06:54 AM

As in many such cases, my dictionaries eschew responsibility by mentioning both spellings linked by "or". It seems, though, that in all such cases the ending -y is a well-established standard.

The popular "Bonnie Prince Charlie" in this spelling may be the source of two possible exceptions, whence the association with Scotland. It may well have been a whim by biographers, perhaps even driven by the purpose to create a Scottish idiosyncrasy (- my wild guess from googling, not expertise.)

However, from time to time we encounter back-formations from plural spellings, so-called Quaylisms. Example: "Kudos to the Brits, but not a single kudo to Cameron!"


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: Susan of DT
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 07:15 AM

Some older songs also use "bonie". I just searched for bonie in the DT and got 37 hits.


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 07:35 AM

The popular "Bonnie Prince Charlie" in this spelling may be the source of two possible exceptions

More likely the result of it. He wasn't often referred to that way in his lifetime - it's a 19th century label.

I think Burns may have preferred "bonnie" and he would have been influential. Scott seems to have spelt "Bonn[y|ie] Dundee" both ways before settling on "-ie".

In manuscripts from before 1700 I've sometimes seen "boñy", which is a hangover from mediaeval orthography.


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: clueless don
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 09:04 AM

For the feminine name, I've always seen "Bonnie". As an adjective meaning (more or less) fine, good, lovely, etc., I've seen both.

I suspect that "Bonie", particularly in lyrics found on Mudcat, is a nickname for Bonaparte, as in Napoleon.


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 09:51 AM

No it isn't. The context makes it clear what "Bonie" means. Scots is sometimes vaguer than English about the use of double consonants for vowel mutation.

Napoleon is usually abbreviated "Boney" or (less often) "Bony".


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 11:36 AM

Mostly 'bonnie' nowadays is reserved for poetry/lyrics with possibly the exception of Scots. In normal prose writing in England at least we would nowadays tend to use 'bonny' but both are acceptable. Many words have alternative spellings. I don't think this is a problem except for skeptics/sceptics.


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 12:43 PM

I have heard - can't say how authentic - that Bonapart family came from Scotland in a group or party - the Bonner party?
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Aug 14 - 05:52 AM

Where does Bony (Bonny, Bonnie, Boney) Moronie fit into all this?- Dr Larry Williams in the 1950s compared the above to a stick of macaroni-is this indicative of the physical nature of Bonaparte, surely the use of the word 'boney' in this context is a valuable breakthrough in Napoleonic research? Dr Williams' research can be heard on London American 78 record from about 1959


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Aug 14 - 08:28 AM

Possibly you're confusing "Boney" with "phoney baloney."


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 01 Aug 14 - 09:33 AM

Now that you've pointed it out, Joe, I realize that songs in my music collection are harder to find because sometimes they start with 'bonnie' and sometimes with 'bonny.'

I think it makes sense to use 'bonny' as an adjective and save 'Bonnie' for a feminine name.


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Aug 14 - 10:24 AM

≈≈Grr·ROARrr·Rrr!≈≈


I'm in-Clyde to agree with you, leeneia
                           
~M~


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Aug 14 - 02:08 PM

Whether it makes sense or not you still have the same problem. Both are accepted and will very likely continue to be so.


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Aug 14 - 09:42 AM

That's true for OTHER people. However, I print music, play music and share music. So if I spell 'bonny' the same way every time, it will be helpful to my circle of friends.


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Aug 14 - 10:14 AM

Google says:

- "bonny song": About 4,230,000 results

- "bonnie song": About 40,000,000 results (most of which seem to be for "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean")


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Aug 14 - 06:23 PM

And strangely enough 'Bonnie' in this case is an American college corruption of Harry Clifton's English 'Barney'.


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 02 Aug 14 - 08:25 PM

"My Barney lies over the ocean, just the way he lied to me"! Nice one. But the song's not a Harry Clifton - the words are by Sam Lewis and Joe Young.


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Aug 14 - 10:29 AM

Sorry Phil,
This 1919 song is well predated by both 'My Bonnie' c1885 and 'Send Back my Barney, c1866, written and sung by Harry Clifton


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Aug 14 - 04:55 PM

The origin is Latin, bonus (m), bona (f) if you take it back to the mediaeval. The bona form can change to bonae, sometimes, whereas the bona form becomes boni, spelled correctly. But when you submit those to vernacularism, you'll get bonny and bonnie, respectively.


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Aug 14 - 05:14 PM

ut when you submit those to vernacularism, you'll get bonny and bonnie, respectively.

Bollockularism.


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Subject: RE: Bonnie vs. Bonny
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 03 Aug 14 - 06:32 PM

No need to apologise, Steve - until yesterday I didn't even know there was a "My Barney", let alone when it dated back to. All new info gratefully received!


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