Unless it has changed drastically since I lived in Newfoundland, no one today seems to know how to pronounce “Gushue.” Yes, as in Brad Gushue, yesterday’s acclaimed winner of the Brier, Canada’s prestigious curling championship.
But what did he ever do to deserve getting his surname pronounced to sound like getting something sticky on his shoe – GOO-SHOO? That’s what countless TV people call him all the time. I groan in disbelief every time I hear it.
I knew several people bearing that proud surname – among them Dr. Ray Gushue, the first President of Memorial University of Newfoundland, and Bill Gushue, a friend from those long ago university days – but it was always pronounced “GUH-ZHU” with the emphasis on the first syllable. Not rhyming with, but much like, “cashew,” with the U sound as in “cushion.”
The Gushue name which has been known in Newfoundland since the 18th century is believed to be of Breton origin.