I’ve been having a horrible time of late trying to fix my pronunciation after a friend pointed out I was saying the word patronising the wrong way. Try as I might I couldn’t help but keep saying pate-ronising, which I would duly beat myself up for as a result. That is until I looked it up.
Turns out both are just tomato-tomato’s of the same word, both pronunciations coming from the Latin ‘pater’ meaning father, (and for you Harry Potheads out there, the later word ‘patronus’, meaning defender). I guess this makes the word ‘patroness’ a lot more interesting all of a sudden.
I must say I find it odd though, my friend really did have a justifiable point. For some reason Pat-ronising sounds more like looking down on someone than Pate-ronising, which sounds like you’re lovingly fathering over something. I think I’m going to keep using that distinction now too, I do rather like it.
It would seem I’ve just been effectively incorrected!