Barack Obama

More Change in Obama's America: New Pronunciation for OB-GYN

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While watching, listening, and largely ignoring President Obama's funtastic online streaming webcast Zager & Evans in the Year 2525 futuristic Town Hall meeting (note: in the future, towns will be replaced with populations of bald, big-headed humans with artificially enhanced IQs and matching jumpsuits), I heard our dear leader talk about how much he liked nurses and how, rest assured, they would be heavily consulted as he attempts to salvage our nation's ailing healthcare sector.

Then he went on to talk about the OB-GYNS who delivered his two daughters and how they really didn't spend anytime with him or his wife (it was the nurses who got their hands dirty, hence his admiration for them). But instead of saying oh-bee-gee-why-en, Obama repeatedly referred to oh-bee-guy-nees.

As a two-time parent mesself, I must admit I have never heard the term pronounced thus and neither has any of the men, women, or children I've polled in the past hour or two.

And you, gentle Hit & Run readers, have you ever heard OB-GYNs called this other thing? Or is this, like most of Obama's hemming and hawing when he speaks extemporaneously (like some sort of political Bob Newhart or the second coming of Dubya), just more proof that we're in the early phases of the Bush-Obama years and not at the threshold of some new glorious era in American history?

Update: I stand corrected and take it all back (except for the part about Obama representing a continuation of, not a break from, the worst policies of George W. Bush). From Ross Levatter, an actual M.D.:

Nick,

Funny blog post.

As a physician, I can assure you that "O B Guy Knee" is an alternative pronunciation. "O B Gine (rhymes with wine)", "O B G Y N" [and] "O B Gin" are also heard.

Ross

PS: It now occurs to me I've never asked one if they had a preference…

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  1. :uncontrollable laughter:

    Thanks Gillespie. That was much needed.

  2. I have never heard it pronounced like that, but I have always been very puzzled by the fact that people pronounce each letter in OB/GYN and that they capitalize each letter. It is an abbreviation for obstetrician/gynecologist, right? Not an acronym. So whu isn’t is Ob./Gyn. and why isn’t it pronounced ob-gyne? Is pronouncing gyn too dirty or something? Does anyone know the explanation for this.

  3. No idea, ZEB.

  4. I tend to pronounce it “ob-jinz” but “ob-guynz” would make more sense. I don’t care for your pronunciation because it makes it sound like an acronym, which it isn’t. It should really be ob-gyn not OB-GYN for the same reason.

  5. I have three children under 6. I was right up in there when they were born. All were delivered by O-B-G-Y-N’s…I never heard it pronounced the Obama way.

    TOTUS strikes again.

  6. Saying “guyne” is more logical, and more pretentious, since GYN is not an acronym. Obama may be a lot of things, but he’s fairly literate, and it’s a sign of desperation from his opponents that they’re trying to push the “Obama’s dumb” meme.

  7. I know alot of people that say O-B-Guyn, and a few that say Obguyn, but the vast majority say O-B-G-Y-N. Never heard the Obama version before though.

  8. I have three children under 6. I was right up in there when they were born. All were delivered by O-B-G-Y-N’s…I never heard it pronounced the Obama way.

    I have three over six, and my experience is the same.

    but he’s fairly literate, and it’s a sign of desperation from his opponents that they’re trying to push the “Obama’s dumb” meme.

    Yes, desperation, from anyone who dislikes the Anointed One. It must be, can’t be anything else.

  9. It should really be pronounced Vaj’der. As it Vagina Doctor.

  10. Obama is not dumb. He is just a terrible extemporaneous speaker. I reference you to his laughter at the expense of retards. His pronunciation (enunciation, if you will) of the phrase is laughable.

  11. Then he went on to talk about the OB-GYNS who delivered his two daughters and how they really didn’t spend anytime with him or his wife (it was the nurses who got their hands dirty, hence his admiration for them).

    Not really on topic (although what is the topic? That Obama pronounces some words like ‘Pakistan’ and ‘Orion’ a little different? meh.) The above sentence bothers me (assuming the context is correct – which is likely)

    It’s not just the somewhat marxist view that the only value added to a process is the manual labor (i.e. ‘those that get their hands dirty). It’s also the idea that you want the highly skilled professional doing the nuts and bolts work which is crappy from a system management point of view.

    It’s like bitching that airline pilots don’t do anything because the autopilot does all the work. You’re not paying the pilot a shit-ton of money to fly the plane. You’re paying the pilot a shit-ton of money to fly the plane when things are going to hell.

    It’s the same thing for Ob-gyns. Yes, if nothing is goes wrong, a midwife is all you need. But the doc is there for those cases where things are going wrong. And he or she is busy hobnobbing with the father, well, that’s less time he or she is focussing on the real job.

  12. My son was born a couple of months ago. There was no doctor in the Kaiser delivery room, AFIK. There were just 3 nurses. I assume there was an OB-GYN available on the floor had there been any complications, but there weren’t.

    Barrack must have more upscale medical coverage than me. It’s not fair!

  13. O-B-Guyn is pretty standard these days.

  14. and it’s a sign of desperation from his opponents that they’re trying to push the “Obama’s dumb” meme.

    Whatever, sister. It is not exactly squeezing water from a rock to find something fucked up about this guy.

  15. I thought OB-GYN was pronounced “nuclear.”

  16. The teleprompter doesn’t come with phonetics?!

  17. Brilliant insite. Did Nick come up with this after attending the Normal afterparty? Dude!

    Say, I posted a comment here a couple hours after the effort was announced, and I’m sure Reason knew about it on Tuesday. Did Reason submit any questions? Did they look for the best pot question and try to corral their readers into voting for that instead of spacing out and just voting up any pot question they could find?

    Oddly enough, Reason did not do that.

    The good thing is that what Normal did is going to backfire, and in addition to that there’s a very small possibility that it might lead to a different way townhall questions are selected.

  18. Why not just do what I do and call them “Pussy Mechanics”?

  19. I’ve never heard it pronounced like that, and so it seems odd to me.

    However, I thought it was stupid when people cared how Bush pronounced nuclear, and I think it’s stupid when people care how Obama pronounces OB-GYN.

  20. I don’t think his bizarre mispronunciations mean Obama’s dumb; rather, they suggest to me some bizarre separation from mainstream American society. Maybe spending a few formative years in non-English speaking society does significantly impair your ability to pick up on these nuances?

    Though I may be an outlier, since I don’t think Bush’s “Bushisms” meant he was dumb, either; just raised on whatever non-English language is evidently spoken in the Bush household.

  21. Shut the fuck up, LoneWacko.

  22. There are plenty of reasons to dislike Obama. This is not one of them.

  23. I’ve always heard “oh-bee-gin”. But I’m 19, male, and a youngest child, so I’ve had no contact with them.

  24. Does he pronounce aunt as “ant” or “awhnt?” “Vaze” or “Vahz?” “Cubeah” or
    “Cuber”

  25. SugarFree,

    What are the rules for godwinning the thread again? You may have surpassed the threshold.

    Spoonman,

    A vagina or OB-GYN’s?

  26. If you say Oh-Bee at the start, say Gee-Why-Enn at the end, for consistency. Otherwise, you would say “Ahb-Gin”

  27. Naga Sadow, OBGYNs. I had contact with a vagina earlier today, and probably will again later.

  28. Naga,

    I think it’s the half-gallon of iced I drank. I feel like punching every clown in the world.

  29. Every time I hear it pronounced oh bee gee wye en I am reminded of Bush praising them for practicing their love on women all across the country.

  30. I’ve heard the oh-be-guy-nees pronunciation before. It, too, was by people who thought they were being cutesy when in reality they were jackasses.

    Regarding the nurses getting their hands dirty, and having them make important medical policy as part of his plan, not sure I like that at all. My daughter had the cord wrapped around her neck FOUR times and the resultant bungee affect kept her from delivering normally. The nurse looked just as terrified as my wife and I when the OB/GYN told us this news (after getting his own wealthy hands dirty to find out). He was calm and cool, called for the vacuum, and pulled my daughter from the womb like a professional. No nurse or midwife could have done it. With the strength required some female doctors couldn’t have either…maybe), and without him doing what he did, it’s quite possible my wife and daughter would both have died in child birth, considering how far into the birth canal she was when the problem was discovered.

    Oh, and there were half a dozen nurses in the unit at the time, all making several moms (and dads) comfortable, checking vitals, cleaning up shit…and one doctor going around making the hard decisions with his expertise.

    So, Mr. President, just because you don’t deserve the accolades and salary you receive, doesn’t mean others are less deserving. Asshole.

  31. spoonman,

    I curse you! My girlfriend is in Denver(Golden, actually) for another two months.

  32. I also am reminded of bush whenever I hear about an OB/GYN.

  33. Naga,

    Don’t worry. She’s safe.

  34. Do you think anyone’s going to call Obama out on the deeply misogynist notion that vaginas are somehow “dirty”?

    Sexist pig.

  35. Nick, it’s the same concept that says CEOs don’t do any work because they’re not there lining up Excel charts. I tell people they should go and found a CEO-free company and tell me how that works out. Then they call me an asshole.

  36. Spoonman, you probably are an asshole. But, with your comments, probably our kind of asshole. Cheers.

    Oh, and next time you pop your old lady, make her call you Jay. Snoogins.

  37. This warrants a post? Really?

    I have heard it equally referred to as O-B-G-Y-N and O-B-Guy-Knee. The latter more often from other medical professionals that I have spoken to.

    The nurses that delivered my child were split between the former and the latter

    But really, what fucking difference does it make?

    Seriously, there are a million valid criticisms of this president (or any president for that matter) and you waste time on some childish bullshit like this?

    STOOOOPID

  38. Just don’t say “oystertrician”. I don’t care what they look like.

  39. “Just don’t say “oystertrician”. I don’t care what they look like.”

    Well I do, because if you ask me, each one’s a song in the making.

  40. Glad to see that my theory that Obama is challenged is gaining a foothold. This man’s only prior accomplishments are Law, Community organizing, and politics. None of these fields is particularly known for intellect.

    His policies clearly show that this man is a bit slow.

  41. Much as I hate to defend the man…

    It is fairly common here in Chicago to call them ‘O-B-guy-nees’. I don’t do it, and I don’t like it… but it is a local usage in the Chicago area.

  42. As two people have noticed, this sounds like a whole “nuclear” deal.

    I will add that I did not notice many people pointing out to the MSM (or in the Msm) that Bush pronuounced “nuclear” pretty close to the way Carter did.

    I suppose this will get about as much media attention as a plane landing on time.

  43. I’m torn. Is this a Chicago thing, or is ChicagoTom just making shit up so that dear leader doesn’t look like a dumbass?

    Oh, I’m not really torn. It’s the latter.

  44. It’s spelled S-O-D-A, but my grandpa always pronounced it as “pop”.

    p.s. Which was really confusing as a kid. One grandpa was always threatening to pop me one upside the head, and the other always wanted to know if I wanted a pop.

    “Hey kiddo, want a pop?”

    “Ack! No! I didn’t do it! Don’t hit me!”

  45. I’m torn. Is this a Chicago thing, or is ChicagoTom just making shit up so that dear leader doesn’t look like a dumbass?

    I’m torn…

    is JW Gacy an fucking idiot or pig fucking cocksucker?

    Im not really torn…he’s both!

    Douche

  46. Wow, going really off topic now, but must correct this misinformation:

    Nick, You’re wrong – midwives can handle nuchal cords just fine – even wrapped multiple times. They have a neat trick called the somersault maneuver.

    Maybe the doctor saved your baby… but very likely a midwife or better trained nurse could have, too, in this situation.

    In any case, glad you had a happy ending!

  47. It’s spelled S-O-D-A, but my grandpa always pronounced it as “pop”.

    Around my parts, growing up, the only “soda” we knew was Soda Water.

    If you want a carbonated soft drink, like coke or pepsi, in an aluminum container you were getting a can of “pop”.

  48. But instead of saying oh-bee-gee-why-en, Obama repeatedly referred to oh-bee-guy-nees.

    I’ve worked in hospitals and health care for fifteen years now, and I’ve never heard it that way. I can only recall hearing the letters pronounces, or hearing Oh Bee Jenn.

    Unless its a regional/Chicago thing (possible, I guess), there’s not a lot, I chalk it up to insecurity. He’s ignorant of how its commonly pronounced, but wanted to sound knowledgable, but didn’t want to actually ask anyone.

    On the who-gives-a-shit scale, call it a 1, for the insight it may give into Obama’s insecurities.

  49. I don’t care how Obama pronounces it. I just want to know why it is pronounced as it is. Or why don’t we call them obstetricians when they are delivering babies and gynecologists when they are peering into vaginas.

  50. I was born and raised in Chicago (and lived there most of adult life as well) and never remember hearing it that way. Of course I don’t really remember hearing it said much at all, so…

    I pronounce it as “oh bee gee why enn” on those unfortunate occasions when I have to say it at all. I’d use the term “medical spelunker” myself.

  51. It’s spelled S-O-D-A, but my grandpa always pronounced it as “pop”.

    I present “The Pop vs. Soda [vs. Coke] Page”.

  52. In any case, glad you had a happy ending!

    A testament to being put in the hands of well-trained professionals!

  53. Oh-bee-guy-nees sounds like a bad Bill Cosby impersonation.

    As a lawyer, I would figure this guy could appreciate putting the right level of personnel on the job. Unless he thinks charging partner billing rates for paralegal work is cool. Can’t wait till that new, affordable US healthcare system goes into effect – doctors can do all the nurses work so they can get their hands dirty; forget that it would cost 5 to 10 times as much.

  54. I work at a Medical College and just asked around with Nursing faculty. They’ve all heard these pronunciations and others. Crisis averted.

  55. ChicagoTom and liberty have pretty much confirmed what I suspected. It’s a local thing.

    There are some really big deals about Obama but I’m not really seeing this as one of them.

    Now, the whole level of populist demagoguery that’s coming out of the White House, that, for me, is a really big deal.

  56. My Mom always called her OB/GYN the “Obee guynee”, it must be a Chicago area thing.

  57. Help us oh-bee-guy-nee! You’re our only hope!
    Sorry couldn’t resist.

  58. A testament to being put in the hands of well-trained professionals!

    Only someone in the medical field (or who worships it) could argue so irrationally.

  59. I think his mispronunciation of “Orion” is far more of an issue. It indicates someone with very little knowledge of astronomy, and perhaps even worse, a staff who either doesn’t know or is too incompetent to prep/correct him before he speaks at a company named after the constellation.

  60. I’ve heard it. The full name is obstetrician/gynecologist so some people shorten it to OB/gyne.

  61. enhanced IQs and matching jumpsuits

    It’s a speedsuit. How many times do we have to go through this? And may I suggest a pair of Italian leather ankle boots to complete the ensemble?

  62. I think his mispronunciation of “Orion” is far more of an issue

    I have heard that there’s a fairly well-known Chicago-area broadcaster by that name whom pronounces it the way Obama did.

  63. And we all know how these things always go.

    Consultant whispering into the ear of the President: Mr. President, you will be responsible for creating millions of dues-paying federal Union Jobs…

  64. But to answer the question:

    And you, gentle Hit & Run readers, have you ever heard OB-GYNs called this other thing?

    Not only no, but hell no with highly polished brass knobs on. I have a career in healthcare. And I’m a one-time parent. So yes, that makes me a fully qualified expert.

    I’ve heard it. The full name is obstetrician/gynecologist so some people shorten it to OB/gyne.

    According to Gillespie’s text, that’s not how he pronounced it.

  65. Oh-Bee-Gine was what we called the department in medical school, and “that fucking bitch” was usually how medical students referred to the physicians as individuals.

    Now that I’m in practice, I call them Oh-Bee-Gines or just gynos, so I agree with Barack on this one.

  66. He unknowingly made a good argument for the midwifery model of care.

  67. “Why not just do what I do and call them “Pussy Mechanics”?”

    That was funny as shit. Well done….

  68. Now that I’m in practice, I call them Oh-Bee-Gines or just gynos, so I agree with Barack on this one.

    Am I confused here? Again, not how he pronounced it, according to Gillespie’s text. I too have heard “gine” or gyne, but never once have I heard oh-bee-guy-nees.

  69. Another point, I know Obama’s got a God complex, but Obs have other things to do with their time than spend every single moment gazing at Michelle.

  70. Paul: Actually, it is. Both letters in OB, first two syllables of gynecologist. Assuming the e pronounced in “gyne”

  71. I have heard that there’s a fairly well-known Chicago-area broadcaster by that name whom pronounces it the way Obama did.

    He may be based in Chicago, but Mr. Samuelson is one of the best-known farm broadcasters in the country.

  72. In Chicago it’s pronounced “Da Guy what deals wid da female situations”

    “Over dare a da ospital”

  73. It’s a speedsuit.

    Go get ’em Dr. Venture.

  74. It must be a very regional pronunciation. I grew up in several Chicago suburbs, and said oh-bee-guy-nee. My husband grew up in different Chicago suburbs, and had no idea what I was talking about.

  75. Ben @ 5:22 FTW!

  76. Could this be related to the town of Gur-ney? (Accent on the second syllable, damn your hide!)

  77. Could this be related to the town of Gur-ney? (Accent on the second syllable, damn your hide!)

    Do you mean Gurnee? (If so, I’ve been mispronouncing it all these years. Then again, I grew up on the other side of the border.)

  78. Is this a Chicago thing, or is ChicagoTom just making shit up so that dear leader doesn’t look like a dumbass?

    Gacy, yerin idjit.

    In Chicago, it can be Obee Guyn or Obee Guynee. I did not know that this was a Chicago thing, but as soon as I read Nick’s post I figured it out.

    Nick,
    Just delete this post. That Obama talks like he’s spent years in Chicago is not of interest, nor is it news. Next you’ll tell us that he occasionally adds unnecessary definite articles.

  79. The Special Olympics President couldn’t even pronounce ‘Orion’ the other day. The guy is dumber than a piece of shit.

  80. I’m married to a doctor, and attend lots of doctor parties. Never heard it pronounced the way Obama did.

    Course, if this was the worst thing anyone could say about Obama thus far in his presidency (which it so very much isn’t), then I would be content with a sitting president for a change.

  81. Did some research (asked a family member who is an OB-GYN). She says she has heard the Obama pronunciation a few times, and that the Oh-Bee Jin pronunciation is from Texas. Of course, her residency was in Texas, so basically, I got nothing new.

  82. spend anytime [sic] with him

    Anytime that I want education on diction and pronunciation, Hit & Run will be my first stop.

    Seriously, I’m a language nit but this H&R post is too silly.

  83. When I was in med school, everyone pronounced “GYN” as “gynie”.

    Some gynecologists pronounced “gynocology” as “jinnocology”.

  84. Yeah, I meant Gurnee. I accidentally used the phonetic spelling for the name.

  85. EJM-
    Thanks. ‘Best known farm broadcaster’ doesn’t really mean much to someone whose knowledge of the food chain begins and ends at Safeway.

  86. My aunt, a former obstetric nurse in western Pa., always referred to them as “guy-nees” (without the “oh-bee”) for the twenty years or so that she worked in that department. I can’t recall her ever using any other way to refer to them, except to explain when anyone asked her what a “guy-nee” was.

  87. ‘Help us oh-bee-guy-nee! You’re our only hope!’

    Oh-bee-guy nee. Now, that’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time. A long time.

  88. Gyne is ancient greek for woman and whence the term derives. People make edumacated guess as to how ancient greek sounded. My professor pronouced it goo-nay. Gynecology, study of the logos of woman. Maybe O’s a classicist.

  89. B: No classicist would pronounce Orion as “OR-ee-un.”

  90. Common pronunciation amongst the docs et al when I was in grad school for public health. O-B- guy-n.

  91. Wasn’t Obama’s grandmother an OB-GYN?

  92. The Special Olympics President couldn’t even pronounce ‘Orion’ the other day.

    B: No classicist would pronounce Orion as “OR-ee-un.”

    Well in the speech he was referring to a company, Orion Energy Systems. Perhaps the firms owners refer to themselves that way. I’ve seen lots of businesses that have unorthodox pronunciations of their names.

    I don’t know and I don’t care. What I do care about is the fact that this Orion Energy is likely as not another bunch of connected folks getting graft from an administration that seems to be just as prone to giving patronage to its friends as any other in history has been.

    Mispronunciation is the least of my concerns here.

    What I’m seeing is a lightweight executive who has a DEA that’s so far out of control that it’s raiding medical facilities in spite of the administration’s promise that they won’t.

  93. If Obama were raised in Chicago, the regional-dialect excuse would make more sense. Did he never hear the term before he got there, or from anywhere else since?

    Regardless, a smart guy whose job is to talk to a wide audience would have spent some time in the woodshed sanding off his localisms, you’d think.

    It’s a stupid thing, sure, but it’s a stupid thing, and it’s not alone.

  94. Not terribly important, but it would be painful to keep hearing “OB-guy-nee” repeatedly.

  95. If Obama were raised in Chicago, the regional-dialect excuse would make more sense. Did he never hear the term before he got there, or from anywhere else since?

    Wow. Brillante.

    Who do you think Obama hears that term from most often?

  96. First of all, seriously?! really?! Did you have to devote a whole paragraph on a mispronounced word? This is totally ridiculous and a waste of reason.com. I want that 15 seconds of life back that it took to read your stupid paragraph. And the 30 sec it took to write this response to tell you to stop doing it in the future.

  97. I say “obs-gyn”, with a hard “g”.

  98. highnumber,

    How do you say Des Plaines?

  99. ProGLib,

    What a silly question!
    I say it just like it’s spelled, of course.
    “deh splanes”

    A far better question is “How do you say Matteson?”

  100. Ok, enough people have said they’ve heard it that way that I’ll go with it being a legitimate regional pronunciation.

    Like “nukular.”

  101. How do you say Des Plaines?

    Like a midget?

  102. Not in Illinois, they don’t.

  103. Since when does anyone spell out the letters of abbreviated words?
    o.b.g.y.n. – 5 syllables. ob-gyn two syllables, with the benefit of pronouncing the abbreviation which is more common than spelling it out. If Rush Limbaugh, used the less common articulation, a. he could change the common usage and b. he would be roundly denounced by leftards

    (Note to libs: Are you offended by “leftard”? how do you feel about “special olympics” bowling? )

  104. Isaac,

    The whole point is that we have heard for the past 8 years from much of the MSM and a good chunk of the retarded populace that Bush is a GIANT MORON for not pronouncing words correctly.

    Well, if we use their paradigm, than Obama is an EVEN BIGGER GIANT MORON. Yet you don’t hear a peep of that because they are too busy sucking off Obama every chance they get.

  105. I understand I’m 500 posts past anything relevant, but when my latest was born we had a “widwife”. And her and I fought over catching the baby, which I now consider an interception — since I was willing and able to ‘catch’, but it didn’t work out for me. She got her hands in there first, which is certainly for the best (which is why we had her nearby).

  106. JB

    For what it’s worth, I pointed out several times that people who had trouble with Dubya’s “nukular” had not trouble with it from Jimmy Carter.

    Some even tried to say that Dubya’s “nukular” was somehow different than from Jimmy’s.

  107. oh for fuck’s sake – high#: you were right.

    oh for fuck’s sake.

  108. If you’re wondering, I figured if “gyn” got the 1st 3 letters, so should “obs”. BTW, am I the only poster here who actually took obstetrics & gynecology — as a med school course, I mean — twice? Or even once?

  109. no. but you could actually have a point

    (no wait – this entire fucking post has only ignorance and pre-approved agenda as a point)

    🙂

  110. I’m dazzled.
    How many man-hours (or woman-hours) have gone into this pointless pursuit?
    As a non-native American, i’ve always presumed (before i heard otherwise) that OB/GYN was indeed the abbreviation for obstetrician/gynecologist. Therefore, in my mind, i’ve always pronounced it AHB-GHIN (from the first syllables).
    My question to the community is this: How could you all have been led astray so much as to NOT recognize the origin of the words?
    What leaves me even more confounded is that doctors, who clearly have gone through the process of acquiring vast amounts of knowledge, could be so ignorant of such a simple thing.
    How do you say “obstetrician”? Okay, so how do you abbreviate it if you have to?
    How do you say “gynecologist”? Well, then how do you say it if you have to abbreviate it?
    It should be obvious.
    How come NOBODY pronounces it the way they should?
    Maybe EVERYBODY is wrong on the issue?
    Before you judge the others, make sure you have your house in order.

  111. You’re all idiots.

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