|"My name is Basil, and I'm here to inform you|
how to pronounce it correctly!"
|"It is not pronounced Bay-zil,|
like the leafy herb used to make pesto."
We initially thought of naming our new pug Bamboo, but quickly dispensed with such a choice because it wasn't properly respectful.
|"My name may be spelled the same way as the herb,|
but it isn't pronounced the same way. Much like
someone from Poland is "Polish," and not "polish."
And, besides, Boy couldn't bear the thought of being a middle-aged, gay New York decorator walking through the showrooms at the D&D building with a pug named Bamboo. It was simply too much.
|"My name isn't pronounced the same way as |
Basel, Switzerland is pronounced, either."
So we cast around to see what other names we could come up with for our new little fellow. After lots of backing and forthing I suggested that we name him Basil.
|"Basil is not pronounced the same way as Basel,|
which is correctly pronounced Bah-zl."
Image courtesy of Amy Park Design
Basil seemed an appropriately dignified name to me, and I liked it because it was rather Wodehouse-ian, in an Englishy, drawing room comedy-ish sort of way. Much like our own names, Reggie Darling and Boy Fenwick are.
|"It is not pronounced Bah-zeel, either,|
as in Giambattista Basile, the Italian poet."
Image courtesy of Bridgman Art Library
Besides, I had rather fond associations for the name Basil, as I have always admired the actor Basil Rathbone, and I adored the character Basil Fawlty played by John Cleese in the hilarious English television comedy Fawlty Towers.
|"It is pronounced Bazzle, the same way|
that the actor Basil Rathbone
pronounced his first name."
Image courtesy of the Basil Rathbone Gallery
For those of you who may not be sure how to pronounce the name Basil, at least in the way it is/was pronounced for the Messers Rathbone and Fawlty, it is pronounced to rhyme with razzle, or dazzle.
|"And the same way that Basil Fawlty, of Fawlty Towers,|
pronounced his first name, too."
Image courtesy of Wikimedia
And it most decidedly is not pronounced the way the herb basil is, which rhymes with hazel.
|"So, don't even think of calling me Bay-zil, okay?|
It's pronounced Bazzle!"
And, unlike Reggie's and Boy's names, which are silly made-up ones, Basil's name is actually his "real" name. He really is named Basil. So please, Dear Reader, do him the favor of pronouncing it correctly!
Photographs of Basil (the pug) and basil (the herb) by Boy Fenwick. All others as noted.