The Knocklofty dialect laboratory has been listening to Australian radio and television journalists struggling with the pronunciation of the name of John Boehner, Republican Speaker of the US House of Representatives.

This varies along a spectrum from ‘Beener’ to ‘Bainer,’ indicating the Australian media’s usual uncertainty with anything that isn’t phonetically manageable English (not that they always succeed even when it’s that simple).

Given its Germanic origin, the correct pronunciation for this name ought to be, says the laboratory, something closer to ‘Burner,’ although the majority opinion among our dialect consultants favours ‘Boner,’ which they feel is more apposite as it is homophonic with the American slang word, which means ‘an egregiously stupid mistake.’