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How to Pronounce ‘Chesa Boudin’ Correctly

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I’ve heard the San Francisco District Attorney’s name pronounced so many different ways in the press and in conversation that it’s hard to keep track of what the correct way to say his name is.  So we asked Mr. Boudin how it’s done.

Here is how Chesa pronounces his own name, ‘Chesa’ is pronounced ‘chase-ah’, like Chase Bank, and his last name, ‘Boudin’ is pronounced boo-DEEN, just like the famous bakery in Fisherman’s wharf and beyond.   Of course ‘boudin’ is originally a French word meaning ‘blood sausage’, and it has its own pronunciation in French (you can hear that here.) Now, if you’re a millionaire Republican who watches Fox News ‘Boudin’ is pronounced boo-gy-MAN!   (That’s a joke, sort of). 

Here is a video of the District Attorney pronouncing his own name in 2019:
Chesa pronounces his own name at the 24-second mark.

Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Oh my God, I’ve been saying his name wrong for years!”  Well, you don’t have to feel too badly about that, apparently, the District Attorney himself has also been mispronouncing his own name!

We asked the DA, “how long have people been mispronouncing your name?  And when and why did you stop correcting them?”

District Attorney Chesa Boudin replied, “My whole life. I stopped correcting people after my first date with my wife. My name comes from Swahili and on our first date she told me I’d been pronouncing it wrong my whole life – she is half Kenyan half Chilean and grew up speaking Swahili. After that I figured I’d let people pronounce it however they wanted.”

True to his word, Chesa doesn’t bother correcting people when they pronounce his name in different ways.  Below is a video of the DA at the SF Commonwealth Club of California, being interviewed by someone who clearly knows him, pronouncing his name ‘Chess – ah‘ and ‘boo-den‘.  Which is perhaps the most common “mispronunciation, using a mixture of French black pudding and a well-known board game.

Hearing his name different ways doesn’t seem to bother Chase-ah all that much, he’s been hearing it different ways from teachers and peers from elementary school all the way through Yale undergrad and law school, then at Oxford while becoming a Rhodes Scholar, and god knows when he joined the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office too.

You may have seen ads recently for the Chesa ‘recall’ which will be on the ballot this June, you should also probably know that the ballot measure and the ads were almost entirely paid for by 20 millionaire conservatives, some of whom do not even live in San Francisco.  You can read about that dark money on, and by the way, SF Democrats overwhelmingly voted to oppose the Boudin recall.

In closing, and to be fair to our local Fox News affiliate KTVU, here they are pronouncing his name correctly, in case you already forgot how to say it:

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

I'm the managing editor here at Broke-Ass Stuart. I enjoy covering Bay Area News as well as writing about Arts, Culture & Nightlife.

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