UPDATE: Enthusiastic Marylanders have alerted us that there is indeed a town named “Bowie, Md.” that is pronounced “Boo-wie.” That solves that. No word yet from Texans. UPDATE 2: From a Texan: “It’s pronounced Boo-wie because it’s named after Jim Bowie (pronounced Boo-wie), who played a major role in the Texas revolution. Joshua Katz, a Ph. D student in statistics at North Carolina State University, just published a group of awesome visualizations of Professor Bert Vaux and Scott Golder’s linguistic survey that looked at how Americans pronounce words.
Read more at: www.businessinsider.com