How to Pronounce Bourgeois (What the Phrase Bourgeois Mean)

How to pronounce bourgeois. The word for today is “bourgeois.” This is a noun as well as an adjective. It means “typical of the middle class” or “materialistic” as an adjective. “Bourgeois beliefs generally do not benefit the lower and working classes,” for example.

How to Pronounce Bourgeoisie?

We have all had trouble trying to pronounce the last name of our esteemed luthier, Dana Bourgeois.

We’ve been bugging Dana to come up with a simple phonetic pronunciation. Dana asked if we would like the French, Acadian, Cajun, or American versions. We’ve passed along the American version.

This is what we came up with: “BUR-jwah” with the accent on the first syllable. Any linguists out there with a better idea? Let us know!

We hope this will ease the problem of going into your favorite shop, pointing to a rack of guitars, and saying, “uh, I want that one.” Bourgeois (BUR-jwah)… Ask for it by name. How to pronounce “bourgeois”.

What Does the Phrase Bourgeois Mean?

Historians have traditionally distinguished between the upper, middle, and petty bourgeoisie.

Within this group, there was always some mobility; education and a profession, not to mention the accumulation of wealth, could move one from the ranks of the petty into the middle or from the middle into the upper bourgeoisie.

However, there was also moved from the upper bourgeoisie into the ranks of the elite.

As the numbers and power of old noble families declined in several Western European countries in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Many wealthy bourgeois families moved in to take their place through the purchase of land and, eventually, the purchase of venal offices, some of which conferred noble titles.

Social mobility, both upward and downward, blurs the distinctions between the bourgeoisie and other social groups. How to pronounce bourgeois.

Legal Definition

The legal definition of the bourgeoisie is both the most precise (although it varied from place to place) and the most restrictive.

In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, burgenses was the term applied to the inhabitants of any seigneurial territory that was granted a written coutume or charter.

This charter granted privileges to the inhabitants of that territory, but the specific privileges varied from place to place, and indeed, from country to country. Sometimes those privileges were quite narrow;

For example, individuals enjoying the title “Bourgeois de Bordeaux” were allowed to bring their wine into the city free of duty and had a monopoly of retail sales within the city limits.

Because the privileges associated with the legal title “bourgeois” could be quite specific and quite lucrative, it was not uncommon for nobles to seek the status of “bourgeois.” How to pronounce bourgeois.

Usage, however, the term “bourgeois,” from medieval times through the age of the French Revolution, referred to the non-noble inhabitants of towns, citizens who enjoyed the privileges associated with living in a particular place.


Economic Position

The economic definition, which emphasizes the bourgeoisie’s economic activity and financial standing, is both more contentious and more compelling. It refers to the capitalist class, the social group that arose with towns and trade.

The bourgeoisie became a powerful rival to the aristocracy in a number of European countries, most notably England and the Dutch Netherlands, due to their market-centered focus and control of commerce and capital.

The merchant, craftsman, and financier also dominated small to mid-sized towns in German states, particularly trading cities on the coast.

The rising power of the capitalist foreshadowed the end of a European political and economic system governed by aristocrats who were barred from trading because of the threat of derogation, or loss of noble title.

The bourgeoisie pioneered early modern commercial capitalism in the same way that the industrial revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries did. How to pronounce bourgeois.

Political Influence

Nonetheless, the bourgeoisie’s economic clout as individuals and as a group could confer political power and social status.

Economic resources enabled bourgeois people to educate their sons and buy land from the weakened aristocracy.

This phenomenon was most noticeable in England at the end of the Wars of the Roses (1455-1471) when many of the most powerful baronial families had been wiped out, but it occurred in other regions as well.

The wealthy bourgeoisie, the nouveaux riches, moved into positions of economic and political influence once held by the aristocracy and eventually supplanted them as the new aristocracy.

This regeneration of the old elite with bourgeoisie social climbers is a common theme in early modern history. How to pronounce bourgeois.

Saint-Simon, an aristocratic diarist, railed against Louis XIV of France’s (ruled 1643–1715) tendency to choose bourgeois individuals, vile men “raised from the dust,” as his ministers at the expense of his traditional advisors, the nobility.

These “vile men” would hold sway as prestigious members of the court within a few generations.

CSN Team.

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