Concours. . . not concourse

For the New Year, let’s resolve to eradicate the use of the word “concourse” when referring to an elegant car show. Concourse — rhyming with horse — most often refers to a long open space at an airport or rail station.

The following pronounciations of “concours” are considered appropriate:


In the car world, the French phrase “concours d’elegance” translates as “competition of elegance.”  When the word “de” — meaning “of” — is contracted to become part of the next word, the combination sounds like “della-gonse.”  There is no “duh” or “dee” in the pronunciation.

If you can say “hors d’oeuvres” properly, then “kon-KOOR della-GONSE” should flow off your tongue. Note that when used in this phrase, the second syllable of concours is emphasized, but when the expression is shortened to a single word, the emphasis moves to the first syllable.

“kon-KOOR della-GONSE”

NEXT:  An explanation of “hors concours”