Colbert. Pronounced bert or bear?
Elizabeth Colbert Busch is the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert and is also running against former Gov. Mark Sanford for South Carolinas 1st Congressional District.
But despite her high profile, an awful lot of people in South Carolina dont know how to pronounce her name and may not even know shes running for Congress.
It sounds like a funny story! said Peter Hull, a media relations contact at Clemson University, where Colbert is the director of business development for Clemsons Restoration Institute.
The Colbert family, many of whom are residents of Charleston, are well-known in the area, according to Robert Behre, a reporter for Charlestons Post and Courier. But he said some residents still get confused about how to pronounce Elizabeth Colberts last name.
Ten Columbia residents Randy Wash, 33; Randi Cogswell, 49; Frank Franci, 66; Rosalin Harris, 34; Sean McCrossim, 47; Michelle Schreiner, 28; Wesley Martin, 23; Anthony Carbone, 31; Louis Richardson, 54; and Robert Smith, 37 who were walking, grabbing lunch or sitting down for a coffee in the Vista gave it a go when asked to pronounce her name.
Most of them pronounced it as cole-bear, and only a few said cole-bert.
Elizabeth Colbert said in an interview with MSNBC that she pronounces her last name as cole-bert, with an emphasis on the t. But her brother, Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, pronounces it cole-bear with a French accent. She has nine other siblings, each of whom pronounce it one of the two ways.
According to the MSNBC interview, the family name is linked to a distant French relative named John Baptist Colbert, who pronounced his last name as cole-bear. She said their father told them they could choose which way they wanted to say it. So some pronounce it cole-bert while others pronounce it cole-bear.