First day of every school year was the worst. I got to where I would just preempt the teacher before he/she even tried the typical “sud-bur-ruff” or “sud-borg” or even “studebaker.” Figuring that memory aids would help retention, I’d say,”Sud-burro. Like a soapy donkey.” But inside I would groan at having to turn my identity into an annual joke.
Now, thanks to Bill Bryson’s Made in America: an Informal History of the English Language in the United States, I think I may have solved the mystery. Apparently there was some government board in charge of all place names in the US. A board that decided to chop “ugh” from every “borough” in the land. So the government might be at the root of 15% of my childhood traumas? Figures.