[a (lu)queer story]

Topic: Around Town

During our apartment search, Jenny and I saw a promising duplex on Luquer Street, but we worried about living on a street we couldn’t pronounce.

At first I pronounced it lucre, as in filthy, but my friend Daniel, who lives a few blocks away, calls it lu-COOR, roughly like the fancy alcohol, and real estate agents called it everything from lu-CURR to lu-CARE to Lu-KWAIR. Fortunately, Forgotten NY has come to the rescue, explaining that today’s Luquer used to be Luqueer, named after a Dutch family, and though I don’t know how the Dutch would say it, locals still pronounce it lu-QUEER.

So why the change? Forgotten NY thinks it has to do with the older negative connotations of the word queer, not the word’s more recent connection with homosexuality, that made folks drop the second E. But it could just as well be random drift, almost like a mutation. Whatever the reason, though, I will now pronounce it lu-QUEER — at least until some local tells me otherwise.