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Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment, left, speaks after being sworn into office during inauguration ceremonies for himself and the Ascension Parish Council, right, at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center Monday Jan. 6, 2019, in Gonzales, La.

Now, how do you say that?

It's a question new Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment has gotten more than a few times about his surname as he has knocked on doors, spoken with the public and addressed the media in his rise to office over the past year.

"Cointment" is an old name in Gonzales that has graced the title of Cointment's father's, and then his own, land survey company for years and that, as a result, also appears on virtually countless land maps and other property documents filed over the decades at the parish courthouse. 

But the interesting combination of the diphthong "oi" followed by the three consonants, "n," "t," and "m" — along with a silent "t" at the end of his name — has tended to steer the uninitiated off into an improper pronunciation that often goes something like "Coint-meant." 

Ever patient and with a smile, Cointment has repeatedly given the correct pronunciation to whomever has asked, as he did for a local media member minutes after his inauguration ended in Gonzales.

"It's 'Quint-maw'," Cointment said before a post-inauguration interview began Monday. "'Maw' like your maw-maw. 'Quint-maw'."

Minutes before that exchange, Sheriff Bobby Webre, whose own name has a touch of Louisiana linguistic flair with an inverted "-re" suffix that sounds just like a regular old "-er" ending, celebrated the uniqueness of Ascension Parish politicians' names during the keynote address he delivered for Cointment's inauguration.

"Cointment" was just the next name in a long tradition of elected officials in Ascension with unique names, Webre told the several hundred gathered Monday at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center near Gonzales.

"I mean where would we be without a 'Geefoo,' a 'Moose,' a 'Boxcar,' a 'Needlenose,' a 'Banana' or a 'Teapot'," he said, referring to current and former officials by those colorful nicknames that so often appeared on the election ballots of old.

Webre was referring to former Police Jurors W. Paul "Geefoo" Duplessis, Thomas "Moose" Pearce and Alan J. "Boxcar" Braud, former Parish and Sorrento Town Councilman Milton "Needlenose" Vicknair, current Donaldsonville-area Ascension Constable Andrew "Banana" LeBlanc III and former Donaldsonville City Councilwoman Margaret "Teapot" Bonadona.

Pearce was also a parish councilman and School Board member and worked in the administrations of former Presidents Kenny Matassa and Tommy Martinez.

Webre made the comparison to mark the changing of political eras. Cointment and six new parish councilmen were elected this past fall.

But the sheriff, who himself replaced longtime Sheriff Jeff Wiley last year, noted that "Cointment" would soon become as familiar as those old names from an earlier day.

"Unless you've been here many, many years, you might have a little trouble with that last name, but no worries, soon 'Cointment' will just roll off the tongue," he said. 

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