Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Pronouncing English Names

We were rewatching a favorite Midsomer Murders last night, Blood Wedding.  It deals with murder among the upper class and DS Jones mispronounces a name, Colquhoun, saying something like Cokiehound and of course they had to correct his pronunciation while looking down their nose at him, so he continued to mispronounce it.  We roared.
It reminded us of a Wodehouse Theater episode, Strychnine in the Soup, where there is a character named Lester Mapledurham, pronounced Mum.
A year or so ago when when we were in London doing a Jack the Ripper tour the tour guide asked what part of London we were staying in and we said Southwark, pronouncing all parts of the word, he corrected our pronunciation saying that's not how we pronounce it, in a rather smug way.  Later on he was checking off names to make sure everyone was there and his mispronounced our last name, and Mac said that's not how we pronounce it and told him how to.  The tour guide said Touche'.

29 comments:

  1. English names even catch the English out!

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  2. It is so easy to get caught out isn't it?

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  3. Yes there are a few English names that are written different from how they are pronounced.

    Julie xxxx

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  4. Thanks for the chuckle. Mac must be quick on his feet.

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  5. Oh this was fun, but I wish it had been a video so I could here your words...haha.

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  6. oops...meant "hear" your words.

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  7. Don't get me started on English names. We always argue how they should be pronounced. Usually we are both wrong! B x

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  8. My sister lived for a while in Wymondham, pronounced windham. Then she moved to Costessy, pronounced cossy. The UK is full of names like those.

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  9. Ha ha. Yes, we have some strange pronunciations. Eleanor had a friend at school whose surname was Colquhoun so we're okay with that one, but the strangest ones are Irish forenames, they always catch me out as they're totally different to how they're spelt.

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  10. This is the 2nd reference to Midsomer Murders I have seen in the last 2 days. Having never heard of it before, maybe this is a sign to check it out!

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  11. Fun post !
    Midsomer is fairly good for me to hear BUT...So many I have I have the Close Captions on. Shetland ( this one have a blue filter on so it looks wet and cold all the time hard to see but beautiful) the accents and the mumbling OMG ! Then Wallander and Hinterland. Look down and mumble. I can understand Agatha Raisin who I love and Miss Marple and Poirot, Striking Out and Vera fine. But why all the mumbling ! and with accents so hard for me.

    cheers, parsnip

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  12. Many people in every country around the world pronounce and spell foreign names wrongly. That's just how it is.

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  13. I love Midsomer Murders! So, how DO you pronounce Colquhoun? -Jenn

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    1. Pronounced cahoon, rhymes with balloon.

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  14. Love the retort!! There are 2 cities here in Arizona that are pronounced different than they would be in they were sounded out. One is Prescott where we used to live (pronounced Press-kit not Press-cot) and the other is Casa Grande (pronounced Casa Grand not Case Grandee). The natives know you are a visitor or relatively new to the area if you pronounce either wrong. Got Prescott correct before we moved there, but hadn't heard of the pronouncing of Casa Grande so that took a bit to learn and then use :)

    betty

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    1. We lived in a town here in Georgia called Martinez, should have been pronounced Mar-teen-ez, but instead was pronounced Mar-tin-ez.

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  15. Oh! I love that story! And I know how to say "Southwark" but then, I am married to a Brit, so I had better know, right?
    I am amazed at how much I have to ask Richard about things sometimes watching our English shows!
    If you ever hear someone say, "Have a butcher's." It is Cockney rhyming slang for "look". (Butcher's hook = look.)
    Now, if you hear something that you don't know, look it up! It might be Cockney rhyming slang! (Maybe you know a lot already!)

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  16. LOL and there was me thinking we were straightforward... I'll have to check my words in future.

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  17. (Thanks for stopping by and commenting!) LOVE Midsomer Murders, too, so I'll have to check that episode again. When someone gets our names correctly, my husband always tells them, "Thanks! You get an A for correct pronunciation!" xo

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  18. Many people in every country around the world pronounce and spell foreign names wrongly. That's just how it is.


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  19. Yes, we do have some strange pronunciations ...

    I love Midsomer Murders, although it's not Eddie's favourite!
    My Dear Dad always watches it - it's been going some years now!

    All the best Jan

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  20. Like pronouncing Worcestershire sauce wrong. Why not just spell it the way you say it?

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  21. I Love Midsomer Murders and I remember that episode, it was just too funny.
    The thing is, what most of you complain about with names and how they are pronounced, us foreigners have that with almost every word in English. Just look at the last paragraph I wrote. ;)

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    1. Too true, too many silent letters and too many strange vowel combinations.

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  22. One time someone laughed at me for pronouncing a word wrong. I told them they shouldn't laugh, it shows I learned it from a book.

    Nowadays, I can click on the pronunciation thingy on the internet. Phew.

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