Tuesday, March 27, 2012

British Names: making everyone else sound stupid bc we think all those letters must be there for a reason

Ok, long title...but I was thinking about the surname Wriothesley the other day, Henry Wriothesley being one of QEI's favorites, and it got me thinking about AWESOME British names, be they just amazing for the fact that they crammed so many words into one name, or so many unused letters or simply ignored the letters all together. I've been storing these names in my brain my entire life, but am still surprised by some of the different pronunciations. This list is by no means comprehensive, and is mostly ones that I like the most. Sources can be found at the bottom, and I'm not including all the names with errant e's at the end.

Wriothesley-rizzly, rizely, rosely, rotsy, rocksly pronunciations here
Davies- davis
Norwich - noridge
Cholmondely - chumly
Marjoribanks - marchbanks
Leveson-Gower - loosengaw
St. John - sin gin
Woolfardisworthy - woolsuri
Featherstonehaugh - fanshaw
Reading - redding (like the railroad in Monopoly, NOT the rEEding line)
Fotheringay-Phipps - fungy-fips (sounds like a Jeeves and Wooster name...Wooster - wuster)
Evelyn - eevlan (as a man's name, think Downton Abbey)
Woolfardisworthy - woolsuri
Menzies - mingus
Beaulieu - bewly
Dalziel - dee-el
Holborn - hoeburn
Towcester - toaster
Hugh - yew (some accents)

these two just crack me up:
Ralph - rafe
Ranulph - ralph

This is just a funny entry I found.
Wikipedia has a rather extensive list, but you need to bone up on your phonetic alphabet.
Find out what your English name is!

1 comment:

  1. I used to make my postdoc pronounce things for me (75% to make sure I got it right; 25% because, duh, Scottish). He told me that 'Americans find anything longer than 2 syllables a trial to pronounce'. I told him his people don't understand logic.