First names (real ones!)(long)

Sally Odgers sodgers at
Sat Jan 15 20:19:53 EST 2000

> ><< The worst names were those from pern with an apostrophe, like F'lar
> >etc. - I always wondered what that was supposed to mean.

It's only the men's names that change, and I think the sound *is* altered.
So, instead of pronouncing all syllables, one gets elided.

Naton would be NAY-ton, but when he becomes a dragon rider he becomes

I think the initial "M" or "N" is treated as in Mabamba, or m'boy, as a
separate syllable.

So, F'lar would be Fugh!  (not "hissed", but "plosived", if there's such a
term!) - LAR.

F! - LAR.

The name that always bothered me was Piemur. Is that PIE-mer or PIE - EE -

Someone, I think Melissa, pointed out that different languages have
different sound conventions. Meryon Fairbrass in Monica Edwards' books was
a "Merr - ee- on" but to anyone used to pronouncing normal English, it
*could* look more like Mer-yon. qv Mermaid! However the existence of "very"
is probably a better guide. 

Welsh and Irish names are often enchanting, but the spelling is difficult
for anyone who has never heard them spoken aloud. Even baby name books that
give spelled-out pronunciations can be very misleading. 

In one book the following examples make me doubt the whole thing.

SAL-ee for Sally and mar-KEY-say for Marquise are fine, but what about
SAH-fron for Saffron? MAH-dess-tee for Modesty? per-ISS for Paris?
I’d have rendered these three as SAFF-ron, MOD-ess-tee and PARR-iss. Maybe
the author’s American accent is showing. Or maybe it’s my Australian accent
that's at fault?

Siobhan is a name tht is given all kinds of different pronunciations. I've
seen SHAVE-on, Shevaun, and Shiv-onn (not quite chiffon, but not far

Even our daughter Tegan gets mispronounced and misspelled half the time. We
say "TEE-gan" to echo "Megan", but I've been informed that it ought to be
"TAY-gan" to echo "Regan". People also try to spell her Teagan, Teegan and
Teigan... I suppose someone will call her TEG-anne eventually; Her second
name is Maria, but even that has two pronunciations.

James, our son, doesn't suffer from any of that, but he *is* one of three
Jameses in his CEFITT course - and there are only 13 young men in that one!
His school nickname was "Odge", our daughter's was "Tegs".

To get to Welsh names again; Nerys is one I like, and Bronwen, Adara,
Cordelia, Seren, Taryn and Isolde.  Guinevere has unfortunate connotations
for some people, but how about "Buddug"? I have no idea how that one
sounds. It's a Welsh form of Victoria, but I can't imagine any non-Welsh
speaker using it for a daughter, however it might sound.  

I'm pretty wary about trying to pronounce a lot of things. Since leaving
school just after I turned 16 I'm largely self-educated, and that means I
larn by reading, not by hearing. It can be funny (for the listeners!) if
I'm lecturing and come to a word I know perfectly well through writing but
have just never had cause to speak aloud before!

A case in point is the Greek cloak called a "chlamys". I can spell it, but
how the 'flippin' 'eck do I pronounce it? I guessed it as "K-lammis', but I
might be wildly wrong. Any clues, oh educated ones?

“The devil has found himself a pretty face,” remarked Flynn O’Connor.'CONNOR'S LAST STAND

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