Fire and hemlock revisited

Ven ven at vvcrane.fsnet.co.uk
Sun Jan 28 21:02:26 EST 2001


Nat asked

> And why and how did Ralph go from "Rafe" to "Ralf" (or did it perhaps 
> go the other way in England after "Ralf" moved to America)? With the 
> New York short "a", Rafe is so much more attractive a spelling... 
> Ralph had become a sort of "joke name," at least in my childhood 
> circles. Not least because it's used as a word for vomiting. I can't 
> hear "Georgie just Rafed his lunch..."
> 

"Rafe" is the way posh people pronounce Ralph and regard as 
"correct". I'm not sure how long the two pronunciations  have 
existed in parallel or which is, in fact, earlier, however I believe it 
derives from Ranulph. I guess Christopher's uncle was a "Rafe" 
because he was upper class (or just about).
                                           Ven.

You are trapped in that bright moment where you learned your doom.
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