On names, changing them, and pronunciation

hannibal at thegates.fsbusiness.co.uk hannibal at thegates.fsbusiness.co.uk
Thu Mar 6 11:29:10 EST 2003


Philip
> 
> PS.  Loewe is another example of strange pronunciation.  Seeing it, I tend to
> pronounce it as if it were a German word.  However, Frederick of that name seems
> to be consistently called /lo:/.

Yeah, I suppose Loewe comes from the German word for lion. But it's quite common for the pronunciation of German names to be anglicized in the US(A), I think. No one pronounces Robert Wagner like Richard Wagner. Perhaps it reflects a desire to 'fit in' on the part of German immigrants themselves? (cf. Saxe-Coburg-Gotha --> Windsor!) At any rate, we can't blame those harrased Ellis Island officials for this one, since they do seem to have got the spelling right.

Charlie



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