Discussion:
Surnames with alternative spellings
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Ulrich Maier
2018-06-11 10:19:14 UTC
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Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.

Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)

I do not mean name variations such as Richards/Richardson or
Robinson/Robson!

Thanks for your help!

Ulrich
bert
2018-06-11 10:40:13 UTC
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Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
Thomson, Thompson (the 'p' is silent).

Johnson, Johnston (if the 't' is silent).

Johnston, Johnstone.

Grey, Gray. White, Whyte. Clark, Clarke, Clerk.
--
Ross
2018-06-11 10:50:09 UTC
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Post by bert
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
Thomson, Thompson (the 'p' is silent).
No it's not!
Post by bert
Johnson, Johnston (if the 't' is silent).
Johnston, Johnstone.
Grey, Gray. White, Whyte. Clark, Clarke, Clerk.
--
soup
2018-06-11 11:11:53 UTC
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Post by Ross
Post by bert
Thomson, Thompson (the 'p' is silent).
No it's not!
Can be. Although I admit there should probably be a "sometimes" or an
"if" in there somewhere.

That's the trouble with names. A LOT (not all but a lot) of the time it
is pronounced differently, spelt differently etc, to what you expect.
Hate it when the wife says "how do you spell <name>? My stock
answer is "it's a name there is probably no right way or wrong way to
spell it".
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2018-06-11 11:20:51 UTC
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Post by Ross
Post by bert
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
Thomson, Thompson (the 'p' is silent).
No it's not!
More recisely, the p in Thomson is pronounced but not written
Post by Ross
Post by bert
Johnson, Johnston (if the 't' is silent).
I'm more inclined to say "no it's not" for that one.
Post by Ross
Post by bert
Johnston, Johnstone.
Grey, Gray. White, Whyte. Clark, Clarke, Clerk.
--
--
athel
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2018-06-11 13:22:23 UTC
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Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Ross
Post by bert
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
Thomson, Thompson (the 'p' is silent).
No it's not!
More recisely, the p in Thomson is pronounced but not written
and the p in precisely is both written (usually) and pronounced.
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Ross
Post by bert
Johnson, Johnston (if the 't' is silent).
I'm more inclined to say "no it's not" for that one.
Post by Ross
Post by bert
Johnston, Johnstone.
Grey, Gray. White, Whyte. Clark, Clarke, Clerk.
--
--
athel
Ian Jackson
2018-06-11 13:10:13 UTC
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Post by Ross
Post by bert
Thomson, Thompson (the 'p' is silent).
No it's not!
In 'bathing', the 'p' is ALWAYS silent!
--
Ian
occam
2018-06-11 15:20:41 UTC
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Post by Ian Jackson
Post by Ross
Post by bert
Thomson, Thompson (the 'p' is silent).
No it's not!
In 'bathing', the 'p' is ALWAYS silent!
---but visible and yellow too.
HVS
2018-06-11 15:22:45 UTC
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Post by occam
Post by Ian Jackson
Post by Ross
Post by bert
Thomson, Thompson (the 'p' is silent).
No it's not!
In 'bathing', the 'p' is ALWAYS silent!
---but visible and yellow too.
"Johnny, I've told you not to pee in the swimming pool."
"But Dad - *everyone* pees in the swimming pool."
"Not from the diving board, they don't."

(Ah, to be 10 years old and hearing old jokes for the first time...)
--
Cheers, Harvey
CanEng (30yrs) and BrEng (34yrs), indiscriminately mixed
Paul Wolff
2018-06-11 11:00:10 UTC
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Post by bert
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
Thomson, Thompson (the 'p' is silent).
Johnson, Johnston (if the 't' is silent).
Johnston, Johnstone.
Grey, Gray. White, Whyte. Clark, Clarke, Clerk.
Feeble.

Wolff, Wolffe, Wolf, Wolfe, Woolf, Woolfe, plus all the muddles that
people confuse themselves with when trying to follow my clear oral
instructions. Double-u, double-o, double-ell, double-eff - I haven't
experienced double-e on the end yet.
--
Paul Wolff
CDB
2018-06-11 13:10:50 UTC
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Post by Paul Wolff
Post by bert
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
Thomson, Thompson (the 'p' is silent).
Johnson, Johnston (if the 't' is silent).
Johnston, Johnstone.
Grey, Gray.  White, Whyte.  Clark, Clarke, Clerk.
Feeble.
Wolff, Wolffe, Wolf, Wolfe, Woolf, Woolfe, plus all the muddles that
people confuse themselves with when trying to follow my clear oral
instructions. Double-u, double-o, double-ell, double-eff - I haven't
experienced double-e on the end yet.
When do you experience the double-o listed in your oral instructions?
Paul Wolff
2018-06-11 15:31:13 UTC
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Post by CDB
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by bert
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
Thomson, Thompson (the 'p' is silent).
Johnson, Johnston (if the 't' is silent).
Johnston, Johnstone.
Grey, Gray.  White, Whyte.  Clark, Clarke, Clerk.
Feeble.
Wolff, Wolffe, Wolf, Wolfe, Woolf, Woolfe, plus all the muddles that
people confuse themselves with when trying to follow my clear oral
instructions. Double-u, double-o, double-ell, double-eff - I haven't
experienced double-e on the end yet.
When do you experience the double-o listed in your oral instructions?
That sequence represents the confusion at the receiving end. The hearer
is helplessly drawn into a vortex of duplicity.
--
Paul
Tony Cooper
2018-06-11 15:38:10 UTC
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Post by CDB
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by bert
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
Thomson, Thompson (the 'p' is silent).
Johnson, Johnston (if the 't' is silent).
Johnston, Johnstone.
Grey, Gray.  White, Whyte.  Clark, Clarke, Clerk.
Feeble.
Wolff, Wolffe, Wolf, Wolfe, Woolf, Woolfe, plus all the muddles that
people confuse themselves with when trying to follow my clear oral
instructions. Double-u, double-o, double-ell, double-eff - I haven't
experienced double-e on the end yet.
When do you experience the double-o listed in your oral instructions?
When he claims Virginia as a distant cousin.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
occam
2018-06-11 15:25:57 UTC
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Post by Paul Wolff
Post by bert
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
Thomson, Thompson (the 'p' is silent).
Johnson, Johnston (if the 't' is silent).
Johnston, Johnstone.
Grey, Gray.  White, Whyte.  Clark, Clarke, Clerk.
Feeble.
Wolff, Wolffe, Wolf, Wolfe, Woolf, Woolfe, plus all the muddles that
people confuse themselves with when trying to follow my clear oral
instructions. Double-u, double-o, double-ell, double-eff - I haven't
experienced double-e on the end yet.
That spells "Uuoollff" to me. Perhaps it should to be added to your list
of variations.

I have a particularly odd combination of letters in my surname. In my
youth I used to collect all envelopes with the wrong spellings. Quite a
collection, I will see if I still have them somewhere.
John Varela
2018-06-11 17:11:40 UTC
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Post by occam
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by bert
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
Thomson, Thompson (the 'p' is silent).
Johnson, Johnston (if the 't' is silent).
Johnston, Johnstone.
Grey, Gray.  White, Whyte.  Clark, Clarke, Clerk.
Feeble.
Wolff, Wolffe, Wolf, Wolfe, Woolf, Woolfe, plus all the muddles that
people confuse themselves with when trying to follow my clear oral
instructions. Double-u, double-o, double-ell, double-eff - I haven't
experienced double-e on the end yet.
That spells "Uuoollff" to me. Perhaps it should to be added to your list
of variations.
I have a particularly odd combination of letters in my surname. In my
youth I used to collect all envelopes with the wrong spellings. Quite a
collection, I will see if I still have them somewhere.
WIWAL my name was often misspelled "Valera". I attributed it to
familiarity with the name of an Irish politician and, indeed, the
error had pretty much disappeared in the late 20th century as his
fame receded. But, more recently, my grandchildren are experiencing
this nuisance. I have no idea what has revived the error.
--
John Varela
Richard Tobin
2018-06-11 11:52:37 UTC
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Post by bert
Thomson, Thompson (the 'p' is silent).
Dupont, Dupond.

-- Richard
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2018-06-11 11:19:06 UTC
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Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
I do not mean name variations such as Richards/Richardson or Robinson/Robson!
Foulkes/ffoulkes, and others on the same pattern, like French/ffrench
and Forde/fforde

This last reminds me that without pretentious spelling we have Ford/Forde

Other pretentious ones:

Cholmondeley/Cholmeley ['tʃʌmlɪ]
Featherstonehaugh/Fanshaw/Fanshawe

Windsor/Winzor
Clark/Clarke
Brown/Browne
Green/Greene
Brook/Brooke
Shaw/Shawe/Shore (this last only for non-rhotic speakers)

and many others.
--
athel
occam
2018-06-11 15:32:48 UTC
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Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
I do not mean name variations such as Richards/Richardson or
Robinson/Robson!
Foulkes/ffoulkes, and others on the same pattern, like French/ffrench
and Forde/fforde
This last reminds me that without pretentious spelling we have Ford/Forde
Cholmondeley/Cholmeley ['tʃʌmlɪ]
Featherstonehaugh/Fanshaw/Fanshawe
Ramsbotham/Ramsbottom/Ewes'ars
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Windsor/Winzor
Clark/Clarke
Brown/Browne
Green/Greene
Brook/Brooke
Shaw/Shawe/Shore (this last only for non-rhotic speakers)
and many others.
John Varela
2018-06-11 17:13:43 UTC
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On Mon, 11 Jun 2018 11:19:06 UTC, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
I do not mean name variations such as Richards/Richardson or Robinson/Robson!
Foulkes/ffoulkes,
Also Fowlkes.

Smith/Smyth/Smythe.
--
John Varela
Peter T. Daniels
2018-06-11 11:51:01 UTC
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Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
I do not mean name variations such as Richards/Richardson or
Robinson/Robson!
Stephens, Stevens
Jerry Friedman
2018-06-11 12:37:05 UTC
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Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
I do not mean name variations such as Richards/Richardson or
Robinson/Robson!
Thanks for your help!
Friedman, Freedman, Freidman. Of course, the name is not of English
origin, but it's not all that uncommon in the biggest English-speaking
country.

The same kind of thing happens with names of many other origins. Li and
Lee, Abdullah and Abdulla, Kapur and Kapoor. I think the most common
systematic variations are Mc- and Mac-, and -ski and -sky.
--
Jerry Friedman
John Varela
2018-06-11 17:15:13 UTC
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On Mon, 11 Jun 2018 12:37:05 UTC, Jerry Friedman
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
I do not mean name variations such as Richards/Richardson or
Robinson/Robson!
Thanks for your help!
Friedman, Freedman, Freidman. Of course, the name is not of English
origin, but it's not all that uncommon in the biggest English-speaking
country.
The same kind of thing happens with names of many other origins. Li and
Lee, Abdullah and Abdulla, Kapur and Kapoor. I think the most common
systematic variations are Mc- and Mac-, and -ski and -sky.
There are also multiple ways to spell Mohammed. Not surprising,
when the name has to be converted into a different alphabet.
--
John Varela
RH Draney
2018-06-11 12:45:14 UTC
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Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
I do not mean name variations such as Richards/Richardson or
Robinson/Robson!
The standard example of this is Rogers/Rodgers, for which the two
spellings don't even generate the same Soundex code...there's also
Tolliver/Taliaferro, Louis/Lewis, and two from my own family tree:
Moncrief/Moncrieff and Lincecomb/Linthicum....r
Ulrich Maier
2018-06-11 13:33:19 UTC
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Post by RH Draney
The standard example of this is Rogers/Rodgers, for which the two
spellings don't even generate the same Soundex code...
Precisely this is the background of my question :-)

Ulrich
Ken Blake
2018-06-11 14:52:24 UTC
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Post by RH Draney
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
I do not mean name variations such as Richards/Richardson or
Robinson/Robson!
The standard example of this is Rogers/Rodgers, for which the two
spellings don't even generate the same Soundex code...there's also
Tolliver/Taliaferro,
I've never seen "Taliaferro," but I once knew someone who spelled his
name the Italian way: "Tagliaferro."

And I never realized that "Tolliver" was a different spelling of the
same name.
Dingbat
2018-06-11 15:28:23 UTC
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Post by Ken Blake
Post by RH Draney
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
I do not mean name variations such as Richards/Richardson or
Robinson/Robson!
The standard example of this is Rogers/Rodgers, for which the two
spellings don't even generate the same Soundex code...there's also
Tolliver/Taliaferro,
I've never seen "Taliaferro," but I once knew someone who spelled his
name the Italian way: "Tagliaferro."
And I never realized that "Tolliver" was a different spelling of the
same name.
Maggie Tulliver in The Mill on the Floss
https://www.shmoop.com/mill-on-the-floss/maggie-tulliver.html
Tony Cooper
2018-06-11 15:52:52 UTC
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Post by Ken Blake
Post by RH Draney
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
I do not mean name variations such as Richards/Richardson or
Robinson/Robson!
The standard example of this is Rogers/Rodgers, for which the two
spellings don't even generate the same Soundex code...there's also
Tolliver/Taliaferro,
I've never seen "Taliaferro," but I once knew someone who spelled his
name the Italian way: "Tagliaferro."
Rang a bell with me. George Taliaferro was football player in Indiana
in the 1940s. He was a star in high school in Gary IN, and went on to
be a triple-threat (he played multiple positions) at Indiana
University.

He was the first African American drafted by the NFL* and is enshrined
in the NFL Hall of Fame. After retiring from football, he returned
to I.U. to implement affirmative action programs. A familiar name to
many Hoosiers.

*Drafted by the Chicago Bears, but never played for Da Bears. He
opted to play for the Los Angeles Dons in the All-America Football
Conference.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Cheryl
2018-06-11 16:32:20 UTC
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Post by Tony Cooper
Post by Ken Blake
Post by RH Draney
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
I do not mean name variations such as Richards/Richardson or
Robinson/Robson!
The standard example of this is Rogers/Rodgers, for which the two
spellings don't even generate the same Soundex code...there's also
Tolliver/Taliaferro,
I've never seen "Taliaferro," but I once knew someone who spelled his
name the Italian way: "Tagliaferro."
Rang a bell with me. George Taliaferro was football player in Indiana
in the 1940s. He was a star in high school in Gary IN, and went on to
be a triple-threat (he played multiple positions) at Indiana
University.
He was the first African American drafted by the NFL* and is enshrined
in the NFL Hall of Fame. After retiring from football, he returned
to I.U. to implement affirmative action programs. A familiar name to
many Hoosiers.
*Drafted by the Chicago Bears, but never played for Da Bears. He
opted to play for the Los Angeles Dons in the All-America Football
Conference.
Isn't the surname "Cowper" pronounced "Cooper"? I pronounced it "Cowper"
for years but then encountered some kind of audio or video mention of
one of the famous historical Cowpers, and it wasn't pronounced the way
it was spelled at all.

Of course, that shouldn't surprise me - it is in the English language.
--
Cheryl
Peter T. Daniels
2018-06-11 16:41:35 UTC
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Post by Cheryl
Post by RH Draney
The standard example of this is Rogers/Rodgers, for which the two
spellings don't even generate the same Soundex code...there's also
Tolliver/Taliaferro,
Isn't the surname "Cowper" pronounced "Cooper"? I pronounced it "Cowper"
for years but then encountered some kind of audio or video mention of
one of the famous historical Cowpers, and it wasn't pronounced the way
it was spelled at all.
Of course, that shouldn't surprise me - it is in the English language.
I've read or heard that "Cromwell" is [krUm.l] (sort of like "croomel")
and "Boleyn" is [bUl.n] (like "bullin"). (The period marks the syllable break, a useful
way of indicating the syllabic l and n.)
HVS
2018-06-11 16:48:25 UTC
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On 11 Jun 2018, Cheryl wrote

-snip-
Post by Cheryl
Isn't the surname "Cowper" pronounced "Cooper"? I pronounced it "Cowper"
for years but then encountered some kind of audio or video mention of
one of the famous historical Cowpers, and it wasn't pronounced the way
it was spelled at all.
That reminds me of "Pepys": the 17th-century diarist and his descendants
pronounce[d] the name as "peeps", but other branches of the family (including
the Earls of Cottenham) pronounce it "peppis".

As with place-names, there's simply no way to know how names are pronounced
from their spelling.
--
Cheers, Harvey
CanEng (30yrs) and BrEng (34yrs), indiscriminately mixed
Tony Cooper
2018-06-11 16:50:22 UTC
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Post by Cheryl
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by Ken Blake
Post by RH Draney
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
I do not mean name variations such as Richards/Richardson or
Robinson/Robson!
The standard example of this is Rogers/Rodgers, for which the two
spellings don't even generate the same Soundex code...there's also
Tolliver/Taliaferro,
I've never seen "Taliaferro," but I once knew someone who spelled his
name the Italian way: "Tagliaferro."
Rang a bell with me. George Taliaferro was football player in Indiana
in the 1940s. He was a star in high school in Gary IN, and went on to
be a triple-threat (he played multiple positions) at Indiana
University.
He was the first African American drafted by the NFL* and is enshrined
in the NFL Hall of Fame. After retiring from football, he returned
to I.U. to implement affirmative action programs. A familiar name to
many Hoosiers.
*Drafted by the Chicago Bears, but never played for Da Bears. He
opted to play for the Los Angeles Dons in the All-America Football
Conference.
Isn't the surname "Cowper" pronounced "Cooper"?
Dunno. I've never met a "Cowper". If I had to guess at the way the
person pronounced his/her last name, I would not use the "Cooper"
pronunciation.
Post by Cheryl
I pronounced it "Cowper"
for years but then encountered some kind of audio or video mention of
one of the famous historical Cowpers, and it wasn't pronounced the way
it was spelled at all.
Of course, that shouldn't surprise me - it is in the English language.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Jerry Friedman
2018-06-11 16:59:10 UTC
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On Monday, June 11, 2018 at 10:32:24 AM UTC-6, Cheryl P wrote:
...
Post by Cheryl
Isn't the surname "Cowper" pronounced "Cooper"? I pronounced it "Cowper"
for years but then encountered some kind of audio or video mention of
one of the famous historical Cowpers, and it wasn't pronounced the way
it was spelled at all.
Everything I've seen about the 18th-century poet William Cowper
says his surname was pronounced "Cooper".
Post by Cheryl
Of course, that shouldn't surprise me - it is in the English language.
Which moves in a mysterious way its wonders to perform.
--
Jerry Friedman
Peter T. Daniels
2018-06-11 16:33:23 UTC
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Post by Tony Cooper
Post by Ken Blake
Post by RH Draney
The standard example of this is Rogers/Rodgers, for which the two
spellings don't even generate the same Soundex code...there's also
Tolliver/Taliaferro,
I've never seen "Taliaferro," but I once knew someone who spelled his
name the Italian way: "Tagliaferro."
Rang a bell with me. George Taliaferro was football player in Indiana
in the 1940s. He was a star in high school in Gary IN, and went on to
be a triple-threat (he played multiple positions) at Indiana
University.
He was the first African American drafted by the NFL* and is enshrined
in the NFL Hall of Fame. After retiring from football, he returned
to I.U. to implement affirmative action programs. A familiar name to
many Hoosiers.
*Drafted by the Chicago Bears, but never played for Da Bears. He
opted to play for the Los Angeles Dons in the All-America Football
Conference.
Your irrelevant essay would have been germane to the thread if you'd
bothered to mention how the name was pronounced.
Tony Cooper
2018-06-11 16:48:07 UTC
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On Mon, 11 Jun 2018 09:33:23 -0700 (PDT), "Peter T. Daniels"
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by Ken Blake
Post by RH Draney
The standard example of this is Rogers/Rodgers, for which the two
spellings don't even generate the same Soundex code...there's also
Tolliver/Taliaferro,
I've never seen "Taliaferro," but I once knew someone who spelled his
name the Italian way: "Tagliaferro."
Rang a bell with me. George Taliaferro was football player in Indiana
in the 1940s. He was a star in high school in Gary IN, and went on to
be a triple-threat (he played multiple positions) at Indiana
University.
He was the first African American drafted by the NFL* and is enshrined
in the NFL Hall of Fame. After retiring from football, he returned
to I.U. to implement affirmative action programs. A familiar name to
many Hoosiers.
*Drafted by the Chicago Bears, but never played for Da Bears. He
opted to play for the Los Angeles Dons in the All-America Football
Conference.
Your irrelevant essay would have been germane to the thread if you'd
bothered to mention how the name was pronounced.
It is, as with all last names, pronounced the way that George and
family pronounces it.

You might notice that the post to which I responded used "seen", not
"heard" and mentioned "spelling". I have seen that spelling.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Jerry Friedman
2018-06-11 17:04:26 UTC
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Post by RH Draney
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
I do not mean name variations such as Richards/Richardson or
Robinson/Robson!
The standard example of this is Rogers/Rodgers, for which the two
spellings don't even generate the same Soundex code...
That's standard? Who adheres to that standard?

Thanks for "Soundex", which I'd never heard of.
Post by RH Draney
there's also
Moncrief/Moncrieff and Lincecomb/Linthicum....r
Are there people who spell their name Taliaferro and pronounce it
Tolliver? And if Lincecomb and Linthicum are pronounced the same,
how is that?
--
Jerry Friedman
Peter Duncanson [BrE]
2018-06-11 12:57:09 UTC
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On Mon, 11 Jun 2018 12:19:14 +0200, Ulrich Maier
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
I do not mean name variations such as Richards/Richardson or
Robinson/Robson!
Thanks for your help!
Ulrich
In Northern Ireland we have Smith and Smyth, pronounced identically
(short-i).

There are a few people here named Smythe. I don't know how they are
pronounced. They might be the same as Smith or they might have the "y"
as "eye" and a voiced "th".
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
Dingbat
2018-06-11 15:31:34 UTC
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Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Mon, 11 Jun 2018 12:19:14 +0200, Ulrich Maier
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
I do not mean name variations such as Richards/Richardson or
Robinson/Robson!
Thanks for your help!
Ulrich
In Northern Ireland we have Smith and Smyth, pronounced identically
(short-i).
There are a few people here named Smythe. I don't know how they are
pronounced. They might be the same as Smith or they might have the "y"
as "eye" and a voiced "th".
James St John Smythe (James Bond in disguise) had a pronunciation of
[smaID] in "A view to a kill".
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2018-06-11 15:51:22 UTC
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Post by Dingbat
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Mon, 11 Jun 2018 12:19:14 +0200, Ulrich Maier
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
I do not mean name variations such as Richards/Richardson or
Robinson/Robson!
Thanks for your help!
Ulrich
In Northern Ireland we have Smith and Smyth, pronounced identically
(short-i).
There are a few people here named Smythe. I don't know how they are
pronounced. They might be the same as Smith or they might have the "y"
as "eye" and a voiced "th".
James St John Smythe (James Bond in disguise) had a pronunciation of
[smaID] in "A view to a kill".
Yes, the only Smythe I ever knew pronounced it like that, but he wasn't
Northern Irish.
--
athel
Peter T. Daniels
2018-06-11 16:37:20 UTC
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Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Dingbat
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
In Northern Ireland we have Smith and Smyth, pronounced identically
(short-i).
There are a few people here named Smythe. I don't know how they are
pronounced. They might be the same as Smith or they might have the "y"
as "eye" and a voiced "th".
James St John Smythe (James Bond in disguise) had a pronunciation of
[smaID] in "A view to a kill".
Yes, the only Smythe I ever knew pronounced it like that, but he wasn't
Northern Irish.
In Chicago there was a furniture chain named for John M. Smythe. It had a
jingle that repeated the name several times, [smIT]. And at the end of the
commercial, it always said, "Or do you say [smajT]?"
Mack A. Damia
2018-06-11 16:05:07 UTC
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On Mon, 11 Jun 2018 12:19:14 +0200, Ulrich Maier
Post by Ulrich Maier
Hello, in German there are some very frequent surnames that occur with
alternative spellings. The best known example is Maier which appears
also as Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Mayr etc., all pronounced identically.
Do such spelling variants also exist for frequent English names?
(Actually I found some variants, but none of them occurs really frequently.)
I do not mean name variations such as Richards/Richardson or
Robinson/Robson!
Thanks for your help!
I wish that I had a dime for every time my name has been incorrectly
spelled "PROCTOR".

I'd own my own island. I'd call it.......

Macadamia.
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