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Sir Gawain--how to pronouce?


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That would depend if you're *hoity-toity* or a *straw-chewin' ol' fellow takin' a tour of the crocodile farm.* Sorry! I couldn't resist. Abbeyej's comment about how to pronounce *Tours* in the General Forum had me laughing all day.

 

:D

 

To answer your question, I say Guh-wayne, but apparently there are a few ways to correctly pronounce it.

 

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Gawain

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I ran into this years back, and read an long explanation by a highly literate Welsh speaker/writer who explained it was one syllable with a g/w "blend".

 

Like "Wayne" but with a GW: Gwayne.

 

Not the way I ever said it, but I was convinced. I wish I could find this explanation again.

 

Bill

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I ran into this years back, and read an long explanation by a highly literate Welsh speaker/writer who explained it was one syllable with a g/w "blend".

 

Like "Wayne" but with a GW: Gwayne.

 

Not the way I ever said it, but I was convinced. I wish I could find this explanation again.

 

Bill

 

Interesting, and that makes sense coming from a Welsh speaker, now that I think about it. I hadn't spent much time thinking about Gawain, but I still am waiting for Americans to pronounce the name Leif so that it rhymes with waif. It is NOT a homophone with leaf. Even SWB has this wrong in the edition of SOTW we have. (Leif Erikson, of course, although most people want to spell it Ericson, as in the son of Erik the Red--"Eric" comes from Erich, but the Norse tend to use Erik :))

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Excellent -- thank you! But if you scroll down past the first pronunciation, it gives the Gah-wayne' pronunciation as well (which is how I've always said it, only because that's how my daddy said it when he read The Once and Future King aloud).

 

But that is 2 syllables. Gah-wayne.

 

Where the Welsh speaker said it was one syllable with G and W forming a "blend." Gwayne. A subtle difference, but a difference none-the-less.

 

Bill

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But that is 2 syllables. Gah-wayne.

 

Where the Welsh speaker said it was one syllable with G and W forming a "blend." Gwayne. A subtle difference, but a difference none-the-less.

 

Bill

 

Probably some people just couldn't get it as one syllable. I've lived in a place in the US where people say names such as Bjorn with 2 syllables (they say Beeyorn once they learn that the j is a y). I also meet many Americans who don't think that they can say the J in Jean the way the French do (similar to John, but with a different sound to the J), but they do it almost exactly correctly all the time in words such as treasure and pleasure. Dh's background is Norwegian & my mother's is Icelandic, so this is why you see me bringing up the Norse names as examples.

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Probably some people just couldn't get it as one syllable. I've lived in a place in the US where people say names such as Bjorn with 2 syllables (they say Beeyorn once they learn that the j is a y). I also meet many Americans who don't think that they can say the J in Jean the way the French do (similar to John, but with a different sound to the J), but they do it almost exactly correctly all the time in words such as treasure and pleasure. Dh's background is Norwegian & my mother's is Icelandic, so this is why you see me bringing up the Norse names as examples.

 

I will consult you when we get to the Nordic stories. :001_smile:

 

And the spelling of Gawain isn't much help to English speakers, as who would get "Gwayne" from that. I will say I was convinced by the impressive explanation this Welch speaker gave on a literay forum, and I just wish I could find it again.

 

Bill

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I ran into this years back, and read an long explanation by a highly literate Welsh speaker/writer who explained it was one syllable with a g/w "blend".

 

Like "Wayne" but with a GW: Gwayne.

 

Not the way I ever said it, but I was convinced. I wish I could find this explanation again.

 

Bill

 

When dd was little we used to watch Between the Lions and I pronounce it Gwayne because of the

.

 

ETA--Elegantlion, I shoulda kept on reading.

Edited by Shawna in Texas
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When dd was little we used to watch Between the Lions and I pronounce it Gwayne because of the
.

 

ETA--Elegantlion, I shoulda kept on reading.

 

I'm glad you didn't because I had no idea what she was talking about :D

 

And Julie can stop being intimidated knowing our knowledge comes from You Tube videos :tongue_smilie:

 

Bill

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I ran into this years back, and read an long explanation by a highly literate Welsh speaker/writer who explained it was one syllable with a g/w "blend".

 

Like "Wayne" but with a GW: Gwayne.

 

Not the way I ever said it, but I was convinced. I wish I could find this explanation again.

 

Bill

 

 

that is the way I say it.

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In Britain, but I'm not Welsh.

 

Laura

 

 

One of the things about Britain is that there are so many different accents that it makes it a bit easier to be authentic, doesn't it? Gwayne, Guh-wayne. Since none of us lived back when this tale is set, one could argue that none of us really knows how to pronounce it :). This part of New England is the same way; almost every single town & city has its own accent. Since my favourite high school teacher is Welsh, I'll go with Gwayne for now, since I've decided to choose this arbitrarily. Now, the Norse I have some backing for, since the Icelanders still speak a language very close to what Norwegian was 1000 years ago (perhaps an arbitrary reason as well;)).

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I'm glad you didn't because I had no idea what she was talking about :D

 

And Julie can stop being intimidated knowing our knowledge comes from You Tube videos :tongue_smilie:

 

Bill

 

And here I thought you were a mega-educated dude. Well, time to check out you tube.

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