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The Winter Mantle

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Location: Virginia

Post by Loveday » Sat January 23rd, 2010, 7:36 pm

[quote=""EC2""]Umm... I'm not precisely sure myself given that it's a name of a thousand years old and earlier, but my best guess (and I stand to be corrected by any Anglo Saxon experts on the forum) is 'Wol - thee (with the 'th' pronounced as in 'thick' rather than as in 'these' and 'off' So Wol-thee-off. That's how I say it.

All best
EC :-) [/quote]

Thank you, EC! That was one of my many attempts. At one point I also tried looking at it as an early form of 'Walter,' but I kept stumbling over that 'f' at the end. :rolleyes: LOL!

Thanks again! :)
"When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left...er... I buy more books." (Apologies to Erasmus ;) )

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Post by annis » Sat January 23rd, 2010, 9:39 pm

I'm pretty sure that in Anglo-Saxon "F" is pronounced as "V", which is how "Godgifu" (pronounced something like "Goodeevuh") got to "Godiva" and "Leofric" is apparently pronounced "Lovric". So I'm guessing that Waltheof would also probably have an "ov" ending. Going by the "Leofric" example, that could mean that "Waltheof' is "Wol-thov", though I'm certainly not an expert :)
Last edited by annis on Sat January 23rd, 2010, 10:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by EC2 » Sat January 23rd, 2010, 10:51 pm

We're having a discussion on the Regia e-list at the moment re pronunciation of Eadgyth. Lots of different opinions. Someone's going to ask Stephen Pollington who's a Regia member but not on our e-list. He's one of the UK's best Anglo Saxon linguists, so he'll know if anyone does. I'll have to ask him about Waltheof! Someone brought up the matter of regional dialect having an effect on names. For e.g. saying a word like 'our' in England today, you'll get pronounciations such as 'Wor' in the North-East, 'Aaar' in the South and 'Ower' in the Midlands. Grass with a short 'a' in the north and 'Graaarse' in the south.
Double O's pronounced in the North as in 'Moo' and in the south with a much more muted almost 'U' sound.
I've seen the name 'Waldeve' which could come from Waltheof if it was pronounced 'Walthev' so my Wol thee off could be totally wrong, but it's how I pronounced it in my head! :) I guess like I grew up being taught about Queen 'Bowdaseea' as opposed to the more correctly thought of 'Boodika.'
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal


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Post by annis » Sat January 23rd, 2010, 11:27 pm

I wonder if "Waltheof" was originally written with the Anglo-Saxon "ð" (eth), which indicated a "th" sound. That could later be read as a "d", though "d" (pronounced "dih" rather than "dee") and "th" sound pretty similar. The other possibility (and the most likely, perhaps, as it's the most obvious) is that the name was pronounced "Wolt-hov", which could easily over time become Woldov or Waldeve.

It will be interesting to hear what your A/S expert has to say. I had the idea that the internal "g" in a compound name was usually elided, (as in Godgifu, pronounced Goodeevuh), which would make Eadgyth = Edith.
It's funny how the way we make up pronunciations when we're young because often we read words and don't actually ever hear them spoken. For years I thought the medieval word for the Holy Land,"Outremer", was pronounced "Out Raymer" until I later learnt a bit of French and realised that it was really "outre mer" (overseas)!
Last edited by annis on Sun January 24th, 2010, 4:39 am, edited 8 times in total.

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