[Vwoolf] Oh, those names again

Stuart N. Clarke stuart.n.clarke at btinternet.com
Tue Feb 4 06:20:42 EST 2020

Personally I have no doubt whatsoever on how VW pronounced:

Bernard (it is hard to think of any ordinary forename with the emphasis on the second syllable, except for Yvonne)
Isa (occasionally the odd doubt creeps in, but I crush it; I have been hunting in Mark Hussey’s CUP edn of BA for a many-page discussion of this issue, but have failed to find it)

As for Louis, people often say Robert Lou-ee Stevenson, but ‘He was given the names Robert Lewis Balfour but changed the spelling (although not the pronunciation) of the second to Louis when he was about eighteen, and dropped the third in 1873; to his family and close friends he was always known as Louis’ (ODNB).

Cf. Pierre Louis: ‘From 1890 onwards, he began spelling his name as "Louÿs", and pronouncing the final S, as a way of expressing his fondness for classical Greek culture (the letter Y is known in French as i grec or "Greek I")’ (Wikipedia).


From: Jeremy Hawthorn via Vwoolf 
Sent: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 4:14 AM
To: Mark Scott ; Mary Ellen Foley 
Cc: vwoolf 
Subject: Re: [Vwoolf] Talland House

On 04.02.2020 04:33, Mark Scott wrote:

  My experience is that Americans pronounce it both ways.  As Jeremy Hawthorne wrote, the city in Missouri (not Kansas or Illinois) is pronounced Saint “Lewis” (Louis) whereas the great jazz trumpeter is almost always referred to as “Loo – ee” (Louis) Armstrong.  

  Mark Scott
  Common Reader
Well, Wikipedia's page for Louis Armstrong has this:

Pronunciation of name
The Louis Armstrong House Museum website states:
    Judging from home recorded tapes now in our Museum Collections, Louis pronounced his own name as "Lewis". On his 1964 record "Hello, Dolly", he sings, "This is Lewis, Dolly" but in 1933 he made a record called "Laughin' Louie". Many broadcast announcers, fans, and acquaintances called him "Louie" and in a videotaped interview from 1983 Lucille Armstrong calls her late husband "Louie" as well. Musicians and close friends usually called him "Pops".[72] 
In a memoir written for Robert Goffin between 1943 and 1944, Armstrong states, "All white folks call me Louie," perhaps suggesting that he himself did not or, on the other hand, that no whites addressed him by one of his nicknames such as Pops.[73] That said, Armstrong was registered as "Lewie" for the 1920 U.S. Census. On various live records he's called "Louie" on stage, such as on the 1952 "Can Anyone Explain?" from the live album In Scandinavia vol.1. The same applies to his 1952 studio recording of the song "Chloe", where the choir in the background sings "Louie ... Louie", with Armstrong responding "What was that? Somebody called my name?" "Lewie" is the French pronunciation of "Louis" and is commonly used in Louisiana.

Ditto St Louis. Officially Saint Lewis, but referred to affectionately (by, among others, Chuck Berry) as Saint Loo ee.

Brits tend to use French pronunciation for French words more than Americans (Louis Vitton, masseuse, and so on). My assumption is that Virginia Woolf would have used Loo ee, but I have no evidence for that.

Jeremy H

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.osu.edu/pipermail/vwoolf/attachments/20200204/83914080/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Vwoolf mailing list