Chalmondley(Chum-lee), and I coasted with those for a while.
My eyes popped when a Google Search gave me Beauchamp (Beecham), Cockburn (Kohbern), Featherstonehaugh (Fanshaw), Menzies (Mingis), and Woolfardisworthy (Woolsey). It's like eating potato chips. I want more. Got any?
What happens? Is it like the action of time and tide on beach pebbles?
Some of us would be lost if the word,"bedlam", had not evolved, for how else to describe there where we, often, are. I remember a book in which a Ruthven was a character. To say,"Ruth-ven"is no big deal, but I liken it to stubbing a toe. When the author put forth a passage in which the pronunciation was revealed--RIVVEN--I loved it!
Many of these names appear as their pronunciations dictate:
Wooster, Maudlin, Beecham, Fanshaw, Woolsey, Chumley. I wonder if their owners could not take the hassle. I remember a prospective employee, Chalmondley, who applied at the firm at which I worked. As she sat before me, I, with application in hand, said, "Ah, yes, Chumley". She looked at me as she would the devil incarnate. She was not with us long. I hope she is all right. Did she become a Chumley? .....Thanks, Joshua
And thank you, too, K Allen.
If the reason you give is the reason Illinoisans(?) do what they do, what wonderful perversity! I am jealous. I come from an older part of the country where we have had longer to cook up eccentricities, but I can't think of any. Is there a New Englander out there who can match BENLD?
Actually, C L, we Illinoisans (the "s" is still silent) don't necessarily give new pronunciations to older names on purpose. I think some of those names were established by early pioneers who had seen the original names but didn't know how they were pronounced. Over time, the mis-pronounced names just sort of stuck.
Another one that is pronounced differently is my home town, the podunk of Louisville, which--unlike the city in Kentucky--is pronounced LEW-us-vil. The town founders submitted the name to the State as "Lewisville," named after a founding family (Lewis). Since Illinois already had a Lewistown, however, the State decided to change the spelling to avoid confusion. The town accepted the spelling, but continued to pronounce the name as though it were still "Lewis."
An interesting side-note about Benld. I have no idea where the name originated, but the town itself (another podunk halfway between Springfield and St. Louis) was quite notorious during the gangster era. Apparently, Benld served as kind of a "summer home" for Al Capone and his gang--a place for them to get away from the hustle and bustle of running the mob in Chicago! Who knew?
OK, I have to weigh in with Alabama place names. We have a small hamlet in south Alabama named Cuba and pronounced "Cuber," and Arab, Alabama, is pronounced "A-[long a]rab." Of course, "Mobile," if you're a true Southerner, is not just accent on the last syllable, but it's pronounced "Mo-BE-yul." *G*
Lois, March 12
H.L. Mencken's The American Language, chapter 10 : Proper Names in America,(Geographical names) declares that Benld came from Benjamin L. Dorsey, " a local magnifico".