Geoduck (1882)

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Thu Nov 7 20:49:21 UTC 2002

>... how a river in Pennsylvania whose name is
>pronounced /'yuhk @ gein ee/ (that's a hard g) (name rhymes with "Allegheny")
>came to be spelled as "Youghiogheny".  George Washington was about the first
>English speaker to come anywhere near the Youghiogheny valley, and by then
>English had for centuries given up creating new spellings with "ough"---and
>no other English spelling uses "ough" for /uck/ ....

Hereabouts (near the Youghiogheny) the Youghiogheny River's name is usually
pronounced /jOk at geini/, and it's often abbreviated "Yough" /jOk/
("yock"/"yawk"), occasionally written "Yock". (The Monongahela is called
the Mon /mOn/.)

Some of those named Dougherty use the "Dockerty" pronunciation, which is
exactly analogous formally (I think) although perhaps not analogous

I would speculate that the spelling was invented following a pronunciation
on the order of /jugiogeni/ in some local Amerind language. Possibly the
current pronunciation originated as a spelling pronunciation by analogy
with "Dougherty" or some other name, or from a Scots spelling pronunciation
(like /sOx/ for "sough"). This is just off the top of my head; I cannot
find any authoritative information on this right now.

-- Doug Wilson

More information about the Ads-l mailing list