Liddell (was: Pronouncing drug names (w. note for Wilson))

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Fri Feb 1 03:39:50 UTC 2008

My understanding has long been that in English names ending in -ell,
the -ell is originally unstressed, and where it has gained stress it
has done so because the current rules would normally have it that
way. I assume, when seeing names such as Twitchell, Winchell,
Liddell, Meynell (the last name of a professor of mine in undergrad
-- pronounced ['mEn at l], not, as some said it, [maI'nEl]), Tyrrell (a
paleontological musem in Alberta -- ['tIr at l], not [taI'rEl]) etc.,
that the stress is on the first syllable until I find that it has

Are there any onomastics experts here who can discourse on the origin
of the -ell suffix?

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society -

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