Halloween pronunciation

Mark.Mandel at LHSL.COM Mark.Mandel at LHSL.COM
Fri Nov 2 17:29:48 UTC 2001

Patricia Kuhlman wrote:

When did everyone start calling it Holloween?  I pronounce the a as a
short a.  I grew up in Illinois in the fifties and sixties and it always
strikes my ear wrong to hear Holloween.

and Fritz Juengling answered:

I think it may be an analogy with 'hall' --and one of my students whom I
just quizzed gave that explanantion. Of course, the word comes from "All
Hallow E'en."  I don't think 'hallow' is pronounced as 'hollow.'  The
American Heritage Dictionary gives only your pronunciation.
I have also noticed in the news the pronunciations NevAHda and ColorAHdo.
I never heard these pronunciations growing up and my mother, aunts, and
grandmother always said (and insisted upon) Colorado, rhyming with 'bad'.
One of my students who is from Colorado insists on rhyming with 'bad' and
adds that 'everyone says that in Colorado.'

1. I also pronounced it with ash ("short a" as in "black cat" ;-)\ ),
growing up in and around NYC in the 50s and 60s, but I've found myself
often following the script a (as in "father" or "hollow") pronunciation
that I hear all around me.

2. What does "hall" have to do with it? That has an open-o vowel as in
"cough"... oh, wait a minute. Fritz, do you and your student pronounce
"cot" and "caught" alike?

3. I always heard and said nevAHduh and colorAHdo and still do. I've heard
the short-a pronunciations, and I don't consider them incorrect but I don't
like them or use them. And my wife was born in Colorado and lived there
till she was seven. Do your female senior relatives and students pronounce
the final "-o" as a schwa?

4. I also like to spell "Hallowe'en" with an apostrophe. Call me
conservative that way if it makes you feel better. ;-)\
     "I could follow an etymology on the edge of doom."
     (approx. -- Kurremkarmerruk, the Master Namer, in the last story [I
forget its title] in
     Ursula Le Guin's next to recentest book, _Tales from Earthsea_)

                  Mark A. Mandel : Senior Linguist
 Dragon Systems, a Lernout & Hauspie company : speech recognition
 320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02460, USA : http://www.dragonsys.com

More information about the Ads-l mailing list