Halloween pronunciation

Mark Odegard markodegard at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 3 03:56:34 UTC 2001

Dennis R. Preston:
>Backwards you have it. In the NCVS the /ae/ vowel (of "cat") moves
>forward and up (to the /e/ of "bet" or even to the height of the /I/
>of "bit"). I hear Halloween around here (Lansing, MI) as "Helloween"
>or even "Hillloween" all the time. They are all, however,
>underlyingly /ae/ pronunciations.

Yes. Dennis is right. Bat becomes bet and bet becomes butt, with further
horrors yet undocumented. But I may be wrong (do correct me!).

As for Halloween. As one of the last living members of the
I-learned-my-religion-with-the-KJV, I think, as a child, I would have
wondered about 'hollowed by thy name' (a la 'Gladly' thy cross-eyed bear',
i.e. your cross-eyed bear named 'Gladly'). I do remember being taught early
that it was All-Hallow's-Eve.

'Hallow' is probably an obsolete word in current English. Most
post-Christian neo-pagan Americans are not into 'be made holy, be
sancitified' language.

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