Pronunciation of "Lowth" (Was Re: Phonetic alphabets)

FRITZ JUENGLING juengling_fritz at SALKEIZ.K12.OR.US
Thu Dec 9 22:13:42 UTC 2004

>Since we're talking about pronunciation of Alamo hero and TV character >Jim Bowie versus rock star David Bowie, here's a similar phonetic >
>>question.  Howdo you professional linguists pronounce the name of the >18th-centuryprescriptive grammarian, Bishop Lowth?

>Alan Baragona

At first glance I'd rhyme it with 'coo' but then remember the 18th C writer William Cowper.  I found this on his website:

How did Cowper pronounce his name?
On display in the Hall is a letter from Charles Longuett-Higgins, son of Cowper's friend, which settles this question quite conclusively:

I can with certainty inform you that the Poet himself, and all his immediate relatives and friends, used to pronounce his name as if it was spelt Cooper - that is without the w.
My dear Father and grandfather, who were among his most intimate friends, the whole time of his living at Weston Underwood and Olney, knew well this to have been the case. I have myself heard my father say so very many times.

End quote

I (Fritz Juengling) know him best from this cool rhyme:
Philologists, who chase
a panting syllable through time and space,
 Start it at home, and hunt it in the dark,
 To Gaul, to Greece, and into Noah's Ark

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