Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Nov 21 00:48:10 UTC 2005

Quoting Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com>:

> On 11/20/05, Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> >
> > * Judeo-Christian, a.
> >
> > 1847 _Harbinger_ 16 Jan. 88/2 A unitary religion, embodying the
> > Judeao-Christian [sic] doctrine of Universal Love, shines, the
> > torch-bearer of humanity, far in advance of its actual institutions.
> > http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?RQT=3D309&VName=3DHNP&did=3D429940111
> To the best of my knowledge, "_Judaeo_-Christian" is still the prescribed,
> if not the preferred, spelling.

To be sure. Many of the early cites use the "Judaeo-" spelling, very often with
the "ae" ligature. My [sic] above is intended for the misspelling, "Judeao-".

> That's why a lot of people say
> "Judayo-Christian." In fact, this latter was the pronunciation that I used
> myself till the early '70's, when I heard a Jewish friend consistently use
> "Judeeo-Christian." I gave this some thought and realized that she was
> correct, given that -ae- is pronounced [i], except in the name, Mae.
> Nevertheless, in my library days, we uniformly pronounced _Judaeica_ as
> "Judayica" and not as "Judeeica."

I'm not sure if a knowledge of the "Judaeo-" spelling is a necessary
prerequisite for the "Judayo-" pronunciation. "Judeo-" could be pronounced that
way on the model of such foreignisms as "Galileo", "Montevideo", "Rodeo" (the
Copland ballet), etc.

--Ben Zimmer

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