Pronouncing drug names (w. note for Wilson)

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Thu Jan 31 13:21:32 UTC 2008

There was also Eric Liddell, the great Scots sprinter who was featured in the motion picture _Chariots of Fire_. His surname was pronounced like "little" (in the movie, at least).


---- Original message ----
>Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 09:05:41 -0000
>From: Michael Quinion <wordseditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG>
>Laurence Horn wrote:
>> I remember being surprised to learn that the family name of Alice Liddell, of Alice in Wonderland fame, and therefore of her father Henry--Dean Liddell of Christ Church in Oxford, was pronounce "Little" and not "Lid-DELL" (I'm pretty sure I made the same wron guess about the classical lexicographer), and that this explains some puns on the part of Dodgson/Carroll on the name. (I forget which puns.)  It's possible that it was Martin Gardner, of _The Annotated Alice_, who disabused me of the "Lid-DELL" pronunciation.
>>From an addition to the Masque of Balliol (sometime after 1881):
>  I am the Dean, and this is Mrs Liddell.
>  She plays the first, and I the second, fiddle.
>The pronunciation was particularly hard to remember for Brits of my generation, since a long-serving BBC radio announcer was Alvar Liddell, who said his family name with stress on the second syllable.
>Michael Quinion
>Editor, World Wide Words
>E-mail: wordseditor at

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