[Ads-l] Is There a Scow in Moscow?

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 30 15:03:46 EST 2016

Well, the older form of the name was Moskov, which became Muscovy in
English and Moscow in German, with the German "w" pronounced like "v".


On Fri, Dec 30, 2016 at 12:43 PM, Baker, John <JBAKER at stradley.com> wrote:

> I heard someone on NPR this morning pronounce the name of the Russian
> capital with the final vowel sound heard in scow, cow, and brow.  I usually
> pronounce it with the final vowel sound heard in low, snow, and tow.
> Resorting to the native pronunciation is no use, since Muscovites use the
> name Москва́, typically transliterated and pronounced as "Moskva."
> There seems to be a diversity of opinion on the issue.  I looked at some
> of the dictionaries and other sources linked by Onelook.com.  The following
> favor the "cow" pronunciation (* means that the "oh" pronunciation is also
> given as an alternative):  Oxford (North American English)*; American
> Heritage*; Wiktionary (U.S.)*; Webster's New World; Free Dictionary*.
> However, the following favor the "oh" pronunciation (with * meaning that
> "cow" is given as an alternative):  Merriam-Webster*; Oxford (British &
> World English); Collins; Wiktionary (received pronunciation); Wordsmyth*;
> Infoplease*; Dictionary.com*; Wikipedia*; Rhymezone; thefreedictionary.com
> .
> This seems to suggest that I can get away with using either pronunciation
> in the U.S., although I had better use "oh" when traveling abroad, but I
> still would be interested in others' thoughts on this.
> John Baker
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list