[Ads-l] Heard on Unsolved Mysteries

Michael Everson everson at EVERTYPE.COM
Sat Aug 5 11:55:12 UTC 2017

On 4 Aug 2017, at 19:03, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> I have “fall-k’n” but that’s a learned pronunciation.  I grew up saying /falk at n/ as in “balcon(y)” but at some point someone convinced me (in print or in person) that people who knew more about falconry than I do (which is almost everyone) all say /fOlk at n/ as in “fall-k’n”.

The “fall-k’n” pronunciation is actually more authentic. Derivation: ME faucon. The -l- was added in the 15th century in deference to the Latin falco < falx ‘sickle’ (the claws, I expect). 

British English given in Apple OED as /ˈfɔː(l)k(ə)n, ˈfɒlk(ə)n/

American English given in Apple OED as /ˈfælkən, ˈfɔlkən/

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

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