Celtic - pronounciation, please

Mar 17th, 2005, 09:11 PM
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Celtic - pronounciation, please

A day late and a dollar short for St. Patrick's Day, but I've been curious about this.

I always thought that in the UK, they pronounced it "Keltic." But on our last trip to England, we heard someone on TV pronounce it "Seltic."

Is it commonly pronounced both ways?
Kayb95 is offline  
Mar 17th, 2005, 09:30 PM
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Increasingly I think people use the K, but traditionally it was the S.

Glasgow Keltic v. Glasgow Rahn-jay? That'll be the day.
Gardyloo is online now  
Mar 17th, 2005, 10:45 PM
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The Celts have always been Kelts. That's how the Greeks (from memory, Herodotus, but my Liddel and Scott is in storage) first spelt - and pronounced them 2,500 years ago. So the Celtic Sea is pronounced Keltic. And so on. There's only one exception.

The Glasgow football team is pronounced Seltic. There's no other occasion Celtic is so pronounced.

And even the football club isn't always Seltic. A decade or so, it was trounced 6-1 in a cuptie by no-hopers Inverness Caledonians.

Quick as a flash, the Sun's back page headline summed up the debacle. "Super Cally go balistic" it announced. "Celtic are atrocious".

No newspaper in the world comes within a mile of the Sun for great headlines. That has to in there with "Gotcha" and "Freddie Starr ate my hamster"
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Mar 18th, 2005, 02:55 AM
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Loath as I am to correct flanner (and I shall resist the temptation to say anything about the Sun), I have a distinct memory that it was the local paper in Inverness that got there first - it wouldn't surprise me if they hadn't had it stored away for some time, just in case.
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Mar 18th, 2005, 03:28 AM
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The football team is not "Seltic" but "Sellic".
Celtic is always pronounced with a leading K otherwise.
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Mar 18th, 2005, 03:46 AM
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This "Keltic" business is a curious British affectation. In America we generally say "Seltic," both for the Boston Celtics and otherwise, following the normal rule: Greek words beginning ke-, ki- or ky- that came into English through Latin and had the initial kappa changed to a "c" are pronounced as if they began with an "s." Otherwise we would say "kentaur," "kinema," and "Kyprus."
jahoulih is online now  
Mar 18th, 2005, 04:21 AM
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>Increasingly I think people use the K, but traditionally it was the S

Untrue actually. The truth is nobody really knows. The pagans insist it is a soft C but more often it's referred to as a hard C unless in reference to a sporting team.
Brisbanite is offline  
Mar 18th, 2005, 04:23 AM
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>This "Keltic" business is a curious British affectation

If that's true then how do you explain the 'Glasgow Celtic' soccer team where it is also pronounced with a soft C?
Brisbanite is offline  
Mar 18th, 2005, 05:12 AM
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Possibly Glaswegian soccer fans are, on average, less prone to affectation than their compatriots. I would not find that altogether surprising.

The Oxford English Dictionary, for what it's worth, gives the "seltic" pronunciation first, then "keltic."

Flanneruk's reference to Herodotus is correct. (My Liddell and Scott is not in storage.)
jahoulih is online now  
Mar 18th, 2005, 05:14 AM
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zippo, it only sounds like cellic if you're listening to a broad scots accent as they tend to blend in the t. Otherwise it is celtic, soft c to start.
Fi_UK is offline  
Mar 18th, 2005, 05:30 AM
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"Celtic - pronounciation, please"

You might do well by learning English "pronounciation" first.
metellus is offline  
Mar 18th, 2005, 05:52 AM
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Right, let's get the important issue straight.

The match concerned took place on Feb 8, 2003: The Sun (but only in its Scottish edition, so Patrick's partly right) ran the headline on the morning of Feb 9. The Inverness Courier appears only twice a week.

Checking this, two other contenders for the greatest ever sporting headline cropped up:

The Sun's "Wenger’s wonga makes Bergkamp linger longer" isn't as good, really as the Mirror's effort when English "fans" smashed up half of Rotterdam: "Rotterdammerung". Sadly, the Mirror's subs decided this was over their readers' heads and spiked it.

None though, approach the immortal Johnner's cricket commentary on the BBC when Michael Holding was bowling to Peter Willey: "The bowler's Holding: the batsman's Willey"

Thank you, jahoulih for reminding me tactfully of Alice's (and her dad's) surname. Yes, "Keltic" may be an affectation. But when our papers produce headlines like that, and Beeb commentators don't incur Janet Jackson-style hand-wringing, I think we're allowed it.
flanneruk is offline  
Mar 18th, 2005, 06:09 AM
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Thanks, flanneruk. If it's "Keltic" you want, you're welcome to it.

Speaking of Alice's dad and his dictionary, you may already be familiar with this gem from Thomas Hardy:

http://www.richardwolf.de/latein/hardy.htm
jahoulih is online now  
Mar 18th, 2005, 06:29 AM
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>You might do well by learning English "pronounciation" first.

Pedant.
Brisbanite is offline  
Mar 18th, 2005, 06:54 AM
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>>This "Keltic" business is a curious British affectation. In America we generally say "Seltic," both for the Boston Celtics and otherwise.

This may be regional, because I live in the States and always hear it pronounced "Keltic," except when referring to the basketball team from Boston.
elle is offline  
Mar 18th, 2005, 07:08 AM
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Well, if we really want to be pedantic, perhaps we could start by spelling pronunciation correctly. There's no o before the u.
The compact 2002 OED says that Celtic can be pronounced both ways but puts the K version first. It says that the origin is the Greek word, Keltoi.
Talking of Greek origins, I knew a very grand old lady who pronounced Cinema as Kinema.
 
Mar 18th, 2005, 07:12 AM
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The "k" version seems to be on the march, on both sides of the Atlantic. My OED, with the "s" version first, is the 1989 edition. The 2001 Merriam-Webster gives the "k" version first.

I'll stick with Boston and Glasgow.
jahoulih is online now  
Mar 18th, 2005, 07:14 AM
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I've always been under the impression that it is pronounced Keltic unless you are talking about the two sports teams mentioned. I remember the reference to the Greek Keltoi (and the greeks did have an S sound - Sigma).

As a child I pronounced it Seltic once -- in front of a Welshman, who promptly corrected me. He said Seltic was a popular pronunciation in the 19th century, but Keltic is correct.
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Mar 18th, 2005, 07:27 AM
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Oldie

Many early cinemas or “picture houses” were actually styled Kinema – it would seem the correct phonetic of this then neologism was up for grabs.

Though this form soon disappeared from view it can still be found in deepest, darkest Lincolnshire at Woodhall Spa which still has “The Kinema In The Woods” – a cinema unique in the UK in that the projection comes from the REAR of the screen not from behind the audience in front of the screen. More info available at www.thekinemainthewoods.co.uk.
The whole experience of going to see a film there is a very refreshing change from the ubiquitous multi-plex replete with popcorn fights and ill-behaved teens.

Thread highjack over!

Dr D.
Dr_DoGood is offline  
Mar 18th, 2005, 07:31 AM
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Well flanner, as a humble Sellic fan let me just say this;

So maybe I don't know who Liddel & Scott are - did they form a central defensive partnership for Hibs just after the war?

And maybe I'm not too sure about Herodtus - Greek cup winners in 1972?

But this much I do know.......(grows red in face & bangs table loudly)......

Caley Thistle only beat us 3-1.

Jim
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