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Natives... please pronounce "St. Giles" for me

Natives... please pronounce "St. Giles" for me

Oct 19th, 2012, 10:28 AM
  #1  
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Natives... please pronounce "St. Giles" for me

Hi Fodorites. Seeing contrasting info. on the web and hope you can help.
How do Londoners pronounce St. Giles? With a hard 'G' or a softer 'J'? Your help is appreciated! Have to read to a group of writers who will know the difference and trying to minimize embarrassment.
ChgoGal is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 10:31 AM
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It's a soft G.
Nonconformist is online now  
Oct 19th, 2012, 10:41 AM
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yep - soft . . .
janisj is online now  
Oct 19th, 2012, 10:45 AM
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So fast! Thanks to you both.
ChgoGal is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 10:46 AM
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The rule in French is that "g" before i or e is soft (as in jh).

I can't think of a single French-derived word (the cult of St Giles arrived with the Normans) in English that doesn't follow this convention (so j as the word gets anglicised). Which will doubtless stimulate some ornery compatriot to find an exception.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 10:58 AM
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Giles is pronounced exactly as you would in the US.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 12:36 PM
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But a lot of people wouldn't know how to pronounce that in the US or don't come across it in the US. There is a Giles County in Virginia and they do pronounce it like Jiles (not the way you would pronounce either the j or the i in French, actually).
Christina is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 12:46 PM
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Thanks, all. Yes... I actually hadn't come across Giles as a surname or church, only in books. Though I've discovered there is a Saint Giles somewhat near in Oak Park.

I tend to over-think pronunciation as I'm so often wrong with French and British-English. Thanks for indulging me.
ChgoGal is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 02:36 PM
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And we wouldn't normally say "Saynt", but rather with the unvoiced almost non-vowel "S[uh]nt".
PatrickLondon is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 02:40 PM
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My brother lives in Chalfont St Giles pronounced Sunt Jiles, with minimal emphasis on the St.
If talking about the actual saint I'd probably say saynt however.
hetismij2 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 02:50 PM
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Ooh... see, Patrick! True to form, I would've even been botching the "saint" part. It's like a disease.
ChgoGal is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 02:56 PM
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Chgogirl - what makes you think that the other people will know any better?
annhig is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 03:18 PM
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@annhig: This is writing exercise I have for a class and I've enough history with them to know they're loads more cosmopolitan than I.

My plan is to read that part really fast. Or maybe just swap out 'St. Giles' for 'Seven Dials.' I'm 99% sure I pronounce 'Seven Dials' correctly.

Or do I...?
ChgoGal is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 03:24 PM
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lol, Chgogirl,

say it with enough confidence and they'll thing they're wrong!
annhig is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 03:30 PM
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Say sort of Sin Jiles (semi-swallowing the 'aint') and you will sound very posh
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Oct 19th, 2012, 05:03 PM
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Can anyone confirm what I've been told: that St. John as a proper name (e.g. the '30s writer St John Erskine) would be pronounced SINj'n in the UK?
tedgale is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 05:19 PM
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Ted: you have that right, sir! I actually had an English relative named "sinjin"...much bullied by his school-mates according to family lore; a hard name to rise above by the '50's, I think. L
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Oct 19th, 2012, 05:21 PM
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tegdale sin gin is correct. Giles is a family name and we pronounce it jiles and we are English
Avalon2 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 11:18 PM
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Sin jin [as in the late lamented MP Sir John St. John Stevas, pronounced Steevas] isn't the only weirdly pronounced english name of course.

Mainwaring = Mannering

Featherstone-Haugh = Fanshaw

Cholmondley - Chumley

I'm sure I've missed a few.

Get these right, Chgogirl, and your audience will be well impressed. [or they may not believe you of course!]
annhig is offline  
Oct 20th, 2012, 03:30 AM
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One of my favourite limericks begins:

"From the depths of the crypt at St. Giles..."

I don't imagine that this is what the OP would be reading, but of course I can't quote the whole thing on this forum.
laverendrye is offline  

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