Theological Words and Names I Can’t Pronounce

There are plenty of words and names I come across in my reading that I won’t even attempt to pronounce out loud.  Very often I’ll just abbreviate them in my head as I read and simply say the first letter.  I know who these people are and what these words mean but I have no clue as to the proper way to say them.  Here’s two that I came across today

  1. Huguenots
  2. Edward Schillebeeckx

Are there any names or words that you don’t know how to pronounce?  I can’t imagine that I’m alone in this.  Oh, and if you know how to pronounce either of these, tell me!



14 thoughts on “Theological Words and Names I Can’t Pronounce

  1. I heard Terry Eagleton pronounce ‘Schillebeeckx’ as ‘skill-ah-bicks’.

    With regard to the ‘either’ and ‘neither’ debate, I’ve heard that the Dutch have an easy solution: ‘ay-ther’ and ‘nay-ther’.

    For me, I have always struggled with saying, ‘re-evangelisation’. An ADD brain and a southern tongue just don’t work well together on that word.

  2. Hugh-gu-nauts.. I hear it at Academic Team meets.

    I just get twisted up on the big ones and pretty much give up.. like types of Lapsarianism (the word isn’t even in Chrome’s dictionary.. though ironically it suggested Presbyterianism and Millenarianism?)

  3. This has been a problem for me for quite a long time, since I usually encounter words for the first time in print. The Didache was one such example (I wanted to say die-dack, but my professor used did-ah-kay so that’s what I’m using now). Basically any German word is a no-go at this point ;-).

  4. “Huguenots” is pronounced as Mike White suggests — have a listen.

    Schillebeeckx is pronounced roughly SKHILL-ah-bakes. The “kh” in the first syllable sounds like the Greek χ, and the “a” should be noticeably long.

    I think that people who pronounce Διδαχή as “did-ah-kay” or any such atrocity should be mercilessly slain. Of course, it is pronounced “dee-dah-KHEE.” ;-)

  5. Mike: I think I have too. I just say, H.

    Carl: I always say Shil-a-beeks.

    Jake: Seriously? Is that a teams name? The -lapsarians are easy to pronounce. Lap-sair [rhymes with hair]-E-an-ism.

    Alex: I used to say Dee-Dash! ;-) Now I say Dee-da-Khee (guttural). And German doesn’t count. It’s hardly a language. :-P

  6. Esteban: It seems that we composed our comments at the same time. I’m with you on dee-dah-khee and thanks for the other two. You, sir, are no mean linguist.

  7. I should finally switch over to either a restored Koine or Modern Greek pronunciation, but I haven’t made the effort yet ;-). At least the Erasmian is progress from die-dack!

  8. Alex: Switch before it’s too late! It’ll revolutionize your reading since it will actually sound like a language. Now if only I could understand all those words I’m saying! ;-)

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