General Question

stratman37's avatar

How are we supposed to pronounce Celtic?

Asked by stratman37 (8678points) September 2nd, 2008

We pronounce it the Boston “seltics”, and “Keltic” music, even tho’ they’re both of Irish origin. Which is correct? Both?

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21 Answers

JackAdams's avatar

Yes. Both are correct. Depending on their use.

September 2, 2008, 8:54 PM EDT

AstroChuck's avatar

Keltic, unless you’re from Boston.
The Celts pronounce it with a hard C.

stratman37's avatar

Thanx, that has plagued me for a while.

paulc's avatar

Never gave it much thought (I always used the K sound). But if you get all hot about linguistics (I do) there’s a really cool article on wikipedia about this that goes into some detail about the origins of the pronunciations.

whatthefluther's avatar

@paulc: just the opposite here. I checked several dictionaries and they listed “kel-tik” first, but frankly, I do not recall hearing it pronounced anything but “sel-tik” (even the on-line dictionary that lets you hear the pronunciation gave it as “sel-tik”). But then, again, I’ve lived a somewhwt sheltered life (although I suppose I can grow to dislike the Boston Keltics as much as I do the Celtics).

lefteh's avatar

Generally, when a used as a noun or part of a noun, it is pronounced seltik. When used as an adjective, it is pronounced keltik.

tinyfaery's avatar

@lefteh So when you say so and so was a Celt, is it Kelt or Selt?

marinelife's avatar

Could Celtic a la Red Auerbach merely be a bad Americanization, though? I have heard celt pronounced kelt as a noun.

For example, the Grand Teetons (fake phonetics) or Des Moines, Iowa.

Knotmyday's avatar

Hard C. Bad NBA! Bad!

gailcalled's avatar

And Peer, the capital of S. Dakota; Albuhkerkee, NM: Twosohn, AZ; Montpeelier, VT., Whuster, MA…lots of bastardization.

(and the issues with a soft or hard “G.” Call me Jail, I guess.)

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Both are certainly acceptable, but the original pronunciation was with a /k/ sound. Like paulc, I really “get into” linguistics.

wildflower's avatar

I tend to go with the hard c-sound. Perhaps because of the link to The Book of Kells

stratman37's avatar

Ah, yes! The Christian/Celtic band Iona did an album by the same name.

andrew's avatar

@Marina: Des Moines is said like the French. Are you thinking of Des Plaines, IL? /des plainz/?

marinelife's avatar

@andrew Hmm, I have heard many people pronounce the s in the Moines, which would not be the case in French, but perhaps it is the error of a few?

Certainly your example of Des Plaines being pronounced as if Tattoo saw more than one plane landing on Fantasy Island matches what I was trying to exemplify.

lefteh's avatar

Des Moines isn’t pronounced quite like it would be in French.
It would be something along the lines of day-mwahn.

AstroChuck's avatar

Dame Juan?
Friend of Dame Edna perhaps?

marinelife's avatar

@lefteh Quite so.

Knotmyday's avatar

I’ve always heard it “Da Moyne.”

lefteh's avatar

Right, that’s the accepted English pronunciation.

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