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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: May ::
Re: Theobald
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1352  Monday, 20 May 2002

From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Saturday, 18 May 2002 16:32:06 +0100
Subject: 13.1337 Theobald
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1337 Theobald

Kathryn Prince asks:

> Was Theobald's name commonly pronounced as though it were Tibbald?

I am inclined to say "yes".  Theobalds Park in Hertfordshire is still so
pronounced.  The tendency to pronounce in line with spelling only dates
from universal education.  My only hesitation is that for a surname I
would expect spelling to follow pronunciation (i.e. I would expect it to
be spelled Tibbald - yes, I know there are exceptions like
Wriothesley!).  It is not impossible that Theobald or his father
re-spelled their surname (which would be a further cause of Pope's
mockery).  In which case, how they expected it to be pronounced would be
anyone's guess, but I still suspect a majority would go for "Tibbald".

John Briggs

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