How do you pronounce Caduceus?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Daecon, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    I have a Caduceus pendant (I like playing Healing classes in RPG games*) but I don't know enough about Greek or Latin words to decipher how it's supposed to be pronounced.

    (*I'm aware of the proper symbol, the Rod of Asclepius, but most computer games use the Caduceus instead.)
     
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  3. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    When I learned Latin, we were told that the letter "c" always had the hard sound.
     
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  5. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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  7. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks.

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    I don't understand Wikipedia's pronunciation guide at all. It's gibberish to me, unfortunately.
     
  8. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

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  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Indeed, the proper American pronunciation is ka-DOO-see-us, or a slight phonetic variant such as ka-DOO-shus.

    The Classical Romans would have pronounced it ka-DOO-keh-oos. It was a borrowing of the Greek name kārȳ́keion, "a herald's staff," from karyx, "herald."
     
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  10. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Kad-u-SAY-us.
     
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    So that's the British pronunciation? I would have expected them to pronounce it as ka-DYOO-syuss or even ka-JOO-syuss.
     
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    No, that's not the British pronunciation. Or at least not the pronunciation of any British people I know.
    Personally I would go with Ka-DOO-say-us, and I have heard Ka-DOO-shuss, but certainly not ka-DYOO-syuss or ka-Joo-syuss.
    Not sure I have ever heard these last two.
     
  13. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Huh?
    Since we Brits say chewn rather than toon and Chewsday rather than Toosday we also tend to say cadewsyus.

    On t'other 'and lad 'ere oop North that's t' default, mebbes Southern nancies use "doo".

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  14. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    As an aside, is Asclepius pronounced "as-KLEP-ee-us", or "as-klep-EYE-us", or...?
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Wikipedia seems to think that the most common pronunciation is with an English short A (as in "band"), the E clipped to a schwa ("uh"), and the accent on the I: as-kluh-PIE-us.

    Dictionary.com, on the other hand, insists that we Yanks say uh-SKLEE-pee-us. If I ever hear a fellow American use the name, I'll pay careful attention to his phonetics.

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    Apparently the English transliteration is faithful to neither the Latin transcription (Aesculapius) nor the original Greek spelling (Ἀσκληπιός -- Asklēpios).
     
  16. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Well, as a Southern Softie, I don't say Chewsday or Chewn... but rather Tyoosday and Tyoon - a harder T and no sign of an H.
    But then anyone north of Oxford generally speak in some ancient dialect that the rest of us can't comprehend!

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  17. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    How do you pronounce Caduceus?

    I don't usually.
    How often do you use caduceus in a sentence while talking with "normal" people?
     
  18. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    Whenever people ask me about my pendant.

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  19. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Much the same sound.
    Hence ka dyu syus.

    We have to talk like that - the dinosaurs [and whippets] only respond to the old dialects.
     
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    If you're a member of the medical profession, it's a word that you will have learned by the time you finish your training. You and your colleagues will use it in speech often enough that you'll all know the pronunciation that is standard within your community.

    I agree that most laymen probably don't know a standard pronunciation because they may never hear it spoken. I'd guess that a good many will never encounter the word in writing either.
     
  21. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    (stray thoughts):
    2 snakes? or a double helix?
    What do we really know about what we really know?
    Wherein lies intuition?
     
  22. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

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    I've thought that it was the symbol of medicine, too. I didn't know that the correct symbol was the Rod of Asclepius. Hmm...interesting.

    "The modern use of the caduceus as a symbol of medicine became established in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century as a result of documented mistakes, misunderstandings and confusion."


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caduceus_as_a_symbol_of_medicine
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Hmm. Then I suppose the name is not written or spoken very often in the UK. Perhaps they don't have a standard reading for it.
     

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