Celtic or Celtic?

With St. Patrick’s Day approaching (and here in Savannah, that means a big parade and 500,000 drunken tourists!), I’d like to know when the word Celtic (pronounced KELL-tik) came to be pronounced SELL-tik, as in Boston’s basketball team?

Or should the team’s name be pronounced KELL-tik?

When enough readers of the language who had not heard the word pronounced overwhelmed the few people who remembered how it should be pronounced.

Why do Texans get upset when rodeo is pronounced roe-DAY-o (the actual and original Spanish pronuciation), insisting on ROE-dee-o?

Language and pronunciation are at the mercy of those who choose to speak it.

The basketball team is SELL-tik and the culture and people are KELL-tik.

This is not an expert here, merely a 50+ year old who only ever heard the word pronounced as seltic until suddenly some time around 20 years ago I first heard the word pronounced keltic.

The leading team in the Scottish Premier League (soccer) - the biggest winter sport in the U.K. - is Celtic United (pronounced SELLtik).

This in a nation of Celts (KELtz) !!

They’re not “Celtic United”, they’re just “Celtic”.

And nobody knows why it’s pronounced with an /s/. Trust me, this subject comes up all the time.

Somebody once told me a story about Richard Burton; I don’t know if it’s true:

Somebody said to him “I’m a Selt, just like you”, he replied “I am a Kelt, you sir, are a Sunt”.

I saw this thread title, and clicked on it, knowing exactly what I was going to post.

Damn you, Mangetout, you beat me to it! :slight_smile:

Apart from it being Glasgow Celtic Football Club, no 'United, it’s pronounced “Sellick”. Well, by most of their supporters anyway. But they don’t like that pointed out, which is as good a reason as any to do it. :slight_smile:

In the Greek language and literature, the people known to the Romans as “Gauls” were called “Keltoi” generically, although in both Latin and Greek they are somtimes also distinguished by the names of the various tribes. I am unsure if they ever thought of themselves as a single entity, at least until Caesar launched a war of conquest.

I think it’s a fashion of the 80’s/90’s…
In a couple of years we may find picts, jutes, etc

I suppose that makes sense in terms of people who only heard of the team, and never of the land. Personally, I was quite aware of the land, but its name never came up in conversation, or on the tv/radio news, so I never heard it pronounced, and simply followed the “e after c” rule, and presumed that the correct pronunciation was “seltik”.

I think is it fair to say that most Americans never hear the name of the land of the Celts, and can be held innocent of knowing their error. But can the same be said of “Yukon”?

It annoys me terribly when I hear the nickname of the University of Connecticut pronounced with the accent on the first syllable: “UConn”.

It sounds exactly like Yukon, and I often misunderstand it when I hear it. Why can’t people call it “UConn”?

I studied ancient history, and had a personal interest and focus on Celtic history. I always pronounced it Keltic, and never heard otherwise in scholarly circles. This was in reference to the people of ancient Gaul and Britain, not modern people.

I’m being really pedantic here, but there is no “Glasgow” in the club’s full official name either.

The correct pronunciation is “Keltic” just as the correct pronunciation of cinema is “kinema” (derived from the Greek for “movement” where we also get “kinetic” and not “cinetic” … or is it “cinetic”? … never mind)

Personally, I prefer the hard-c sound, but according to my Webster’s, either way is acceptable.

Quoth Keeve:

They pronounce it that way because it sounds exactly like “Yukon”. What did you think was the rationale for calling the sports teams “Huskies”?

Growing up in South Dakota, I always heard it as the KAR i be un. Now, it’s apparently Ku RIB eun.

Carribean, for those phonetically challenged amongst us…

Perhaps it’s part of the whole Church Latin vs. Classic Latin.

Cicero - Sisero or Kikero?
Scylla - Silla or Skyoula?