Fawkes and Fox

How is the name Fawkes pronounced? Is it like “fokes” or “fox”? For some reason I always thought it was said like fox, and figured that the surname Fox derived from that.

I’ve only ever heard it pronounced “Forks”

Peter Morris, I’m assuming you’re British and don’t pronounce that [r] the same way you’d pronounce the ones in rotten radishes. Is that the same [aw] as in law? In that case, it’s a vowel that us Western Americans don’t usually have, and “fox” is the closest approximation, but not strictly speaking correct; a British ear would easily discern the difference. Fawkes is from the word for falcon, and Fox from that animal.

Well, we have a famous person in our history called Guy Fawkes Every year on November the 5th we set off fireworks to celebrate Guy Fawkes night.

And we pronounce it as in “knives and forks”

Only without the “r”. :smiley:


And finally the meaning behind the name of Dumbledore’s pet phoenix becomes clear.

My grandfather’s middle name was Fawkes – he may have been related to the original Guy – and I’d pronounce it the same way as “forks”, and to rhyme with “gawks” and “talks”. Note that I’m not a native Ohioan – my accent is about halfway between Educated Australian and Received Standard English – so I’m non-rhotic.

Brit here. Yes, it rhymes with “talks” (or “forks”, for us non-rhotic people). So the question is, does “talks” rhyme with “fox” in America?

Another Brit here. Yes, as in “forks”, but with less of an “r” sound - but my basically Standard English accent doesn’t put much of an “r” in “forks” in the first place; I’d emphasise the “r” much more after a consonant than before one.

“Gawks” is a perfect rhyme for it - ignore all the rhotic stuff.

Not any place I’ve ever been. And I’ve always heard “Fawkes” to rhyme with “talks” and “walks.” And “fox” rhymes with “rocks.”

In parts of America, yes. It does in California. On the east coast, no.

To clarify, when I say “the fox talks to the clocks as he stalks the lox in the box,” a British-English speaker would hear the fox tox to the clox as he stox the lox in the box. (Actually, it’s probably somewhere between British fox and fax) Before I learned to hear the difference, I once had an embarrasing misunderstanding when some friends were (I thought) talking about a new porn shop that had opened up in town, but it was really a pawn shop.

I have seen the name FOX written as FUCKS as early as 200 years ago. I thought this would be an interesting sidenote on how a name evolves.

I grew up in Boston and talks, locks, and fox rhyme to me.