Quick research shows that the flower fuchsia was named after a Leonhard Fuchs. Okay, I accept that. So why is it that the pronunciation is /fyusha/ and not /fyooksia/?
Because that’s the way people pronounce it.
The fact that the it’s named for Fuchs is completely irrelevant. People tend to pronounce things by looking at the spelling, but they also keep euphony in mind. Fyook-sha is much more harsh sounding that Fyusha.
In addition, Grimm’s Law probably had an effect, changing the hard K to an “sh” sound.
Good thing it’s not /fuks-ya/ which what is looks like to me.
Maybe you could tell that to the people who sell stuff on eBay, who seem to want to spell it, nearly universally, fus-chia.
While the shrub was “named” after the 16th Century German botanist, Leonhard Fuchs, the name of the plant was written in New(Modern) Latin. So the pronounciation is a reflection of the spelling of the Latin name, not Dr. Fuchs.
I vote for lingual laziness. Same reason “xerox” is pronounced “zee-rocks” instead of “ksee-rocks”.
Or, going back a ways, same general reason “knight” is pronounced “nite” instead of “k’nie-cht”.
Not to mention “Worcestershire” (“wooshter”) and “Bethlehem” [the old hospital, not the village in Israel) (“bedlam”).
People elide sounds.
I had a classmate who insisted that his family name, “Fuchs,” was properly pronounced fyooshs. Yeah, riiiight, dude. I buy that.
‘Zee-rocks’ isn’t lazy - it’s derived from Greek, xeros.
… and “Bethlehem” itself is a mangling of the Hebrew “Beit Lechem.”
Bethlehem --> Bedlam !! AAAH, the light dawns!
Although for me, the sauce is Woos-ta-sheer and Bethlehem, PA, is Bethlm.
This is a case of the silent “ch”, found, but not heard in another word, “chthonic,” (although that sound is pronounced in the original Greek). Similar to that is the form of music called “crap,” which is spelled with an initial silent “c.”