Pronunciation and meaning
Posted: 09 April 2007 12:32 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’ve met two problems which I cannot resolve by myself, so I came here hoping I’ll get some help.

1. Can anyone tell me how are (or are to be) pronounced some of the proper names in Hugh Lofting’s Story of Doctor Dolittle.

- Is the g in Jolliginki pronounced soft or hard?

- Is the u in Bumpo pronounced as in bump or in boom?

2. Has the name od the dog (Jip) any specific meaning or better to say, can it be connected with some other word as, I suppose, the names Dab-Dab or Gub-Gub can be explained as onomatopoeic ones?

Thank you very much.

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Posted: 09 April 2007 02:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I suppose it won’t be much help to point out that with names, you can do what you like - names don’t have to mean anything or be etymologically correct. Andrew doesn’t have to be manly, nor does Amanda have to be loveable and if Jhonathan decides to spell his name thus, that’s his perogative.  It’s like the comedy sketch where a man takes his suit into a dry-cleaners and is told to collect it the following day.  He objects and says that it says “One-hour drycleaning” on the outside of the building.  “That’s just the name of the shop” replies the woman behind the counter. So, to answer your question, only Hugh Lofting can tell you how he thought the names in his book should be pronounced (if he’s still alive that is) and even then, he’d probably say that you can pronounce them how you like.

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Posted: 09 April 2007 06:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Interviewer: Good evening. I have with me in the studio tonight one of the country’s leading skin specialists, Raymond Luxury Yacht.

Raymond Luxury Yacht: That’s not my name!

Interviewer: [tries literal pronunciation] I’m sorry; Raymond Luxury Yatscht.

Raymond Luxury Yacht: No no no, it’s spelled, “Raymond Luxury Yacht,” but it’s pronounced, “Throat Warbler Mangrove”.

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Posted: 09 April 2007 03:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Didi: I don’t think anyone can answer the other questions, but I’m pretty sure Bumpo is meant to be pronounced like bump.

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Posted: 09 April 2007 05:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Didi - 09 April 2007 12:32 AM

- Is the g in Jolliginki pronounced soft or hard?

Jolly-gin-key is how I wrap my tongue around it.

- Is the u in Bumpo pronounced as in bump or in boom?

I agree with lh.

2. Has the name od the dog (Jip) any specific meaning or better to say, can it be connected with some other word as, I suppose, the names Dab-Dab or Gub-Gub can be explained as onomatopoeic ones?

I think you’ve hit it. Jip is a short walk from “yip” especially since j can have a y sound when it wants to and dogs are often described as making yipping sounds.

Welcome to wordorigins.

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Posted: 09 April 2007 08:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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There’s a public domain recording of the novel here. Jolliginki shows up at the end of the 5th chapter.  The reader is one Ella Earp-Lynch and she pronounces the kingdom’s “g” as in get.

[ Edited: 09 April 2007 08:32 PM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 09 April 2007 09:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Somewhere in the canonical body of English literature there’s a girl with a dog named “Gyp"* as I recall. Can’t remember if it’s Dickens or another author. Anyway, I had assumed it was from “gypsy”, but there’s no proof of that either. Perhaps, however, it was a traditional dog’s name like “Bowser” and “Towser”.

*or it may have been spelled “Jyp”, which makes the idea of a dog’s yippping sound more probable.

[ Edited: 10 April 2007 04:06 AM by foolscap ]
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