Wordly-Words

July 19, 2014

July & July 

Why is the month of July (Jü-l) pronounced differently that the given name, July (Jü-l)? The reason these two heterographs (words with different meanings and sounds that are spelled the same) confuse me is that they both come from Julius Ceasar. In fact, the given name comes from the month, just like the name “April” comes from a month. Back in Ceasar’s day, there wasn’t a letter  “j” available, so his name began with the common Latin combination of the letters and u. Although the letter j is said to have come about as an with an added flourish, it’s interesting that it looks like a combination of i and u. But none of that answers the question of why the name “July” is pronounced differently than the month “July”. The month of July was originally spelled “Julie,” but I don’t know if that was pronounced, at the time, the same as the name “Julie”.  This all points to a larger question: Why would anyone outside of my own brain care? Since I can’t think of an answer for that either, I’d best move on.

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