With the first archaic letter, I felt chastised for my recent, naive use of “ye” in the title of my last blog post. “Y” is the closest Modern English alphabet representing the “thorn” letter from the Old English alphabet which has pronunciation of “th”. Therefore, “Ye” = archaic spelling of “the” and pronounced the same way and not “yee”
Some of the Old alphabet letters are so beautiful – ash, eth and “Irish G” – wait… there’s a letter called the wynn?! This bears further investigation [wiki]!!
Here’s my interpretation: there used to be a letter, that appeared in the Old English alphabet, called “wynn” with the “w” sound. The letter has been written as “uu” then borrowed a symbol from runes where the capital letter wynn looked like this – Ƿ – and the lower case letter looked like this – ƿ. It looks a bit like a “p”, huh? Then as we approached Modern English, back to “uu” since it Ƿ/ƿ looked too much like a “p” and then finally got its very own symbol, “w”.
I’ve read that people like the letters in their in their own name (name-letter effect), especially the first letter of their first and last names. Hence my fascination with the letter “W” and less so with “L” and there’s a pile of issues to do with the latter. In that same article, it went on to correlate the letter starting a child’s name and his or her grades. Bottom line, for heaven’s sake, give your child a name that starts with an A!! Or something that is not an undesirable letter on the report card, i.e., not B, C, D, F … or W (W=withdraw).
In biochemistry, the mnemonic given to us by the prof to learn that W is the single letter abbreviation for tryptophan is that the bulkiest amino acid got the widest letter. Is there a more “scientific” explanation for W=tryptophan?
Needless to say I’m drawn towards W and Wynn Hotels and have only stayed in the latter.
These days, since Kathleen Wynne is the current premier of Ontario, my name is appearing a lot in the news, sometimes giving me quite the start: Wynne propelled by power to connect with people; Wynne or lose, cabinet picks will be key; and It’s a Wynne-win for Ontario Liberals are more punny examples.
A fun fact: my mother doesn’t pronounce my name properly; my father does a little better. She chosen my name, naturally, because she knew that when (properly) pronounced it sounds like “win” and aside from that ridiculous HK tendency to go for “lucky” names, mum somehow knew it is a unique name.
Native Chinese speakers and even English speakers hesitate when they see my name. I get “Wayne” from Chinese people and “Wine” from other non-native English speakers. “It’s Wynne like Lynne!!” So it seems to me that “Wynn” or “Wyn” would be unambiguous to pronounce and I’ve embraced both names; that “e” at the end can throw people off even though it does look more feminine. I do not insist on “Wynne with and e” like Anne [Shirley] did.
Finally, WYNN (106.3) is a hip hop radio station in South Carolina … !
There was a time when I wanted my name to look more Chinese because with a Welsh first name meaning “fair and pure” and a Scottish last name, it’s happened on occasion where people expect to see a white girl and get me instead. Now, in a city where I’m not a minority and there are even a lot of Loks around, I like my British name. :-)
As long as I can remember, we’ve received unsolicited mail at our house inviting us to purchase paraphernalia with the Lock family crest and learn more about our genealogy. Since I grew up in Nova Scotia and wore tartan (a kilt) every day for 7 years, I have some affinity to things Scottish and I secretly wanted a coat of arms like the Canadian Wongs (then again, not like the Canadian Wongs). Since we aren’t really Locks or Lockes, what I can glean for free will do! On this most recent pass of the family name websites, I learned that we Locks have a motto – a war cry or slogan – that I finds applies well with me: Assiduitate, non desdia, meaning “By assiduity, not by sloth”.