Kephart, how to pronounce his name...

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Keith_Beef

Native
Sep 9, 2003
1,331
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Yvelines, north-west of Paris, France.
I'm going out to Brittany this weekend for a two day blacksmithing and bladesmithing course. One of the projects I'm going to have a go at is to make the blade for bushcraft knife inspired by the Horace Kephart knives of old.

That got me thinking about how to pronounce his name, since I'm going to be speaking about this with the tutor.

For years, I've been thinking of him as /ˈkɛ.fɑːt/ (stressed "ke" like in Kendal, followed by "fart" like, well, a fart), but wondering if this is correct.

So I looked up the origins of the surname, and find this (or very similar, probably all more or less plagiarized) in several places:
The surname Kephart was first found in Silesia, where this family name dates back to at least the 9th century. The name is derived from the Old High German elements "geb" which means "gift" and "hard" meaning "brave, hardy." One of the first records of the name was Gebhard of Lahngau (c. 860-910) of the Conradine dynasty, son of Odo (died 879) who was Duke of Lotharingia (903-910.) A few years later, Saint Gebhard (949-995) was a bishop of Constance (979-995) and founded the Benedictine abbey of Petershausen in 983.
So I suppose I should be pronouncing it /ˈkɛ.phɑːt/ or /ˈkɛ.bhɑːt/.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
KB, where did you get the ’f’ from ?

Name pronounciations vary depending where the person lives, not where the name comes from.
An originally German family name in Alsace is pronounced the French way these day!

As he was American, pronounce it the way they do in America!
( but, you doing the course in France, they might not understand you as they do ot pronounce the ’h’?


’Orace Kepar’ would be my guess?

:)
 
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Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,132
436
Canada
a PH is sounded as an F in English, Janne

I wonder if the 'phart' is silent :lol: Then you could just call it a Kep, and appear cool and knowing

Anyhow, seems it is a Polish/Czech (Silesian) name and old. Variations on the spelling suggest it could be pronounced Kep-hart

Gebhardt, Gebhard, Gebheart, Gebhart, Gephard, Gephardt, Gephart, Gebheard, Gebbard, Gebbart, Gebbardt, Gabhart

But the pronunciation of consonants like b, p, ph, f, v, w are all pretty close and slippery. So, the Gebbard spellings might suggest a single sound, bb, that might slip around a bit, even being pronounced as a v. (cf Siobhan). So, there might be something to a Keffart pronunciation.

Fact that it is prononced Kep-hart in the US now, doesn't mean that it was in the late C19th among central European emigrants. So, no answer, but at least some suggestion as to why it might be tricky

I am making this up, though
 
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Fadcode

Full Member
Feb 13, 2016
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Cornwall
never had a problem saying Horace, i pronounce it like Horr as in Horror, and is as in hiss.
Kephart is usually pronounced
Kep (as in Kept)....and Heart.
 

Fadcode

Full Member
Feb 13, 2016
2,307
542
Cornwall
a PH is sounded as an F in English, Janne

I wonder if the 'phart' is silent :lol: Then you could just call it a Kep, and appear cool and knowing

Anyhow, seems it is a Polish/Czech (Silesian) name and old. Variations on the spelling suggest it could be pronounced Kep-hart

Gebhardt, Gebhard, Gebheart, Gebhart, Gephard, Gephardt, Gephart, Gebheard, Gebbard, Gebbart, Gebbardt, Gabhart

But the pronunciation of consonants like b, p, ph, f, v, w are all pretty close and slippery. So, the Gebbard spellings might suggest a single sound, bb, that might slip around a bit, even being pronounced as a v. (cf Siobhan). So, there might be something to a Keffart pronunciation.

Fact that it is prononced Kep-hart in the US now, doesn't mean that it was in the late C19th among central European emigrants. So, no answer, but at least some suggestion as to why it might be tricky

I am making this up, though
You are right that most English words with ph in them are sounded like an "F"........pharmacy, philanthropic, etc, etc ..................but as in life itself there are always exceptions such as............uphold, saphead, peephole.........and even phthalate where the ph is silent,.this is what makes languages interesting...................
 
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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Todays young seems to communicate best with faked photos, symbols and unreadable abbrevations.
LOL.
:)

(sorry, you will not have the pleasure of seeing me filtered through a computer programme so I look like a mix between Dolph Lungren and Ron Jeremy.......)
 

Keith_Beef

Native
Sep 9, 2003
1,331
237
51
Yvelines, north-west of Paris, France.
Anyhow, seems it is a Polish/Czech (Silesian) name and old. Variations on the spelling suggest it could be pronounced Kep-hart

Gebhardt, Gebhard, Gebheart, Gebhart, Gephard, Gephardt, Gephart, Gebheard, Gebbard, Gebbart, Gebbardt, Gabhart
Though the region is now a predominately Slavic language zone, it had been a Germanic zone for a long time. Conversely, there are regions that are now definitely in the Germanic zone that were historically in the Slavic zone...

I'm starting to think that the name Kephart might be related to Gifford... and hey, what do I find?

 
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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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The Family names did not change much though.
Germans and Austrians with a Slavic (Polish or Czech) last name are very common, and vice versa.
Kephart is not a Slavic.
I suspect the older spelling could be Kephardt.

the interesting bit with his knife is how similar to a Nesmuk knife it is.
One would almost think their mothers had the same kitchen knife!
 
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Fadcode

Full Member
Feb 13, 2016
2,307
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Cornwall
Just make a machete instead, problem solved, even the French will know a machete, and if it doesn't turn out well, call it a Kephart..........but say it quietly so no-one hears you....................:rolleyes::rolleyes:..................
 
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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
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Just make a machete instead, problem solved, even the French will know a machete, and if it doesn't turn out well, call it a Kephart..........but say it quietly so no-one hears you....................:rolleyes::rolleyes:..................
So how do we pronounce “machete?”
 

sunndog

Full Member
May 23, 2014
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derbyshire
Nope, not allowing that.

Loan words from foreign languages are special, and are treated differently to proper nouns. ;)

:whistling:
When does a loan word gain perminant ownership status?
Machete is in the dictionary.
Half a million words, how many originated in this country

Smilies are a pain on my phone so don't take me too seriously