– notes, frequently asked questions and useful links from the archivist and curator of manuscripts at Balliol College, University of Oxford. Opinions expressed are the author's own.

Q&A pronunciation

Q: How do you pronounce Dervorguilla?

A: There are several spellings of this unusual Celtic name; the one above is used by the College and pronounced Der-vor-gilla – hard g as in the gills of a fish – with a slight emphasis on the ‘gil’. Here is Henry Savage on the matter – he was Master 165-72, and wrote the first known history of any college, the oddly titled Balliofergus, published in 1668:

aBalliofergus_004

– from Balliofergus, p.4.

He continues for another page and a half on principles of historic pronunciation in general…

The whole of Savage’s college history is online at http://www.flickr.com/photos/balliolarchivist/sets/72157625334030481/

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