Why is Celtic pronounced with a hard “K” in every case, except when referencing the Boston basketball team, when it’s pronounced with an “S” sound?
-WHAT’S UP WITH THIS?!
Dear What’s Up,
Och, well na didna ye be askin’ one of the most controversial questions out there? I reckon it’s sucha mystery because people have forgotten that til a few years ago, Celtic was pronounced SELL-tick.
Ye see my dear, the first use of a word resembling the word “Celt” was by Greek chroniclers as early as 600CE. The Greek word was ‘Keltoi’, meaning ‘stranger’ or ‘hidden people’ -probably due to the feisty early Celts using ambushin’ techniques when fighting- and its not till much later, in the 1700’s, do people speakin’ French and Latin start usin’ the word ‘Celt’. So, technically I believe the word, being translated into English from French and Latin, like many words startin’ with a “ce-” in English, should be pronounced SELL-tick.
However, if ye want to be takin’ seriously by the in-the-know-crowd these days, ye’ll be pronouncin’ the word KELL-tick. It’s all in the numbers, ye ken? Right now it is correct te be pronouncing Celtic, “KELL-tick,” because enough people have been doing it, and will be continuing to do it.
The reason the Boston Celtics pronounce their name SELL-tick is not because they were founded by ignorant folk who didn’t know any better, but because they were named during a time when people used SELL-tick.
The end result of all of this is that “Celtic” ought, according te the rules of the English language, te be pronounced SELL-tick, but because so many pronounce it KELL-tick, that is also a correct pronunciation. To be leavin’ ye with a wee mantra te be sayin’ :
“Anyone who says “Celtic” is not pronounced SELL-tick is wrong; so is anyone who says it is not pronounced KELL-tick.”
I hope this has been a help to ye,