"Ralph" Pronunciation Question (Well at the World's End)

Extollager

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Recently I asked about the pronunciation of "Higham" in Morris's romance. Now I ask about how to say his hero's name. Here in the US Midwest Ralph would be pronounced like "alpha," with the first a in alpha and the a in "Ralph" being like the a in "flag." And the L in his name would be pronounced too. But I'm wondering if I should hear his name as "rafe," like with Ralph Vaughan Williams.
 
As Well at the World's End was written in 1896, by William Morris, a leading light of the Arts and Crafts movement, polymath, textile designer, etc, scion of an extremely well-off middle-class Victorian family, I hear Rafe rather than Ralph...

Incidently, it's available free at the Kindle Store on Amazon.
 
Ahh, is that a whole cultural thing, then? I've always assumed it was just Ralph Fiennes being pretentious. :lol:
 
Ahh, is that a whole cultural thing, then? I've always assumed it was just Ralph Fiennes being pretentious. :lol:
More of a class thing, I suspect. It's a very old name, however you pronounce it - comes from the Old Norse Hrolfr, wolf.
 
That’s a nifty paper, Dask!

Pyan, Morris worked on a number of saga translations. I’m not sure Hrolf Kraki’s Saga was one of them. It is possible that Morris was aware of the Hrolf>Ralph connection, and that that influenced the way he heard the name of his protagonist (who isn’t “wolfish”). But, yes, I’m betting he heard it as Rafe, unless I find out something more.
 
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Ralph Malph (Ralf Malf)
 
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