Perceived Pronunciation


A couple of weeks ago, I received this question about the pronunciation of Damerosehay and thought that the information might be of interest to other Goudge readers.

This must seem a very silly question, but could you tell me how to pronounce Damerosehay?

John Goldsmith



Not silly at all.  After doing a bit of thinking and asking the advice of Sylvia Gower, who wrote The World of Elizabeth Goudge, I came up with the following.

 No one that we know ever heard Elizabeth say the word out loud so we don’t know exactly. But it comes from the Huguenot French, and I think is pronounced;

Dame as in Madam with a silent e, Rose the flower, Hay as in cut grass, Dame/rose/hay.
But as Sylvia pointed out, being fictitious it could be said anyway you wish.

 If I find out any more, I’ll let you know.

Thanks for visiting the site and an interesting question

 Deborah Gaudin



Thanks for such a helpful reply.

I tried dame as in game – but that sounded wrong,
I tried dame as in ham – but that didn’t seem right either.
Dame as in maDAM feels just right!




  1. Thanks for this question and answer as this has always worried me too.
    I’ve always mentally pronounced it Dam-er-rose-hay but never felt 100% confident. However currently rereading the Eliot books I find it’s now too late to change it. Thank you for this question and answer.
    And above all, always thanks to Elizabeth for her beautiful and inspiring books.

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