Sunday, January 29, 2012

How do you pronounce Cugel?

Creating a dragon has, interestingly, brought me back to Vance's first novel about Cugel, The Eyes of the Overworld. I'm working on two longer posts about that now, but in the meantime, this has bothered me for a while.

Do you pronounce the "g" in Cugel as a j or a gh? Surely the "u" is pronounced "oo" instead of "uh"?

How do you pronounce "Cugel," and did Vance ever weigh in on this?


  1. Yes he did; there is a long radio interview with Jack Vance on Youtube from the late 70's (I think?) where he corrects someone asking about the next instalment of Dying Earth stories- it's a hard C and a hard G. Koogh-ul.

  2. Wow, I've been getting both syllables wrong in my head all this time. I've been saying kuh-gel, like a stick that you hit someone with. This is one of the dangers of using unique or invented appellations. No one is ever going to pronounce Bluebeard or Roger incorrectly.

  3. It sounds as though it's derived from the German word Kugel or sphere/orb. This ties in with Andrew's take on it.

  4. I tried various pronunciations while reading the stories and the only one that didn't sound stupid to me was 'cudgel' like a stick. Oh well..