7

Mr. Jonathan Teatime's name is, as specified in the book Hogfather, pronounced "Teh-ah-tim-eh".

But since there's no marks of pronunciation included, its pronunciation is still under question.

The TV adaptation seems to get it entirely wrong, pronouncing it "Tea-uh-timey".

Personally I've always pronounced it to rhyme and match stress of syllables as "anathema" ( ə-năthˈə-mə - updated with better marks).

Is there a canon statement from Pterry on its pronunciation? Something from an interview, perhaps?

  • 1
    BTW, anathema is pronounced ə-năthˈə-mə (uh-NAth-uh-muh). – OrangeDog Aug 27 '18 at 16:08
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    As a french reader, I have no idea. But for sharing an anecdote, the french translation adds a clever pun on this name. Teatime is called "Leureduthé" (= the tea time, with a little mispell) , but the assassin wants everybody to call him "Le redouté" (= the feared one). The pronunciation is really similar ; one syllable only is slightly different when pronunced.. I just learn now there was no pun in the original version :) – Professeur Dronte Aug 27 '18 at 16:25
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    You're not the only person to wonder about this. For the record, it's much better in the French translation (edit: argh! ninja'd by @ProfesseurDronte :-D ) – Rand al'Thor Aug 27 '18 at 16:25
  • :D ... It's not perfectly canon, but it would be interesting to look on the audiobook version – Professeur Dronte Aug 27 '18 at 16:32
  • @Randal'Thor - would you believe it, that was me as well. – VBartilucci Aug 27 '18 at 17:01
6

The pronunciation in the Nigel Planer audiobook is pretty much as written in the text, with short hard syllables, and the 2nd and 4th syllables stressed.

https://vocaroo.com/i/s022ncicq2Wx

Note that the narrator refers to him as "teatime" throughout.


A similar pronuncation is seen in the made-for-TV miniseries

-1

I had assumed the pronunciation mimics a posh, over-the-top accent, when I read the German version. In it, the name is "Kaffeetrinken". The word "Kaffee" (coffee, if you couldn't tell), has different pronunciations in use, one with a long /e:/, and one with a short /e/, almost a schwa under the breath of the /f/, and various alternative spellings such as "Kaffe", "Café, Cafe" The later is the more common pronunciation for the beverage, but Jonathan Kaffeetrinken insists his name be pronounced "Kaf-feh-trin-ken".

The phonetic spelling first appears when he is served by an attendant (or a valet?), hence an expression of arrogance does seem to fit the character.

I can't explain the difference very well, that would be due on German.SE, but I have no doubt that "common" and "elite" is the intended contrast.

It's possible the translator reinterpreted this, and that I'm missing a joke about the original, but I believe the translation is faithful. I've read or rather listened to a fair share of the original, except for this one, and I don't know the particulars of English Accent, so I cannot answer the question regarding the original pronunciation in due detail.

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    Personally, I'd understand this from an American angle (think Seth MacFarlane riffing on "programmee" or "whip cream" in Family Guy), Doctor Who's timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly kind of joshing around and Hugh Laurie memes (see) – vectory Feb 22 at 19:25
  • When I read it I ignored the "Teh-ah-tim-eh" and let my inner voice read it as teatime – DannyMcG Feb 22 at 20:27
  • @Danny3414 if you mean reading the regular spelling regularly, then that's intended. The phonetic spelling does not appear very often anyhow. – vectory Feb 22 at 21:56

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