Pronunciation: Xavier and Yvette

epistolario

Senior Member
Tagalog
How do you pronounce the name Yvette? I know that you pronounce Xavier as /ek-SAY-vier/. But I've heard two versions of Yvette:

1. Y-vet (Y like the letter y, stressed in the first syllable)
2. e-VET (the letter e, stressed on the last syllable)
 
  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    I would say it as you have it in 2.

    As for "Xavier", it's often pronounced in California as "hah-vee-AIR" (poor pronunciation guide, but I hope you get the idea.) It's not an unusual hispanic name. In fact, when I saw your thread title, I heard it pronounced "hah-vee-air" in my head as I read it. I was surprised when I saw your pronunciation, but I have heard it that way as well, such as in Xavier Cugat.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I would say it as you have it in 2. As for "Xavier", it's often pronounced in California as "hah-vee-AIR" (poor pronunciation guide, but I hope you get the idea.) It's not an unusual hispanic name. In fact, when I saw your thread title, I heard it pronounced "hah-vee-air" in my head as I read it. I was surprised when I saw your pronunciation, but I have heard it that way as well, such as in Xavier Cugat.
    I agree that it would be pronounced "E-vet" (long "e"). However, I would pronounce Xavier as "Zavier" primarily because of Xavier Cugat (I learned long ago that Mr. Cugat pronounced it that way and I always smile when I hear "Ex-avier").
     
    I would say it as you have it in 2. As for "Xavier", it's often pronounced in California as "hah-vee-AIR" (poor pronunciation guide, but I hope you get the idea.) It's not an unusual hispanic name. In fact, when I saw your thread title, I heard it pronounced "hah-vee-air" in my head as I read it. I was surprised when I saw your pronunciation, but I have heard it that way as well, such as in Xavier Cugat.
    Hi James and ffrancis,

    In BE we pronounce Xavier as "hah-vee-eh".

    LRV
     

    Pnevma

    Senior Member
    English,USA
    I've heard all 3 pronounciations of Xavier: ha-vee-eh, Zavier, and Ec-zavier.

    As far as Yvette, I'm with everyone else, but I like to pronounce it y-vet, just for fun... with people I know

    I do the same with "Yvonne"
     

    lablady

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Hi ffrancis,

    I think the pronunciation of both these names is dependent on the personal preference of the owner. While I have heard that some Xaviers pronounce their name as "Hah-vier", both Xaviers that I know personally pronounce their name as "Ex-avier" (insert a Dimcl smilie here :D ). One of them uses that pronunciation to differentiate himself from his father, who is named Javier (pronounced Hah-vier).

    As to Yvette, I have met several of them and I have heard both "Ya-vet" and "E-vet". Again, I think the pronunciation depends on how Yvette likes her name to be pronounced. :)
     

    Word Smith

    Banned
    UK English
    The school called Xavier in Melbourne is pronounced like saviour with a z - so Zaviour.
    I had not heard it pronounced otherwise until I saw Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier in the X-Men film
     

    yvette3166

    New Member
    English - Australian
    the two names mentioned here are pronounced
    Xavier - zay vee er in Australia
    Yvette - pronounced two ways (Yah vet)- the proper pronounciation for the french word of Yew and (Ee vet) which is english
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    the two names mentioned here are pronounced
    Xavier - zay vee er in Australia
    Yvette - pronounced two ways (Yah vet)- the proper pronounciation for the french word of Yew and (Ee vet) which is english
    I don't think "Yah-vet" is the French pronunciation. The French name "Yves" is pronounced similar to "Eve" in English, and the French women I have met who are named "Yvette" pronounce it similar to "Ee-vet".

    I"m not quite sure what you mean by "Yew". Could you explain that part, please?
     

    Seelix

    Member
    English (Canadian)
    I agree with JamesM; I don't think "Yah-vet" is a French pronunciation. Rather, it seems very anglicized to me, in the same way that French place names are often anglicized in the US. For example, Beaufort, SC: francophones say "Boh-FOR" while South Carolinians say "BYOO-fert". Also, the "BAT-in" of Baton Rouge should, by rights, be pronounced more like "Bah-TOHN".

    I realize that Canadian French is different in many ways from Parisian, but all of the Yvettes and Yvonnes that I've met here in Canada pronounce their first syllables "Ee".
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I would say it as you have it in 2.

    As for "Xavier", it's often pronounced in California as "hah-vee-AIR" (poor pronunciation guide, but I hope you get the idea.) It's not an unusual hispanic name.
    Agreed if it is a hispanic name. But what if we were referring to St Francis Xavier? I have only ever heard the ZAY-vih-er pronunciation for this.

    I don't think "Yah-vet" is the French pronunciation. The French name "Yves" is pronounced similar to "Eve" in English, and the French women I have met who are named "Yvette" pronounce it similar to "Ee-vet".
    Agreed. It forms a pattern not only with Yves but also Yvonne.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Agreed if it is a hispanic name. But what if we were referring to St Francis Xavier? I have only ever heard the ZAY-vih-er pronunciation for this.
    Actually, I have heard St. Francis Xavier here (among AE speakers) as something close to "egg-zavier", not just "zavier". Some Catholic parishes here have this saint in their name.

    I have no idea how odd this might be. :) I am just mentioning that I have heard it. (I just called a Catholic friend and double-checked this. She confirmed that "egg-zavier" is the only pronunciation she has heard.)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Thanks, James. I'll now file the eg-ZA-vi-er pronunciation as AE, together with ber-NARD and DEAR-druh.
     

    yvette3166

    New Member
    English - Australian
    Hi James

    My name is Yvette and pronnounce it Ye-Vet. We are pronouncing here with variations and I have also heard it pronounced Yah-Vet. The meaning of Yvette is old french for archer of the Yew Bow(long bow).

    Hope that helps
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Thanks for the response, yvette3166, and welcome to the forum, by the way. :)

    The French word for "yew" is "if", pronounced "eef". I imagine that is how Yvette got the long "e" sound. (Yves also means "yew" in French, according to a baby names site.)

    As a side note, when talking about variations, I have actually heard "Wye-vette" as an unusual pronunciation in American English. This is very rare, as far as I know.
     
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