Slovak: "Warhola" surname

Rainbowlight

Senior Member
Spanish
Hello everyone,

I'd like to know if it would be possible to have an accurate pronunciation of the surname "Warhola", as in the late artist's surname "Andrew Warhola". I'd also like to know if that word ("Warhola") actually means something in Slovakian or has a meaning that is closely related to another Slovak word.

I am not very skilled when it comes to IPA pronunciation, so please keep it simple.

Thank you so much for your patience and help.

Rainbow
 
  • jasio

    Senior Member
    The original location of his family is indeed in the modern-day Slovakia, but actually, the origin of Andy Warhol was Karpatorusyn (Lemko) rather than Slovak. Lemkos are a minority which speaks a Ruthenian dialect, close to the Ukrainian and Slovak languages, who live in the Carpathian mountains of the Eastern Slovakia and historically (until they were expelled shortly after WWII) - South-East Poland.

    Various pages provide different transcriptions of Warhol's original name, but the Rusyn page (Енді Варгол — Вікіпедія) renders it as "Андрій Варгола". As far as I am aware of the Rusyn pronunciation, his last name should be pronounced close to [andrij varɦoɫa] in IPA (or Andríy Vargola in the Castillan/peninsular orthography and pronunciation). I'm not sure about its meaning in the Karpatorusyn/Lemko language though.
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    Andrew Warhola was actually of Rusyn (Carpatho-Ruthenian) ethnicity. Rusyns live in the Eastern Carpathians, where Slovakia, Ukraine and Poland meet.

    Their language is an Eastern Slavic one with multiple dialects. Warhol’s ancestors were from the Lemko area (a part which is nowadays in Slovakia).

    The Polish surname Warchoł (Spanish pronunciation: Várjou) and the Ukrainian surname Вархола/Varhola (Spanish pronunciation: Uarjóla) are obviously related, and they mean something like "trouble(maker), quarrel(er)"

    Why exactly his surname was spelled with a W (the Polish way) I can’t say, but maybe in Rusyn (as in Ukrainian) the initial V is bilabial and it got transcribed as the English W when they came to America.

    Hopefully somebody else can chime in with more :)
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    The Polish surname Warchoł (Spanish pronunciation: Várjou) and the Ukrainian surname Вархола/Varhola (Spanish pronunciation: Uarjóla) are obviously related, and they mean something like "trouble(maker), quarrel(er)"
    The Rusyn and Ukrainian wikipedia pages spell it with 'г' in the middle (pronounced as [ɦ] in IPA or close to 'g' before strong vowels in Castillan) rather than with 'х' ([x] in IPA or 'j' in Castillan), unlike the English Wikipedia. It's a different phoneme in Karpatorusyn and Ukrainian, and I tend to think that they may know better. ;-)

    The Polish word "warchoł" did came to my mind indeed, but considering the said phonemic difference, I'm not quite sure it it's not a false friend or a coincidence.

    Is any native Lemko/Karpatorusyn speaker nearby?
     
    Last edited:

    jasio

    Senior Member
    A few side notes and ungrounded speculations:

    Lemkos use a Cyrillic script and I'm actually not sure if the creators of the Rusyn and Ukrainian pages consulted source documents (which could be available in the Warhol museum in Medzilaborce, Slovakia), or they only transliterated the English spelling of the name. Like the Russians did for example which led them to the crazy "Э́ндрю Уорхола" spelling. If this is the case, our speculations about the meaning are just null and void.

    If the Warhol's ancestors had any papers on arrival to the US, they could have been issued by the Hungarian authorities (yes, the history of the region is quite complex), using a Hungarian or a German transliteration rather than the English one. This could explain the "W" spelling, because in German "w" is pronounced as [v], just like in Polish (or, actually, the other way round, as we had borrowed the convention from the Germans). For example the "Volkswagen" brand name is pronounced as [ˈfɔlksˌvaːɡn̩] ('folksvagn'). Of course, assuming that the 'v' pronunciation is correct.
     
    Last edited:
    Top