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H.L. Mencken (1880–1956). The American Language. 1921.

Page 330

of Werner with turn; the first of Wagner with nag. Uhler, in America, is always Youler. Berg loses its German e-sound for an English usound, and its German hard g for an English g; it becomes identical with the berg of iceberg. The same change in the vowel occurs in Erdmann. In König the German diphthong succumbs to a long o, and the hard g becomes k; the common pronunciation is Cone-ik. Often, in Berger, the g becomes soft, and the name rhymes with verger. It becomes soft, too, in Bittinger. In Wilstach and Welsbach the ch becomes a k. In Anheuser the eu changes to ow. The final e, important in German, is nearly always silenced; Dohme rhymes with foam; Kühne becomes keen. In the collectanea of Judge J. C. Ruppenthal, of Russell, Kansas, a very careful observer, are many curious specimens. He finds Viereck transformed into Fearhake, Vogelgesang into Fogelsong, Pfannenstiel into Fanestil, Pflüger into Phlegar, Pfeil into Feil, and Steinmetz into Stimits. The Bohemian Hrdlicka becomes Herdlichka. The Dutch Broywer (in Michigan, where there are many Hollanders of relatively recent immigration) becomes Brower, Pelgrim becomes Pilgrim, Pyp becomes Pipe, Londen becomes London, Roos becomes Rose, and Wijngaarden becomes Winegar.
  In addition to these transliterations, there are constant translations of foreign proper names. “Many a Pennsylvania Carpenter,” says Dr. Oliphant, 19 “bearing a surname that is English, from the French, from the Latin, and there a Celtic loan-word in origin, is neither English, nor French, nor Latin, nor Celt, but an original German Zimmermann.” 20 A great many other such translations are under everyday observation. Pfund becomes Pound; Becker, Baker; Schumacher, Shoemaker; König, King; Weissberg, Whitehill; Koch, Cook; 21 Neumann, Newman; Schaefer, Shepherd or Sheppard; Gutmann, Goodman; Goldschmidt, Goldsmith; Edelstein, Nobelstone; Steiner, Stoner; Meister, Master(s); Schwartz, Black; Weiss, White; Kurtz, Short; Stern, Starr; Morgenstern, Morningstar;