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The OS damage was done when they came here first to make maps, 1880's I think. From the results they apparently could make little of how many names were actually said, in some cases they attempted (and usually failed) to try and spell it as they heard it, but being unfamiliar with spoken Shetland it didn't work very well. In others they didn't seem to even bother trying and just spelled it with the nearest English they could think of. If you hear a local who still pronounces a place name as its been pronounced for centuries you soon come across some howlers.

 

The OS get the rap for it, but in truth they were probably ony guilty of little more than putting the icing on the cake and publishing to the public of what had become common practice for quite some time, just reading through old birth, marriage and death registers brings up multiple attempted spellings of place names, ranging from the actually not all that bad to the almost unintelligbly absurd.

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Ok, Aith is another example that was quoted.

 

I say Aith (I am English). Aith School, Aith Hall, Aith Swimming pool, etc even Aith Lifeboat (I suppose that is what you would call it when you dialled 999 if in need).

 

But others pronounce it Aid and spell it Eid.

 

Ok, but it was originally spelled Old Norse: Eið and I though the "ð " on the end of a word was like an Icelandic "thur".

 

"Ã is like "th" in "feather", "father" and "that""

 

Obviously Icelandic is not Shetland dialect but I am interested in if there is a similarity.

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Ok, but it was originally spelled Old Norse: Eið and I though the "ð " on the end of a word was like an Icelandic "thur".

 

Obviously Icelandic is not Shetland dialect but I am interested in if there is a similarity.

Bear in mind that "ð" is a voiced "th" as opposed to "þ" which is the soft "th". Some clarification here:

 

http://shetlopedia.com/Eth,_thorn_and_yogh

 

"Ã is like "th" in "feather", "father" and "that""

Interesting to note what the Shetland dialect pronunciation of all of these are: fedder, fedder (or faidder) and dat.

 

So do you say Laandern when you go to the East End of London?

No I wouldn't if visiting, but might if I lived there. The east end is just a small part of the metropolis and their pronunciation is frankly a minority curiosity. London is far, far more than that. Erstwhile centre of an empire etc. etc. Originally Latin too (Londinium), so I guess the RP version has probably changed less than the cockney.

 

 

Worth mentioning that not all Aith placenames are locally pronounced Eid (though I think most are). Aithsetter in Cunningsburgh (which I'd say as Cunningsbroo) is pretty much Aester.

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