On the pronunciation of Delphi

August 10, 2016 16:22:06 Posted at August 10, 2016 16:22:06
Lainey Posted by Lainey

Duana and I posted our Harry Potter And The Cursed Child podcast yesterday. I’ve embedded it again below if you’ve not yet had a chance to listen. One of the things we ended up arguing over, which we never intended to argue over, but that’s how these conversations go, was the pronunciation of “Delphi”. We have a history of fighting over Harry Potter pronunciations. In particular, Bellatrix. I say it the way you say it, the way the movies say it, the way it’s SUPPOSED TO BE SAID. She says it like buh-lah-trix. Like Trump, Melania. Mu-lah-nia. It’s f-cked up. 

Anyway, Delphi. When I was reading the book/play, in my head I read it as Del-fee. Duana went with Del-fye, as in the Oracle. I accepted that and we went on to use her pronunciation for the rest of the podcast. And then the emails came in from people who have been to see the play in London.

It’s Del-FEE.

That’s how they say it on stage.

Cut to Duana, enraged. Cut to me, like a proper asshole, repeatedly sending her emails and texts with just the letters HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA repeated over and over again.

It’s been 24 hours. She’s still not over it.

But what if it’s not Delphi the Oracle? What if it’s Delphi… short for Delphinium. Delphiniums are poisonous. The Cursed Child is certainly poison. Delphi has blue and silver hair. Here are some delphiniums:

(I’ve never heard Duana say “delphinium” but god help us all if she pronounces it Del-FYE-NEE-UM.)

Mostly though, both Duana and I, we probably just suck at reading. Because there it is, Act One Scene 6, when Delphi first appears and introduces herself to Albus:

“I’m a thief, of course. I’m about to steal everything you own. Give me your gold, your wand, and your Chocolate Frogs! Either that or I’m Delphini Diggory. Delphi.”


It was there the whole time.

Delphi, Del-FEE, is short for Delphini, Del-FEE-nee.

Who in the world would pronounce it Del-FYE-nee?


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