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Archiver > BLOUNT > 2000-03 > 0953745964

From: "Kyle VanLandingham" <>
Subject: [BLOUNT-L] pronunciation of Blount
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2000 11:26:04 -0600


I was just reading a letter you had sent to the Blount mailing list in early
1998 regarding the pronunciation of Blount. You pointed out that prior to
the 18th century the name was uninformly pronounced Blunt. However, three
groups gradually developed in England: (1) Those who followed the old
aristocratic condition and spelled it Blount and pronounced it Blunt; (2)
Those who spelled it Blount and pronounced it Blownt; and (3) Those who
spelled it Blunt and pronounced it Blunt.

I found this fascinating.

There are, of course, many Blounts and Blunts in the US today.
As a child, my grandmother told me of her grandmother, Mary Blount Parker.
She always pronounced it Blunt, though the spelling was Blount. When I went
to college in Tennessee, the college was located in Blount County, but the
county name was always pronounced Blunt. Indeed, all over the South it is
spelled Blount and pronounced Blunt. This tradition obviously goes back to
the earliest Blounts in the South, and the immigrant, Capt. James Blount,
who arrived in VA, about 1660. Capt. Blount signed his name James Blount on
his 1685 will. See However, in the body of the will, in
the first line, the scrivener spelled it Blunt, but then inserted an "o."
See, David Hackett Fisher, ALBION'S SEED (New York, 1989), 258-259.

I remember when Nixon was elected in 1968 and he named Winton Blount of
Alabama as Postmaster General. I also recall a New York TV newman
incorrectly pronounce it Blownt, even though it was properly pronounced

It is also interesting that on the Helen M. Prescott Chart, William Blunt of
Andover, Massachusetts, who d. 1709, the name is spelled Blunt as was his
brother, Samuel Blunt. They were of the same family as Capt. James Blount,
although distant cousins. Yet, in New England and the North the name seems
to be generally spelled Blunt.

Kyle S. VanLandingham

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