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Monday, October 18, 2010

Caius pronounced Keys

Visitors to Cambridge, England are often flummoxed to discover that the college called Gonville and Caius is pronounced "Gonville and Keys". The explanation (from the college's website):
After a period of some decline, the College was refounded and extended in 1557 by former student and Fellow, Dr John Caius. Dr Caius had been living in Padua in Italy, where he studied and practiced medicine and made a fortune. Whilst in Italy, he Latinised the spelling of his original surname Keys, to Caius (although it has always been pronounced "keys"). His most visible legacy to the College remains the very beautiful Caius Court and the College's three famous gates.

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About Me

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Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber is an expert on the English language and a frequent guest on radio and television. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Her witty and informative talks on the stories behind our words are very popular. Contact her at wordlady.barber@gmail.com to book her for speaking engagements; she can tailor her talks to almost any subject. She is also available as an expert witness for lawsuits.