Since Al Jaffe seems to be asleep at the wheel on the mispronunciation front, allow me to point out a very public mistake made by one of his employees. Josh Elliott is doing commercials for his new show on ESPN classic and references Honus Wagner. At least I think it was “The Flying Dutchman,” because Elliott actually invokes a name that sounds like hah’niss wăg’nur. The great shortstop’s name is pronounced hō’nŭs wăg’nur.
2 thoughts on “You Can Call Me Al (Jaffe)”
Al Jaffe pronounced “Honus” correctly. You are wrong. The name was a corruption of “Johannes” or “Hans.” Originally it was printed as “Hannas.”
All oldtimers pronounced it as “hah’niss” just as Mr. Jaffe did. Why most dictionaries mispronounce the nickname is a mystery. See Biographies on Wagner.
You may well be correct about the pronunciation of Honus. Spurred on by your posting, I did some more poking around and found some evidence to back up your claims. However, there is too much conflicting evidence for me to be sure about one pronunciation versus the other.
On the other hand, I have no information about how Al Jaffe says “Honus.” Josh Elliot, on the other hand, definitely said “hō’nŭs.” 🙂
Thanks for posting!