Pronounciation Help Needed

[From The Providence Journal 12/31/12]

Was there a shortage of vowels in this woman's homeland, when her husband's surname, and hers by marriage, was coined? How do you even begin to say it?

"Marker-tosh-jan"? "Maker-tisch-jan"? "Muck-root-sack-hyj-an"?
     Posted By: Paul - Wed Jan 02, 2013
     Category: Weird Names

Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 01/02/13 at 09:58 AM
I'm guessing "M-Krit-Shan".

Probably a Slavic root in there somewhere. My family name is like that with one vowel and fifteen consonants. I've heard it pronounced twenty different ways during my lifetime.
Posted by KDP on 01/02/13 at 10:28 AM
My guess: Mersion, like the word immersion without the im
Posted by matt on 01/02/13 at 11:01 AM
Looking up the Armenian alphabet didn't help any. The only change I'd male to KDP's suggestion is that the j is presumably pronounced as a y, so M-Krit-Shyan.

I'm imagining their son going through life: "Just call me John."
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 01/02/13 at 11:14 AM
If you Google the last name there are quite a few of them still around.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 01/02/13 at 11:19 AM
OK wait... your trying to get M-krit Shan or Shyan or Mersion from this when Krzyzewski is pronounced Shashefski???????????????????
Posted by Todd on 01/02/13 at 04:30 PM
Todd, I almost sprained my tongue on Kzryzewski. Krzewski, Krzezewski, OUCH!
Posted by KDP on 01/02/13 at 04:52 PM
I challenge my fellow WU to pronounce "Ghoti" correctly. It is based on "Correct English"
Posted by BMN on 01/02/13 at 04:56 PM
Posted by robot on 01/02/13 at 04:58 PM
I admit that I didn't catch the name (or the spelling) and read the entire obit wondering what was so weird about this.

Personal rant: I never could see the appeal of mocking someone for their family name. Now for a name chance to, say, 'World Peace' or 'Ochocinco' they brought it on themselves so all is fair.
Posted by crc on 01/02/13 at 05:13 PM
@BMN: I'd say "Hottie" would be a fit but I've gotten into the habit of NOT wasting letters! Someone took the time to put them there so they should be used! Gnome - Knives - Gnash - Knight just to name a few!
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 01/02/13 at 10:57 PM
Ghoti is fish. The gh from enough makes the 'f'. Don't blame me, I think it was G B Shaw?
Posted by BMN on 01/03/13 at 01:42 AM
Gh ('enough') + o ('women') + ti ('nation') = "fish"

Blame the gh on some Belgian who once wrote an English lexicon - his native language was Flemish (or Phlegm-ish). He gave English many ways to pronounce gh: eight, thought, tough, plough, through, dough...
Posted by tadchem on 01/03/13 at 07:19 PM
That's the thing with sir-names, there is no wrong spelling or pronunciation. You really can't even guess using the usual rules of spelling and pronunciation. Thank goodness my maiden name and my married name are both easy to pronounce and spell.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 01/04/13 at 08:18 AM
The people I've met with this surname pronounce it "muh-KRITS-ee-an".

Armenian definitely looks odd to native English speakers.
Posted by JMS on 01/04/13 at 01:44 PM
JMS--at last, the definitive rendering! Thanks!
Posted by Paul on 01/04/13 at 01:58 PM
I thought I did rather well with what I had to work with! 😡
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 01/04/13 at 03:13 PM
Merk-Shawn. The poor typist who saw them through Ellis Island was dyslexic and did the best she/he could. The original Merkshawn guy probably mumbled.
Posted by Greg on 01/14/13 at 01:06 PM
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