#1950. なぜ BillWilliam の愛称になるのか?[shortening][rhyme][personal_name][onomastics][sobokunagimon]


 標記の問題については,WilliamWill と愛称的短化を経た後,一種の rhyming slang (cf. 「#1459. Cockney rhyming slang」 ([2013-04-25-1]))により Bill となったのだろうと思っていた.しかし,なぜ /w/ が /v/ や /f/ や /p/ ではなく /b/ に置換されたのかがはっきりしない.RichardDick, RobertBob についても同様だ.この問題についてもやもやしていたところに,Stern (262) に別の説が提案されていたので紹介する.

I may mention here the phenomenon termed by Sundén pseudo-ellipsis (Sundén, Ell. Words 141 sqq.). Bob has been considered a hypochoristic [sic] shortening of Robert. But why should R- be changed into B-? Sundén points out that there existed in OE the proper names Boba, Bobba, Bobing, and in ME Bobbe, Bobin, Bobbet. Robert was introduced into England through the Norman conquest; a shortening of Robert gave Rob or Robbe, which are also instanced in ME. We have thus Bobbe and Robbe, of different origin, but both of them proper names. It is reasonable to assume that the two names were confused, and Bobbe apprehended as a short form of Robert. Sundén is able to show that a similar process is probable for William --- Bill, Richard --- Dick, Amelia --- Emy, Edward or Edmund --- Ted, Isabella --- Tib, James --- Jem, Jim, and others. We have here a double process: shortening plus phonetic associative interference . . . .

 この説は先の説と矛盾しない.Robert 導入以前に Bob という名前があったとすれば,rhyming slang 経由であれ音声的な関連によるものであれ,RobBob が関連づけられたとしても不思議ではない.

 ・ Stern, Gustaf. Meaning and Change of Meaning. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1931.

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