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Why do Irish people pronounce film as 'fillum'?

Film: pronounced “fill-um”.

AMONG IRISH PEOPLE’S numerous quirks is our unique pronunciation of the word “film”.

It’s not film. It’s always fillum.

 

It both confounds and delights people not from these parts.

film Source: Reddit

Although it can leave some people cold.

But why do we say it?

Is it our Gaelic heritage coming through? Does the “–lm” ending confuse us?

After all, we pronounce Colm as “Collum”.

giphy (13)

Or are we keeping to Shakespeare’s original pronunciation?

In this video, academic David Crystal explains that Shakespeare used to write out his words phonetically to indicate how they should be pronounced. An early text of Romeo and Juliet shows that Shakespeare wrote film as “philome”.

As in, “fillum”.

Source: ouLearn on YouTube/YouTube

So maybe we’re just still following Shakespeare’s instructions all these years later.

Or maybe we’re just stubborn.

Who knows?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Anyway, it begs the question…

How do you pronounce film?


Poll Results:

Fillum (2582)
Film (1190)


(h/t Reddit Ireland for inspiring this post)

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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