Figure Name euphony
Source Johnson (1903) ("euphony")
Earliest Source
Type None
Linguistic Domain

1. Euphony.—In every composition—with perhaps the exception of mathematical propositions and legal documents—euphony should be considered. The making of a sentence euphonious usually depends more upon the arrangement of the words than upon their choice. (Johnson, 100)


1. Consider the simplest possible case—the name of a firm. Smith and Jackson is euphonious, because no letters of similar sound come together in such a way as to interfere with each other and prevent clear enunciation, and it is in regular trochaic rhythm. But Jackson and Smith is not euphonious; it has no rhythm, and the final ''n'' in Jackson interferes with the sound of and. In his In Memoriam, Section VII, Tennyson has purposely made one line—

On the bald street breaks the blank day—

as cacophonous, or ineuphonious, as possible, to represent the mental effect of a great personal calamity. It would be intolerable to have much of this; and all the rest of the long dirge is musical. Euphony should be carefully considered in the naming of children. If the family name is Sevier, the son should not be named Wallace, nor the daughter Alice, because the Christian name should end with a sound distinct from that with which the surname begins. Sometimes family names are used for Christian names in disregard of euphony, as Parker Rogers, for instance. In such case the difficulty can be overcome by means of a middle initial,
as, Parker L. Rogers. (Johnson, 100-101)

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Last Editor Ioanna Malton
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Editorial Notes
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