Tuesday, 8 May 2012

How Do You Pronounce The Name Catudal?

Many names have more than one possibility on how one can pronounce them but the variations on the pronunciation of the name Catudal runs the gambit of possibilities.

I posted the question on the Internet asking those who have the Catudal name or come from a Catudal family to tell me how they pronounce their name. Here are the answers:

Ca-Da-Dal, Cat-U-Dal, Ca-Tu Dal, Catch-U-Dal, Cat-Uh-Dal, Cat-Sue-Dal, Ca-Tu-Del, Ka-too-dul, Cat-ah-dal and Cat-a-dell.

A cousin of mine, Michel Catudal, told me that the French do not pronounce the ‘u’ in Catudal like ‘oo’ but rather more like a ‘ü‘ which does not have an English equivalent.

Laurie Catudal Campbell, told me that as she grew up she did not like all the mispronunciations. She said that “Cat-oodle“ was a common mispronunciation. She also endured a lot of teasing in the form of children asking “if we had caught our doll yet“.

Donald E. Catudal said that he dreaded the first day of school each year because “The teacher would always butcher our name and everyone would laugh. I think they would say Ka-too-dul and laughs ensued.”

Two people who responded were adamant that how they pronounced the Catudal name was the ‘right’ way; both, however, pronounced the name different from one another.

So the answer to how the name Catudal is or should be pronounced is to pronounce it the way you do. Whichever way that you do pronounce Catudal, one thing is for sure; you will be asked to spell it.


  1. I remember my grandmother saying she got "Mrs. Ka-toodle" a lot. She pronounced it Cad-a-dell. I would imagine in Canada the u would still be pronounced the same as the u in the word for moon, "lune," which would be similar to the ü.

  2. I have been called Mrs Cathedral and even Cant-u tell. !I get rather annoyed when people want to put an 'e' on the end of it too!

  3. A lot of my friends growing up said cadoodal but my dad always said it catch-oo-del

  4. Hi, Dear cousin,
    When I was a child, the only language ever heard around the place where I lived and attended school was French. The children at school were particularily unpleasant and hostile and made fun of my name. I resented this attitude extremely and could not understand their rationale. This stopped only when I moved to a friendlier larger city. I nevertheless always had to spell my name. I find this odd, given that the name is pronounced exactly as it is spelled. But this is probably due to the fact that the name is unusual to any French speaker (or English, for that matter). A lot of people think that the name is Portuguese, a lot of Portuguese names ending in -al. English makes it a little bit more complicated as an accent on the last syllable, as in French, is quite unnatural. When I lived in Vancouver (in the 80's) most people would stress the second syllable of my name and make it sound something like Katyoodel. I would correct them and insist on stressing the last syllable and make them pronounce something like Katoodahl, as the ü sound of French is pronounced "yoo" in English when stressed but "oo" when unstressed. Picky me! As far as I am concerned, when I was a child, to me the only possible pronunciation was Katüdal (with the stress on the last syllable.
    As far as past various pronunciations are concerned, there could have been many alterations in the course of centuries not only for the vowels, as the treatment of consonant varies greatly between the Germanic, Romance, and Celtic families of languages. The t's and d's, for instance, are very unstable as illustrated in differences between high and low German, e.g. Wasser in high German and Water in low German (from which English originates). Not to speak or voicing and devoicing (d and t). Or change from plosive to continouous (t to th or d to voiced th).
    The same phenomenon existed as far back as ancient Greek where the Greek word for honey was pronounced "melissa" in Athens and "melitta" in Sparta. Thus, the Romans also hesitated at times between s and t. So when they transcribed the Celtic name "Cassivellaunus" (a famous British tribe) they sometimes spelt it Catuvellaunus. The Gauls also had a number of personal names that resembled the name. Thus, one of Vercingetorix's general's name was Vercassivel. As well, the Celts have a different treatment of consonants, especially plosives, that become continuous quite often under certain rules called "lenition rules". These linition rules caused a large number of changes in the pronunciation of latin in the course of the history of the French language and made some latin words unrecognizable or time. So there was ample room for pronunciation changes in the Catudal name over the course of centuries... The Cat part remained somewhat stable. It meant warrior in old Breton. The rest of the name remains clouded in mystery.
    It is too bad that I could not afford to order your book when you published it. I admire your work methods and the scientific stick-to-the-facts" attitude you have. Thank you again for your research. May you get the credits you deserve.

    1. Thank you Emilien for your very informative comment. Absolutely fascinating!
      I sympathize with you and the cruelty children have when faced with a very unfamiliar name. And, I don't think it picky of you to try to get people to correctly pronounce your name.
      Thank you for your encouragement. It means a great deal to me.
      I also wanted you to know that I am thinking about offering my last book online as a PDF book via Amazon.ca The only thing is that I would want to update my book as there is quite a bit of new information and a few corrections to be made, meaning that to create the PDF book would be quite a bit of work. Still, having spent close to 12 years now, researching our family history I would like that information to be more readily available and not at a price that makes it out of reach for almost everyone. I won't be able to commit to investing that kind of time until the beginning of next year. We'll see. If I do, I will let you know.
      Again, thank you for your comment!