Wednesday, April 28, 2010

That's Pompey With an "E"

There's something I think I need to clear up here, and that's the correct pronunciation for the name of my most-beloved pug, Pompey, who was named after the noble Roman general, Pompey the Great.

Pompey, photographed by Boy Fenwick

Since I began writing this blog I've had the pleasure of meeting a number of my readers, several of whom have been under the impression that the name of said pug is pronounced the same as Pompeii, the Roman city that had the misfortune to be buried under a flow of molten ashes when Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79.   Actually, it is not.

 The Forum, Pompeii, with Vesuvius in the Distance
Christian Kobke, 1841
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Pompey, if parsed out in dictionary format, would be Pŏm′pē.  In other words, it rhymes with donkey, and not Pompeii.  The emphasis is on the first syllable "pom", and "pey" is pronounced "pee" (which he does at least several times a day).

Landscape with Donkey
Eugene Joseph Verboeckhoven, 1846
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Just in case you wanted to know . . .


  1. Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I was desperately in love with someone in nominal possession of a black Labrador by the name of Scipio Africanus.

    Needless to say, it ended badly.

  2. Oh I love this! I have to wonder how you distinguished the command Pompey-pee? (Now that I think of this-Reggie Darling- you would not use that slang-What do you say to get results? One of my friends always trained her precious ones with- go grass. it seemed perfect, but I was not able to remember it-how could the dogs. I go with -do you want to go out?, most just get to the Do You Want-part and I find myself trying to quiz the little one about what she wants. pgt

  3. Reggie, dear. Please compliment Boy for me on his marvelous photo of Pompey! A perfect study in browns.

  4. He makes quite the mug shot. I can tell he's concerned that his name has not been spelled correctly. Perhaps, even hurt. I think he needs his own calling cards.

  5. Pompey is quite the celebrity! He does photograph and pose beautifully!

    Art by Karena

  6. Very fitting companion! nice, ready-for-what-ever-is-next, face. Mine are larger rambunctious

  7. Fabulous photo. Pompey is totally adorable and I love his name xx

  8. Against all odds I've been pronouncing his name correctly in my head. Such a handsome boy.


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