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Fred Sladen — June 22, 03:10AM

How to pronounce Le Conte's

What is the correct pronunciation of the name Le Conte's as in Sparrow and Thrasher in the USA?

Ian Hearn — June 24, 08:01PM

I think it's Lee-cont-ay's, with the stress on the "cont" part.

Up rated: 0 Down
Fred Sladen — June 24, 09:34PM

Thanks, Ian. I have always heard it pronounced as you describe, but have run into a group of birders who leave off the "ay's" at the end and say "Le cont's". I don't believe that this is correct, as the origin of the name is from Spanish, and as such should be pronounced "Le Contay's" or Le "Contee's". Thanks again for responding.

Up rated: 0 Down
Filmore — June 25, 03:25AM

The name looks eminently French to me, and certainly not Spanish. Indeed Le Conte was of Huguenot origin.

The "Le" should be pronounced as in "look," without the "k" sound. The final "e" in "Conte" is silent.

Up rated: 3 Down
Ian Hearn — June 25, 04:20AM

You have it right, Filmore. It is of french origin, I think.

Up rated: 2 Down
meg — July 07, 10:03AM

Fred, Ian, Filmore,

We agree no final e in the spoken name.

Parts of the differential choices are the possible interpretation of the apostrophe (this is after all a sparrow named for and in possession of LeConte) as an accent aigu in which case the 'e' would be included in the pronunciation.

Recall that accent grave and accent aigu are diacritical marks indicated by either a tiny back slash or forward slash over the e in the true French. see also < >.

see other entries at:

for the origin of the sparrow's Latin binomial: < > or

< > for a wiki biography of one of the several LeContes from whom Audubon may have derived the species name.

certainly interesting to note that the valid Latin binomial still has a double 'ii' as suffix. this might be another interesting practice to explore?

good birding,


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