Hamish, Harry and all, where I come from, which is incidentaly in Bucks, we say Bek-ons-field, not Bee-kons-field, don't know why, it could have been the dialect. Shows how pronounciations change from only one region to the other.(or pub, for that matter) I've known quite a few "clives" in my life, but none pronounced it with a short "i". Which doesn't mean it's not possible. Hamish pointed that out. Is this the same "Clive" of SA fame? I once heard a story that the plant was named after a Lady Clive, not her husband. Also, on the origin of the word "cliff", the germanic is klippe, which throws another tidbit in. I've noticed the replacement of v-f-p in a number of words. In old germanic, their is a script form whereby the individual letters are all but undecipherable to the uninitiated! This is another possible source of spelling changes. Language is fascinating! And fluid. You should hear how germans try to say my name, there is no hard "j" in german. This is exactly my point, there is no international pronounciation. Spelling is less of a problem, although there are many exceptions. In Europe we have many cities with three names or more, historical left overs. I makes it difficult for the uninitiated, but no one takes offense at a different pronounciation, and why should they, as long as clarity is maintained. Aix en Chapelle is Aachen is Aken. Liege is Luttich is Luik. I really don't see why some people are in such a huff! Has the current world climate damaged our humour?and Harry Dewey, friend, you are way off base, here. There was no insult to anyone intended, so please do not read between lines for something that does not exist! I realise you do not know me, but such devises do not belong to my character. I would like to know more about the individuals that are being honoured, as well as try to retain clarity in speaking, but not acknowleding different understandings of pronounciation is simply ignorant! And using it to belittle a fellow gardener would be more than childish. I think we agree on this. At the risk of more hate mail, I would still like to hear other opinions and experiences. I've already learned more from Hamish, which was the idea. Alberto has shared the pronounciation he learned, which is different from mine, which stems from my years at University of San Francisco. We should stay on topic, though, not too much extrapolation from historic languages. Bulbs, bulbs, relate it to bulbs. Ciao, Jamie V. Cologne -Köln-Keule-Kölle actually it's Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensum, but come on, that's a mouthful!