Kitten Wrangler (kitten_wrangler) wrote in linguaphiles,
Kitten Wrangler

R-Z. Why is it so?

Work with me here folks.

I'm listening to a song by a local band - it's an instrumentally thing done by an Indian guy. He may be singing in Hindi, but I'm not sure. At any rate, one of the wordlike sounds I hear him say is 'Huzzah'. Whether or not it's a real Hindi word doesn't matter. It just got me thinking.

Huzzah! is a synonym for hurrah! I think it comes from upper class British public schools, but I'm not certain. Does anyone know why the 'r' became 'z'? Is this a common phonological change, because....

It is a common thing here in the Antipodes to take the 'r' of someone's name and make it 'z', truncating the name to a single syllable, although sometimes with a vowel afterwards as well:

Cheryl/Sheridan = Shez(za)
Sharon = Shaz(za)
Darryl = Daz(za)
Mary = Maz(za)
Harry/Harold = Haz(za)
Carol/Karen = Caz(za)
Gary = Gaz(za)
And I've been known to stretch it to Sarah = Sezrah (Though she's normally Sezzy)

Why? How? Hurrah/Huzzah is the only non proper-noun word I can think of that will accept this change, but are there any others?

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