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AUGH! From German to English

Updated: Mar 10

AUGH! It’s not just a cry of distress, it’s an anglicization.

German Ach cartoon

Aaugh - Charlie Brown & Lucy football

Augh! Why do we see lots of names ending in -augh? Baugh, Grumbaugh, Brumbaugh? A lot of these are German names, and that sure is not how they are spelled in German. What happened?

German has that sound and spells it as <ch>, as do the Scots, such as "It's a braw bricht moonlit nicht the nicht." (‘It’s a fine bright moonlit night tonight’, with each < ch > pronounced as the raspy kh.

Now when English speakers would hear German names with a -kh- sound like when you gargle, they needed a way to spell it, and they had one. Middle English had had that sound, and