[Dixielandjazz] Gene Schroeder Pronunciation - Redux

Stephen G Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Tue Sep 9 13:41:35 PDT 2008

For those interested in the trivia of how Schroeder is pronounced in  
the USA: These from various internet sources and the Schroeder  
genealogy page thread on its pronunciation. There are several  
pronunciations in use, and below are the two most common.

Manfred Schroeder       schray duhr.

Dorothy Schroeder        schrad er      as in schray dhur

Patricia Schroeder         schrod er      as in Schroad duhr

Ricky Schroeder             schrod er      as in Schroad duhr

William Schroeder          schrad er      as in Schray duhr

Why the difference? Several theories according to the genealogy page,  
these from different Schroeders who posted there:.

1) All my life I was taught that the correct pronunciation is  
Schrayder. When visiting other Schroeders, some pronounce it  
Schroader. I've been told 3 different reasons why this is so.

a) To differentiate between the German and Swiss branches of the  
family name.
b) To differentiate between the Catholic and Protestant branches of  
the family.
c) One pronunciation means "tailor" or "cloth ripper", the other means  
"shredder" of "crusher"

2) The original name was no doubt Schroder (with an umlaut over the "o")

a) There is no umlaut in English so the spelling was changed to oe
b) Then when some came to America, they spelled it Schrader to make it  
more pronounceable
c) During WW 2, some made sure to pronounce it Schray dhur to sound  
less German.

Then, to confuse it more, one Schroeder said it could even be  
pronounced like the oe in Goethe's name. He says the sound is made  
with the lips rounded or pursed in the position of an 'O" as in over  
while trying to say an "A" as in able.

As to what Gene Schroeder himself preferred, I worked about 30 gigs  
with him over a summer in the late 1950s. He was introduced to me as  
Schray dhur by his very good friend, bassist and our band mate Chuck  
Traeger. (Tray ghur). <grin> We always introduced him to the audience  
and fans/friends as Schray dhur.

Musical content other than Gene? Some say potayto and some say  
potahto, from "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off".

Gene Schroeder, a wonderful stride pianist as well as a wonderful man,  
passed away in early 1975.

Steve Barbone

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