The name of the comedian Louis C.K. is pronounced LU-EE-SEE-KAY.

Is the S pronounced as a part of the given name "Louis", or just the first constant of the of the letter C?

Is there a canonical way to pronounce the English name "Louis", or is the pronunciation dependent in geographic location or origin?

Credit: this tweet (Hebrew).

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    Everyone gets to spell and pronounce their own name as they please - (signed) Robert (pronounced sha-zam') – bib Aug 26 '13 at 20:31
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    Normally the English Louis is pronounced the same as the French one, because there is also a name Lewis. American Louises may differ. (What's the plural of Louis?) – Andrew Leach Aug 26 '13 at 20:36
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    @AndrewLeach, and how do you separate the plural of ‘Louis’ from the plural of ‘Louise’? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 26 '13 at 20:41
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    @AndrewLeach I’ve never met a Louis who wasn’t pronounced Lewis in English. – tchrist Aug 26 '13 at 21:36
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    The correct way to pronounce it is the way Louis pronounces it. – Hot Licks Aug 9 '15 at 3:08

Names are a bit tricky to give 'pronunciation' advice on, because anyone can choose to pronounce their name in any way they see fit.

I have heard two pronunciations used for this name. "LU-EE", as you've shown, and "LU-ISS".

The first one is the traditional french pronunciation, while the second is of English origin.

For more information: http://www.behindthename.com/name/louis

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    I would say there are three pronunciations: /ˈluːi/, /luːˈi(ː)/, and /ˈluːis/. Of these, the second is quite rare, but there are non-French guys named Louis who pronounce their name with final stress. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 26 '13 at 20:41
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    When you say "the second is of English origin" are you referring to the English language, or to England? – TrevorD Aug 26 '13 at 23:14
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    You might say there are two pronunciations for "Louis": "Lewis" and "Louie" – nohat Aug 26 '13 at 23:42

The English pronunciation of the s in Louis was reinforced during the 1600s and 1700s by frequent respelling of the French name Louis as Lewis. An Ngram chart for the years 1600 through 2005 shows that "King Lewis" (blue line) was the preferred spelling over "King Louis" until about 1770:

Here is a typical instance of "King Lewis" from "The Life and Reign of King Henry the Second," in Chronicle of the Kings of England: With Additions (1670):

With which words of King Lewis, the young King Henry was set a float, and from that time forward, stuck not openly to oppose his Father. Whereof his Father having intelligence, sent messengers to King Lewis, desiring him from the King their Master, to be a means to bring his Son to more moderation. But King Lewis hearing the Embassadours name their Master King, with an angry countenance said unto them ; What mean you by this to call him King, who hath passed his Kingdom over to his Son? and with this answer sent them away.

The spelling Lewis for Louis became very rare after the 1760s, but it survived until then in such forms as this (translated) title of a history by Voltaire: The Universal History & State of All Nations From the Time of Charlemain to Lewis XIV (1758).

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His name is Louis like Lewis and his nickname is Louie.

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  • Do you have a source? (Either from Louis C.K. himself, or for someone who ought to know about it.) – herisson Sep 29 '15 at 21:19
  • OK, now how do you pronounce "Louisville"? – Hot Licks Feb 1 '16 at 21:15
  • @hot licks.... It's been a while since this post, but asking someone how they pronounce Louisville isn't a good test. :P. Officially, it's named after king Louis, so it is loo-ey-ville. But any local will call it lull-vull – Mike Christiansen Oct 26 '18 at 0:36
  • @MikeChristiansen - I think it could be an instructive exercise. (How do they pronounce it in Colorado?) – Hot Licks Oct 26 '18 at 0:39

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