How Do You Pronounce "Riehle"?  

A Riehle.Net visitor wrote: "I have always wondered if all Riehles in the U.S. pronounce their last name the same. My family pronounces our name "really".Is that the most common? What are some different pronunciations if any?"
 
Our response was that the only pronunciation we know of in the US is "really". In Baden Germany, where many of our ancestor came from, the name is pronounced using standard German pronunciation with the second vowel getting a hard pronunciation and with a soft "e" at the end, similar to "really" but with a softer ending (i.e., ree' le). We though that just about everyone coming over to America used the more English "really" pronunciation, but when we asked our visitors to comment it turned out not to be quite that simple.

Kevin Riehle tells of an ancestor with the birth name "Riehl" who had a falling out with his family and so added an "e" to set himself apart from them.  Despite the spelling change the descendents continue to pronounce it "Reel". 

Jack Riehle of Columbus Ohio explains that some of the descendents of Bartholomew and Ursula Burgert Riehle of Chillicothe (Black Creek) Ohio changed the pronunciation to "Reel".  "Everyone who saw the name wanted to pronounce it 'Reel' and to make business easier by not correcting everyone, they just gave up and pronounced it Reel. 

Eric Riehle, another descendent of Bartholomew and Ursula Burgert Riehle but from the Minnesota branch, says that his family has always used the "riley" pronunciation.  Eric does not comment on the origins of this pronunciation but enjoys the advantages when celebrating St. Patrick's Day (see his email).

If you have other pronunciations or histories of how the name has changed, please contact us.