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
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.