How do you pronounce Aldous Huxley's name?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Aldous Leonard Huxley was born in Godalming, Surrey, England, in 1894. He studied English Literature in college, graduating with honors, and is most well known for his classic of science fiction, Brave New World. With a father who was a writer and a mother who was a teacher, it seems little wonder that he made a name for himself as a thoughtful and intelligent author.

His first name, Aldous, has a clear emphasis on its first syllable, pronounced like the word "all" (beginning with an "ah" sound and closing with the "L" sound). The second syllable sounds like "deuce" (with a long "u" sound, like in the word "loose") or "duss" (with a short "u" sound, like in the word "fuss"): ALL-duss or ALL-deuce. Either way, one should clearly stress the first syllable and shorten the second syllable, cutting it off rather than stretching it out.

His last name is a bit easier. One should stress or accent the first syllable here as well, pronouncing the first syllable as though it rhymes with "tucks" (with a short "u" sound). The last syllable is unaccented, and straightforward, pronounced to rhyme with "see" (with a long "e" sound): HUCKS-lee.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Aldous Huxley was a respected author of science-fiction and other works. He was British, so his name follows the conventions of British pronunciation instead of American pronunciation. His first name, "Aldous," may derive from or be related to the name "Aldo," and is pronounced "All-Dus," with the emphasis on the first syllable. The second syllable is not stretched to "Doos," but is short, and could be phonetically written "Das" or "Dos," depending on inflection.

His family name, "Huxley," is pronounced "Huks-Lee," again with the emphasis on the first syllable. The "X" in his name takes the "KS" sound, and follows the vowel U to create "Huks," not as in "Hooks," but as in "Trucks." The second syllable, "Ley," is not pronounced "Lay," as it may seem on first glance, but as "Lee," as in "Tree."

Together, his name is pronounced "All-Dus Huks-Lee," with emphasis on both first syllables and without any syllable being excessively drawn out. One link below will pronounce it through your computer speakers.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial