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You Say "Meccanno", I Say "Meccarno"

By Francis Paine

For many years, at least as long as I have been interested in our hobby, there has been a debate on the proper pronunciation of the word Meccano among enthusiasts. In fact, there was apparently a prolonged discussion on Spanner concerning this burning question some while ago, with some correspondents quoting dictionaries and all sorts of learned sources.

The definitive answer, however, has been under our noses all the time! In volume 1, issue 2 of the Meccano Magazine for November – December 1916, the Editor's reply in Our Mail Bag to a correspondent, who presumably asked the relevant question, is as follows:

"A.D.K. – The word Meccano should be pronounced with the 'a' broad, as in father."

So, there we have it – debate over. The Editor was probably Frank Hornby himself, or at least all the content of the early Meccano Magazines would have been very carefully scrutinised and vetted by him personally, so I think we can say that we now know for sure!

» This article appeared in the January 2010 issue of SELMEC News.

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