Have you ever wondered why so many Scottish names are pronounced entirely differently from how they look? Well in the case of words with a Y or a Z in them it’s quite simply because the letter of the alphabet which was originally used to spell it is now no longer in use because it’s archaic.
Think of the names Dalziel, Dalyell (both of which are pronounced Dee-ell).
Then there’s Culzean (Cull-ane)
The name MacKenzie comes originally from MacConnachie/MacKennie/MacKinney …
Then of course there’s Menzies which should be Ming-iss.
There are a lot more I’m sure but I can’t think of them at the moment. Anyway, you get the idea.
The letter of the alphabet which is no longer in use, and causes the confusion is yogh and you can read about it here in an article about Scottish handwriting.
Yogh looked like the letter z with an extra loop on the bottom, or sometimes like a 3 slightly below the line. I’m sure you’ll probably remember seeing it on old documents if you like perusing things like that.
I’m mentioning it because when we went to visit Culzean Castle recently the guide told us that he had no idea why it was pronounced Cull-ane, I suppose it was originally Cull-yane. Anyway, we enlightened him after the tour and he was going to add it to his explanations. I thought it was something which was commonly known, but maybe not.