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Solving the great Kuykendall mystery

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There has been much consternation about the seeming ignorance of opposing broadcasters in pronouncing the surname of our outfield hero, Garry Kuykendall. To wit: "What are they thinking? Can't they see it's spelled KUYkendall? Not KURkendall?"

So, I went on a hunt to find the truth, because that is the great commission of journalism.

First, I went to the baseball media guide, but there's actually no pronunciation guide in there -- odd to say the least, especially with guys like Kuykendall, Argyropolous and Desmarais on your team.

So, I did a quick Internet search of "kuykendall surname." Turns out, according to, that it's a variation of the Dutch surname Kerkendal. Hmmm.

I then did a search of "kuykendall pronounce," and at least one site says the correct pronounciation is KIRK-en-dahl. Hmmmmmmm. That's further confirmed by the book, "History of the Kuykendall Family," by George Benson Kuykendall. Here's an excerpt:

There are many of the descendants of our first American born ancestor, Ltuir Jacobsen Van Kuykendaal, who while they spell their name Kuykendall pronounce it as if it were spelled Kirkendall. The number of those who do this is much greater than I had at first supposed. I have learned that many of these thought that Kuyk was a peculiar way of spelling Kirk but believed that it was the old original form of spelling and therefore adhered to it.


For final confirmation, I sent an e-mail to WSU baseball SID Craig Lawson. Here's the word:




So, there you have it. We can now get off the backs of all those opposing announcers whom we called idiots, and give them our apologies. Because they were right.

The moral of the story? Don't make fun of announcers who do this for a paycheck, and don't hate on another country's surnames just because they have mysterious consonant sounds where there are vowels, OK?