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AN-sur Man: Sound and Sense of Place

Carlton Fletcher has lived in Glover Park for 30 years and has contributed articles on the neighborhood's history for the Glover Park Gazette. "From time to time, people ask me about that, and I can't really say that there's a correct pronunciation," he said. "If you find people who have either grown up in that neighborhood or have spent considerable time around people from that neighborhood, it's quite possible that they'll say 'Glover Park' as in 'rover.' "

GLOH-ver Park. "That's what we used to say," said Kathleen McCormick , who lived in the neighborhood from her birth in 1942 until the sixth grade, when her family moved to Arlington.

Ditto for Bob Kohlmeyer , who runs the neighborhood listserv. In an e-mail, he explained that when he's asked how it's pronounced, he says it sounds like " Grover , the Muppet, not Danny Glover , the real star of 'Lethal Weapon.' "

And Metro's Steven Taubenkibel confirms that's how it's pronounced on the automatic announcements on buses that serve the neighborhood.

Carlton said he leans toward GLUH-ver Park because surnames often have historical connections to professions -- think Cooper, Shepherd, etc. He thinks the name might have originally come from a family that made gloves. (And not, it hardly bears mentioning, "glohves.")

Apropos of nothing except the strange conversation we were having, Carlton said that his wife is a bird-watcher. When they were at the beach once, she challenged him to use her birding book to identify a species cavorting in the surf.

"I said, 'It's a plover,' " Carlton remembered, pronouncing the bird to rhyme with "rover."

Hardcore birders know that it's pronounced PLUH-ver.

But what of Glover Park? Said Carlton: "Someone in the neighborhood said, 'Couldn't we get to the bottom of this by finding out how the Glovers pronounced it? Maybe we should ask the family.' "

"I said, 'But suppose they turn out to rhyme it with "mover"? Then we'd be in a real mess.' "

Who exactly was the Glover behind Glover Park, anyway? He was Charles Carroll Glover , born in 1846. He rose from a teller at Riggs Bank to the bank's president. He also served as president of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and was one of the chief movers behind the construction of Washington National Cathedral. He was a major civic booster and donated much of the land that became Rock Creek Park.

Charles C. Glover died in 1936, but I called Nancy Symington , nee Glover, his 84-year-old granddaughter, and asked her how she pronounces her maiden name.

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