Talk:Metal umlaut

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Former featured articleMetal umlaut is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
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May 14, 2004Featured article candidatePromoted
February 7, 2006Articles for deletionSpeedily kept
September 25, 2006Featured article reviewDemoted
September 4, 2007Peer reviewReviewed
Current status: Former featured article
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Use by nationality?[edit]

I was wondering if anyone can point me to anyone (metal bands that is) who uses heavy metal umlauts that aren't from the USA -- it appears to me that the phenomenon is, at least primarily if not solely, a US one. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:36, 20 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Motor", the correct German spelling, is pronounced similarly to "motor" in English
No, it isn't. In fact, a German pronunciation of Motör would sound almost equivalent to how motor is usually pronounced in English. Nuttyskin (talk) 00:43, 21 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, that is nonsens. Unlike the quick and short English "motor", the German "Motor" is pronounced with longer vowels and emphasis on the second syllable, like "mo tore". "Motör" would sound like the French "fr:moteur". --2001:A62:1950:6501:EC9B:83FD:ED77:6967 (talk) 21:49, 20 August 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]


May we take on board in some way that "Motörhead" actually uses the diacritic accent 'correctly' according to German usage over an o (even if their own word for motor is not pronounced like that, hence they don't use the accent) as noted by the previous comment. Trust Lemmy to come up with some value-added. (talk) 15:38, 6 February 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Damn! I read that and started looking for the Like button!  :-) SandJ-on-WP (talk) 19:26, 15 June 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The article used to have a section on the history:

The first gratuitous use of the umlaut in the name of a hard rock or metal band appears to have been by Blue Öyster Cult, in 1970. Blue Öyster Cult's website states it was added by guitarist and keyboardist Allen Lanier,[1] but rock critic Richard Meltzer claims to have suggested it to their producer and manager Sandy Pearlman just after Pearlman came up with the name: "I said, 'How about an umlaut over the O?' Metal had a Wagnerian aspect anyway."[2]

Seems a shame to have completely lost this. - Snori (talk) 22:18, 5 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Put back in. - Snori (talk) 08:58, 21 May 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Might need updating: I just came across a band from 1967 called “Frut of the Loom” spelled thus but with an umlaut over the u in ‘Frut’. RUReady2Testify (talk) 19:47, 16 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ "BÖC Retrospectively: Stalk Forrest Group 1969–1970". Retrieved September 12, 2006.
  2. ^ Lisa Gidley (2000). "Hell Holes: Spin̈al Tap's main man explains the importance of the umlaut". CMJ. Retrieved September 12, 2006.

Spinal Tap[edit]

in the mockumentary film This Is Spın̈al Tap, fictional rocker David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean) says, "It's like a pair of eyes. You're looking at the umlaut, and it's looking at you."

I have seen this movie over 100 times. This line does not appear in the movie, and this quote should be deleted.Robbmonster (talk) 14:07, 12 January 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Robbmonster: according to the cited source, that quotation isn't from the movie, but from an interview (mock interview?) with the David St Hubbins character. ~Anachronist (talk) 21:06, 12 January 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for the swift reply. If what you say is correct - and I have no doubt it is - a couple of points need to be raised. 1) At the very least, the sentence using the St Hubbins quote needs to be changed, as it currently says "in the mockumentary film This Is Spın̈al Tap, fictional rocker David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean) says, "It's like a pair of eyes". The 'in the mocumentary film' part implies just that: IN the film. The other point is can an interview with a fictional character be used as a reference? David St Hubbins does not actually exist! I tried to use an interview with a real person as a reference (a musician talking about their inspiration for a song) and was not allowed to do so as it was a 'primary source' or some such.Robbmonster (talk) 08:57, 13 January 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Robbmonster: I see the problem. I corrected the sentence to make it clear that this was an interview separate from the film.
Primary sources are OK to use to verify what is stated in the primary source. Other uses are examined on a case-by-case basis; for example, citing primary sources does nothing to confer notability on a subject. Generally primary sources (such as interviews) aren't to be used as a basis for stating things as facts in Wikipedia's voice, but if the thing you need to say is encyclopedically relevant, it can be used with proper attribution, as in "Joe Blow said in an interview that XYZ inspired him to write the song" (attributing the statement), instead of "Joe Blow was inspired by XYZ to write the song" (stating it as a fact in Wikipedia's voice).
Regarding when a fictional character can be used as a source, I agree this particular example is pretty shaky, while remaining an interesting thing to include.
By the way, Spinal Tap has done other interviews in character. Here's one on YouTube: I found it amusing how they dissed the movie as a "hatchet job", saying the director was terrible. ~Anachronist (talk) 23:08, 15 January 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Metal Umlaut or Heavy Metal Umlaut[edit]

I am in Britain and have listened to heavy metal for 40 years. I have always known this to be referred to as a 'heavy metal umlaut', not a 'metal umlaut', including when it was referred to on BBC radio by the likes of Johnnie Walker. Is calling it a 'metal umlaut' a USA thing? SandJ-on-WP (talk) 19:36, 15 June 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Umlauts are anything but tough in German[edit]

In German, Umlauts are mostly used in diminutive forms. While Hans is a name for a grown up man, like John, "little Johnny" is called Hänschen klein, as in the children's song. Very though indeed. --2001:A62:1950:6501:EC9B:83FD:ED77:6967 (talk) 22:02, 20 August 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That used to be explained in the Mötley Crüe reactions section, but isn't there now... AnonMoos (talk) 16:47, 23 August 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

lol, you don't understand what an umlaut is at all[edit]

As you write it, it sounds like an umlaut is just the two dots. That's total bullshit. There are only 3 different umlauts: ä, ö, ü or Ä, Ö, Ü. Please fix this article (and in case that the article is correct, please fix the english language, too). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:14, 26 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just thought the same. Also bands using regular german words like die Ärzte shouldnt be in the list. As you wrote, it is common in the German language. KhlavKhalash (talk) 16:04, 3 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In band names, the two dots are applied to other letters besides A, O, and U. So, yes, it's just the two dots. The article is called what it is because of the WP:COMMONNAME guideline.
I do agree that band names that correctly include an umlaut because that's how the word is spelled, rather than use it for decorative purposes, should probably be removed. However, the band "Die Ärzte" is included because they use three dots over the "A", not just two, as it says quite clearly in the article. ~Anachronist (talk) 04:11, 4 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


* Deathtöngue – the original name of a metal band in the comic Bloom County (changed, after media publicity, to "Billy and the Boingers")

Real media publicity, or fictional (i.e. within the strip) media publicity? —Tamfang (talk) 04:45, 13 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]