In ESPN videos (1, 2),
Boston Celtics was pronounced as
/sel-tik/, but the dictionary says both
/sel-tik/ are acceptable pronunciations and clicking the sound icon on the dictionary website gives
How did this word come to have two different but acceptable pronunciations?
Which pronunciation is more common? Does this depend on the country or area you live in?
This is what I have found about the pronunciation of
celts. To make it short, the pronunciation was originally
/k/, but later changed to
/k/ went into German,
/s/ went into French and both went into English. For a long time it remained
/s/ in English following the French convention, but recently
/k/ gained ground again. However,
/s/ is the most recognised form in names of sports teams.
This reveals some history about the pronunciation but still doesn't answer how this word is pronounced in modern English by native speakers. It gives me the illusion that
/k/ is more common but
/s/ should be used for sports teams. I'm not quite sure if this illusion is false.