Hevy Mtal mlaut

"t's lke pir f yes. Yu're loking t th umlut, nd t's loking t yo."
Dvid St. Hbbins, This Is Spinal Tap

vrthng's mr mtl wth mlts. Maybe it's becuse they can make nything look vaguely Germnic, and everything sunds scarier in German. Or maybe it's jst because they look col, especially whn they're printed in a Gthic typeface. Either way, the diaeresis has becme the text equivalent of giving Devil-hrned salute. Despite the title, however, the Hevy Mtal mlaut is sometimes used in music genres besides metl.

Othr űnncessry dicrtial mrks, Faцx Cyяillic, and gratuitus slashed 's als shw up occsioally in msic, althugh the're Иot as ppular or icnic of metl as the mlt. Excessive use of this trope becomes 33.

sed very frequently in pardies, where band names can even have Um̈lauẗs over con̈son̈an̈ẗs; in fact it's well on its way to Discredited Tropedom if it's not there already.

It must be nted that this trpe is about the gratuitos usage of umlauts, not "any usage of umlauts". Some artists actually have an mlaut in their band or personal names. Einstrzende Neubauten and Bjrk are therefore not examples of this trope.

Incidentally, the only letters in German that include umlauts are , and . They are pronounced, respectively, as: the e in bed (like a combination of a & e); a French "eu", which happens occasionally in English such as the i in sir (o + e); and a French u, made by forming the letter o with your lips, and voicing "eeeee" (u + e). The bands should therefore be pronounced "Mo-tuhrr-head" and "Blue Uhy-ster cult". (If you have a non-rhotic accent, the first two sounds are changed to "air" and "ur".) Ironically, the idea that a heavy rock band could make itself look hard and tough by adding umlauts is one that provokes amusement among many native German speakers, who apparently associate the letter "" with "cute", "sweet", "cuddly"...

In common Metal parlance, however, gratuitous umlauts are not pronounced, but this hasn't stopped fans of Queensrche asking about the .

Not to be confused with other uses of diaereses (also called trema), in which diacritic marks identical to umlauts can appear in some English words. A diaeresis was traditionally used in vowel pairings where the second vowel is pronounced in a separate syllable, hence they are found in archaic spellings of words such as coperate, premptive or Zodic. This usage is largely obsolete, though it is still part of the house style of The New Yorker magazine and MIT Technology Review, but survives in words like nave which are borrowed from languages which do use diaereses to varying degrees. In modern English, umlaut is used in one special case, over "e" at the end of the word, where it denotes a pronounced "e" instead of silent "e", such as the Bront siblings.

Gratuitous umlauts usually cause unnecessary embarrassment amongst the native speakers of those languages, whose ortography does use umlauts. An umlaut usually denotes the vowel is pronounced as frontal. denotes a frontal a, like "cat", while A without umlauts is the back vowel, like "car". Likewise, denotes a frontal o phoneme [usually denoted in English as ir or ur ], not unlike "sir", while O without umlaut is back vowel O, like "dog". Languages which use umlaut vowel shift are German, Swedish, Finnish, Skolt Sami, Karelian, Estonian, Hungarian, Luxembourgish, North Frisian, Saterlandic, Emiliano-Romagnolo, Rotuman, Slovak, Turkish, Tatar, and Turkmen. Often and are treated as completely separate letters from A and O, appearing at the end of the alphabet beyond Z.

Subtrope of Myspeld Rkband. See also Xtreme Kool Letterz and Punctuation Shaker.


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    Cmic Bks 
  • The DC Comics universe used to have a city called Bldhaven, which was to Gotham City as New Jersey is to New York and was so dark and corrupt it grew an mlaut. It mainly appeared in Nightwing and Batgirl, but was eventually destroyed during the Infinite Crisis crossover event.
  • In Gold Digger, when Gina defeats the merged Armageddon, the explosion is a massive BM.

    Fn Fctn 

  • Brno, which without the umlaut would be a common German name. With it, it sounds vaguely french and somewhat feminine.
  • Parodied in This Is Spinal Tap, where the band's name has an mlaut over the "n".
    • Unicode represents it as "Spın̈al Tap", since not only does the n have an mlaut, but the i has no dot over it. While the dotless i does exist in Unicode (for example, in Turkish), the n with an umlaut doesn't, which makes it a bit trickier to type (you have to use a "combining diaeresis" character). (For the record, the character n̈ does in fact exist in some Mesoamerican languages, where it represents the same sound as English -ng.)
  • Hot Tub Time Machine has Mtley Le, Lou's multi-platinum-selling band in which he rose to fame after deciding to stay in the past.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail takes this Up to Eleven with the Swedish subtitles under the opening credits.
  • Faces of Death, the infamous Shockumentary/Mondo film, was hosted by "Dr. Francis B. Grss."

  • In Zodiac, a local metal band is mentioned, and off-handedly dismissed by a metal fan as a "two-umlaut band".
  • Not an example: In The Lord of the Rings and other works by Tolkien, the Elvish language Quenya has diaeresis that are superfluous, but not random (that is, they're predictable and they can be left out without change of pronounciation or meaning). They're mostly there to remind English speakers to pronounce final E's (as in ntim) and split combinations of vowels that don't form a diphthong (as in Erendil). On the other hand, his use of acute and circumflex accents is significant and marks a difference in pronounciation.
  • Rodrick's band Lded Diper from Diary of a Wimpy Kid (though Greg says he probably doesn't know how to spell "Loaded Diaper" anyway).
  • In Year Zero, one of the characters — who is made out of a substance that is literally the heaviest metal in the universe — is named zz.

    Lv-ctn TV 
  • Parodied in Krd Mndoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire.
  • In one Mystery Science Theater 3000 sketch, Crow changed his name to Cre, helpfully coaching Mike on proper pronunciation.
    Cre: No no no, it's "Creuw"! It's very simple: "Creuw"!
    Mike: "Crow-ew?" "Crow-ee-ew?"
    Cre: You've got to purse your beak, Mike.
  • The Colbert Report has "The Wrd".
  • In the Finnish heavy metal comedy tv-show Pelkk Lihaa (non-gratuitous use of umlauts), the protagonists' band is called Irn Dragn which is funny, because Finnish uses umlauts.
    • Incidentally, band names with Heavy Metal Umlauts on them tend to look very silly to Finnish-speakers, because they actually know how to pronounce umlauted letters. The same is true for speakers of most other languages that use umlauts (German, Swedish etc).
    • Norwegian and Danish do not actually use umlauts, but everyone knows (due to exposure to Swedish and to a lesser degree the other languages that use them) that is equivalent to , to and so on.
  • In The Muppet Show, The Swedish Chef's rendition of "Popcorn" is spelled "Ppcrn"note .
  • The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: ASS MDE
  • In an episode of Reaper, a wannabe rocker/Dreadful Musician whose great idea of a stage name is just "Ryan" almost does a literal Deal with the Devil and becomes the even-more-ludicrous-sounding "Ryn".
  • In Kamen Rider Gaim, the Transformation Trinket is the Sengoku Driver. Fitting in with Gaim's samurai theme, "sengoku" means "warring states" but is this instance is spelled in such a way that "states" can also be read as "awesome." Fansubbers Aesir woolseyized this as the Wrring Driver with an umlaut over the A.
  • One of the Breaking Bad minisodes reveals that Jesse and his friends used to have a band named TwaghtHammr.

  • Blue Oyster Cult is the Trpe Mker, and possibly the r Exmple.
  • Motorhead
    • There was a funny real-life incident when Motrhead was playing in Germany, and the fans chanted the bands name as it's pronounced in German. Like the Motley Crue example, this could just be an urban legend, though, since it wouldn't be pronounced all that differently than it is in English.
    • And within Motrhead, their guitarist Wrzel
    • Title of their 2010 album and the following tour: The Wrld is Yours. Germans can't mispronounce this, by the way.
    • There is a German cover band called AD/AC Motrwelt (which, you guessed it, covers AC/DC and Motrhead). The name is strictly for puns sake - ADAC Motorwelt is the journal of the ADAC, the largest German car interest club.
  • Mtley Cre. Evidently, their first world tour had German fans chanting "MU-wet-leh CREW-eh!" (Yeah, that sounds really tough and hardcore.)
  • Queensrche. Lampshaded by Geoff Tate in an interview:
    "The mlaut over the 'y' has haunted us for years. We spent eleven years trying to explain how to pronounce it."
  • Mdecrde the heavy metal band that the Tough Customers (the playground bullies—who are secretly actually decent, sweet kids) listen to on Arthur.
  • The Spanish band Mgo de Oz - Cabroneeeees!
  • German punk rock band Die rzte (The Doctors), whose name in normal German is written with an '' already, tend to use an A with three dots. (Also, they decided on the name because there wasn't a band with as the first letter back then.)
  • Maximo Park probably counts as gratuitous since the mlaut apparently doesn't change the pronunciation in any way.
  • Used/parodied by the Canadian indie pop/rock group Moxy Frvous.
  • Though it's not normally part of the band name, the cover of Kid 606's Shout at the Dner note  has an umlaut over the zero in the band logo, since the artwork parodies Mtley Cre's Shout at the Devil.
  • And then there is of course the Finnish rock band Leningrad Cowboys, infamous for pseudo-Cyrillic spellings like Lɘиiиɢяad Cowʙoys.
    • Kypck (Kursk) plays with this as the spelling looks just weird but is actually correct Cyrillic. Although their website uses Mock Cyrillic.
  • Hsker D took their name from a Danish/Norwegian phrase and added gratuitous umlauts. They used the name because they didn't want to be pigeonholed as just another Hardcore Punk band.
  • Rap duo Dlek (pr. "die-uh-lek") use the umlaut to combine the word "dialect" (as pronounced in exaggerated rap dialect) with the popular Doctor Who villains. A neat little three-layer-cake of a pun.
    • As in his lyric "Deadverse spoken with broken dlek"
  • One band deliberately misspelled "cornet" as "cornet", parodying both the Hevy Mtal mlaut and a very common misspelling of "cornet" (which spellcheckers won't pick up, because it's also a real word).
  • Nǽnĉbbrğ VbřřĦōlkvsŦ. How is this pronounced? The expected answer is "Nanocyborg Uberholocaust". The real answer is that you just wince and look away.
  • The Canadian Celtic/Appalachian/Acadian/folk band Scrj MacDuhk (now either disbanded or simply known as The Duhks, depending on your point-of-view) is a decidedly non-metal example of this.
  • Pop singer Jason Derlo is also a non-metal version of this. His real name is Jason Desrouleaux: derlo is exactly how a German or Scandinavian would pronounce desrouleaux.
  • R&B singer and actress Ma is an example of this not applied just to performers, because Ma is her birth name.
  • Rapper Jay-Z had a version of this (Ja-Z) on his very first album, Reasonable Doubt.
  • Ryksopp is a Norwegian electronica duo. The reason for the alternative orthography is not clear, but one might wonder if it has something to do with how "ryksopp" simply is the Norwegian word for "puffball" ( in Norwegian is equivalent in sound value to German and Swedish ).
  • Daniel Amos (an alternative rock band you could only mistake for metal if you've never heard any metal before) released an album named Calhun. On the album cover, they abbreviated their name as "D".
  • Green Jell. They were Green Jell until the trademark infringement suit. The band states that the "" in their name is pronounced like an "o," so their name is still pronounced "Green Jell-O."
  • Visual Kei band Girugmesh proves that even Japanese bands can rock the purely aesthetic umlaut.
  • Gwar parodied this with the song titles on their album Hell-O: Almost every song on the album has at least one gratuitous umlaut or other diacritical mark in it - "I'm in Lve (With a Ded Dog)" for instance.
  • Lady Gaga's song "Yo and I."
  • Kind of meta example in DF (Deutsch-sterreichisches Feingefhl) which is not metal, but the name is a shout-out/take-that to DAF (Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft) who can be termed metal.
    • Though this should fall under the same rule as Einstrzende Neubauten - the o-umlaut is part of the regular spelling for sterreich (Austria), and therefore anything but gratuitious.
  • "Head f The Pack" by Skull Fist.
  • Nanowar Of Steel does this with the titles of the songs "Intrue" and "Outrue" ("ue" being a way to represent the German ""). It's also a pun on how they play only "true metal" (of steel!).
  • The Crxshadows.
  • Bgskll, who zigzag the crap out of this trope by not only being a low-key experimental pop group, but also because, to quote Sean Byrne, "the umlauts are there to make smiley faces."
  • For reasons never properly explained, 1990s dance diva Mry Kiani.
  • British 80's space-rock band Underground Zer, Hawkwind soundalikes who abbreviate their name to 'UZ, using a marked vowel from a less warlike Germanic language.
  • Obscure Hamburg punk band Krnkshft. German would write "crankshaft" phonetically exactly this way.
  • Grp X not only has an umlaut over the o, but a caret over the u.
  • Psyborg Corp's The Frozen Shrines of Obsdana.
  • The English singer/songwriter Chle Howl is an unintentional example; her name was intended to be spelled "Chlo" (standard spelling; the dots over the e are not a case of the trope, but simply indicate that the o and e are pronounced as two separate sounds) but was misspelled on her birth certificate.

    Nwsppr Cmcs 
  • Bloom County. Deathtngue. "A bird on the bass, a tongue - what a face! At best, the music can best be described as lame..."


    Stndp Cmd 
  • Dylan Moran talks about "A really exclusive place called Umlaut. You probably haven't heard of it. Well, it's not actually called Umlaut, it's just two dots over a U which isn't there."

    Tbltp Gms 
  • Umlut: Game of Metal the name tells everything really. A review here.

    Vd Gms 
  • Don't Starve has Wigfrid, An actress psing as a valkyrie. Every single "O" that she says will be an "". S her speech sunds smething like this.
  • One of the characters in Guitar Hero is named Lars mlat.
  • Rock Band 2 has an achievement called "Needs More Umlauts!", which is awarded the first time you create a band logo. This is a double reference to Blue Oyster Cult, who started this trope and gained more popularity through SNL's "Needs More Cowbell" sketch, which the Rock Band games make a LOT of references to.
  • Ecstatica, or Ečstati̊ca, features a heavy metal caron as well as a an I with a ring (which doesn't exist in Unicode and has to be composed using a combining character). Cover art here.
  • Inrenes from Chrono Cross has this is her Verbal Tic.
  • The Heavy Metal game Brtal Legend, starring Jack Black as a rodie who gets sucked into a fantasy world fueled by The Power of Rock, features a Hevy Mtal mlaut in its title. In Xbox Magazine, the creator confessed that the umlaut is there solely because, as a game about heavy metal, it just had to be. (Oddly enough, "brtal" pronounced in German would sound like the correct French pronunciation of "brutal.")
    • Yahtzee in his review of the game consistently tries to pronounce it "Brew-tal Legend". In the credits he states that since he's studied German he's not letting the umlaut go unpronounced.
    • Bennett the Sage's review video has, in its description box on YouTube, "nncssry mlts? Hw vry mtl!"
  • The World Ends with You features the band Def Mrch.
  • The first mark in The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile is the banker... named Barn mt. However, the one voice clip that plays (an advertisement) pronounces all the 's long, making his name sound like oe-MOE-toe.
  • In Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People: Baddest of the Bands, Strong Bad forms a band with the King of Town and Homsar in his effort to win the Battle Royale of the Bands (reluctantly, since they were the only people not already in the contest). They end up calling themselves D--I.
    • Also, when looking at the banner for Bubs' and Coach Z's band, Two-O-Duo, Strong Bad mentions that the name would "be much cooler with a few umlauts".
  • In the Escape Velocity data files, every EV-specific resource type includes a gratuitous umlaut (e.g. "shp" for spacecraft, "dde" for named characters, etc), to avoid collisions with the built-in system resources.
  • The lack of this trope in Atlus' localized versions of the first two Super Robot Wars Original Generation games led to some serious Fan Wank over the presumed "correct" spellings of certain characters' names which continues to this very day. The biggest one being over Snger Zonvolt, who due to the way Japanese phonetics works, has his name pronounced as "Ze-n-ga-ru" in games that feature voice acting, thus resulting in a number of fans who insist that his name is "Zengar" or some variant thereof.
  • Borderlands 2 does the Spinal Tap equivalent, where Captain Flynt's Boss Subtitles has umlauts over the N's in his name.
  • Parodied in Counterfeit Monkey, where an umlaut punch puts umlauts into any word you give it, turning it briefly into the abstraction of a fake heavy metal band.

    Wb Cmcs 
  • Deathmle from Questionable Content.
  • In PvP, most of the main cast are members of the fictional band "Djrk"... "Nerd rock forever", as one of them put it. Originally, they wanted to call it "Umlat" but it turned out to have been already taken by a real band.
  • Webcomic Ugly Hill poked fun at this.
  • Used repeatedly in Erfworld where the protagonist's army consists of a medley of heavy metal references.
  • Bad Machinery used an umlauted band, Lnk, in a strip discussing a rocker vs. mod war. (Link)

    Wb riginl 

    Wstrn nmtn 

    Rl Lf 
  • Hagen-Dazs ice cream (which is not actually Scandinavian—it's originally from the Bronx). It appears to be, on the face of it, to be half-Danish, half-Hungarian, with a gratuitous umlaut thrown in for good measure.
    • It seems to be a trend. There are also the yogurt chains Freshns and Yogen Frz.
    • The reason it looks Danish to English eyes is the similarity with "Copenhagen". A real Artistic License - Linguistics, because the Danish name of Copenhagen is actually Kbenhavn.
    • Hagen-Dazs' competitor from the 80's, Frusen Gldj, is a subversion since it's an actual Swedish phrase meaning "frozen joy" or "frozen delight", except that the proper spelling has no accent over the last "e" (and the accent seems to have been to get Americans to pronounce the "e" instead of saying "froosen gladge").
  • "Mben"- or rather, Moben, a well-known British kitchen maker- responded to complaints of passing itself off as German by pointing out that the "umlauts" are not part of the name itself, merely an "artistic device" that formed a part of their logo and "that any resemblance with an umlaut is coincidental".
  • There's also the Swedish homewares chain (and, naturally, IKEA clone) Clas Ohlsson, whose British advertising goes in for these. "Usefulshpp" (approximately "usefulshurp"), anyone? For those wondering, the Swedish word for "shop" is not "shpp", but "butik" (from boutique), "affr" or, actually, "shop".
  • nd f mnll ddng mlts s t mch fr , thr's Prl mdl t d t fr .
  • The Bdyplex gyms in and around Atlanta, Georgia. They're universally referred to as "Bootyplex" by locals.
  • Android phones tries to earn extra credit for not only putting an umlaut on an r, but by putting it inside the r instead of above it.
  • In Oulunkyl, a suburb of Helsinki, it is sometimes possible to see a car that looks very much like a police car. Only instead of Poliisi (police) it says Rosv. Not quite purely decorative, however, as is pronounced the same as o, only longer, so it almost sounds like rosvo, the Finnish word for thief.
  • Jr is a legitimate word in Estonian (it means "ice-edge") even though it looks totally ridiculous to foreigners.
    • As is p-nenkannattaja (main supporter [newspaper]) in Finnish. Ice edge would be jnri or jnreuna in Finnish. Umlauts are not gratuitous.
  • Backfired by American heavy metal band Trojan, who used umlaut over 'o' on their concert T-shirts. That failed spectacularly in Sweden, as trjan means simply "the shirt" in Swedish...
  • A brand of rice-pudding dessert marketed in Britain by the German Mller company is called Pd. Slightly ridiculous as to pronounce it the way it is spelt would make it Peuhd, rather than the intended English abbreviation "Pud" for "pudding".