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Heavy metal umlaut

The use of an umlaut over some of the letters in the names of heavy metal bands such as Motörhead, Mötley Crüe and the Blue Öyster Cult has led to journalist and author Steve Almond[?] coining the term "spandex and umlaut circuit" in 2002 to describe the heavy metal touring scene.

The original use appears to have been by the Blue Öyster Cult in 1971. Motörhead and Mötley Crüe then followed.

Queensr˙che went further by putting the umlaut over the 'y' in their name. From a linguistic viewpoint, this might be regarded as an attempt at a diaresis, rather than as an umlaut, were it not for the fact that there are no vowels to be pronounced distinctly.

Spoof band Spinal Tap ridiculed the idea still further by putting the umlaut over the letter 'n' (not shown here due to limitations of some browsers). The n-umlaut character does not occur in any known language or belong to any standard character set.

Hawkwind-influenced 1980s space-rock band Underground Zerĝ used a variation on the concept, using the Scandinavian vowel Ĝ in their name.

Recent umlaut sightings:

  • the name of the band Assück[?]
  • the term "nü-metal" used to describe nu-metal with added umlaut-ness.

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