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Is it OK to write Emmy Nöther instead of Emmy Noether? I always assumed that the oe was an anglicization of ö (o with an umlaut). But when I look her up, I never see Nöther.

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    $\begingroup$ Have you ever looked at the OEL cap of your Volkswagen? $\endgroup$ Jun 21 at 18:55
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    $\begingroup$ Answered here: german.stackexchange.com/q/26246 (here father is spelled with 'oe' as well, always). $\endgroup$ Jun 21 at 19:28
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    $\begingroup$ For what it's worth, a late professor emeritus from my grad school knew Emmy Noether personally, and from everything he told me about her, she probably would not have cared if someone used the "wrong" spelling. That said, the answers below that "Noether" is her typical spelling are correct. $\endgroup$
    – calavicci
    Jun 23 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ I can personally vow for the fact that some German family names are spelled with oe even though some places with that name, and even other families, spell the (otherwise) same name with ö. According to family lore, in my case the reason was some office having a typewriter without umlauts in the early 1920s, and from then on, the name on official documents was what it was and still is. $\endgroup$ Jun 23 at 23:26
  • $\begingroup$ The lunar impact crater Nöther is named after Emmy Noether. They probably got it wrong. $\endgroup$ Jun 24 at 13:37
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Taking a look at her 1933 paper in Mathematische Annalen one sees:

enter image description here

Similarly for a 1923 paper:

enter image description here

From a glance at a few other papers, she (or all the journals) used "Noether" for her last name. Further, since the titles clearly indicate that the journals are quite happy with umlauts it is not by accident.

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    $\begingroup$ "Noether in Göttingen" is indeed a perfect example… $\endgroup$ Jun 22 at 1:35
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“Goethe” is not an “anglicization” of “Göthe” or indeed of “Göte”; it is the way the poet spelt his own name. The overriding principle is that everyone is entitled to spell his or her name as he or she likes.

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    $\begingroup$ But "Goedel" is. $\endgroup$
    – henning
    Jun 22 at 9:41
  • $\begingroup$ @henning - what's your point? $\endgroup$
    – Mico
    Jun 23 at 16:29
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    $\begingroup$ @Mico My point is that the fact that Goethe is no anglicization doesn't imply that Noether isn't. Goethe being an anglicization or not is completely irrelevant for the question at hand. $\endgroup$
    – henning
    Jun 23 at 16:39
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    $\begingroup$ As far as I am concerned, the Goethe/Göthe and Gödel/Goedel discussions are both irrelevant when it comes to deciding the spelling of Noether/Nöther. The only relevant rule here is to take the answer from the question, how do (or did) the persons spell their own names? $\endgroup$
    – Mico
    Jun 23 at 16:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Mico the Gödel (counter-) example serves to make exactly your point: It doesn't matter whether someone else's name's spelling is anglicized or not, since other names still may or may not be anglicized. $\endgroup$
    – henning
    Jun 23 at 19:34
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As you can read on the Wikipedia article about Emmy's father, Max Noether, the family only received their name in 1809. The generation of the great-grandfather of Emmy.

The first spelling I found of Elias Samuel, is "Netter", but "Noether" was already used as alternative: https://www.geni.com/people/Elias-Noether/6000000006433734670

His son, Hermann (Herz Elias) Noether seems to have used "Nöther" as a surname. https://www.geni.com/people/Hermann-Herz-N%C3%B6ther/6000000002955209487, it's also spelled Nöther on his tombstone: https://images.findagrave.com/photos/2021/141/138798362_02a7afc7-e049-4bf2-9185-973df3f39bf9.jpeg

From Emmy's father, Max, onwards, the family seems to standardise on "Noether", perhaps because they already had more international contacts: https://www.geni.com/people/Max-Noether/6000000002955209501

Even on German signs, Emmy's surname is spelled as Noether. So it's safe to assume that this was the preferred spelling by the time Emmy lived. Though other spellings have been used in their family.

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Speaking as a German I wouldn't change a oe to an ö when it's about a name. Also in Dutch (which can seem quite similar to German) oe is not pronounced like an ö but more like a German u. So I would say it's safer to stay away from changing the spelling :)

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