How To Pronounce Deliberately Off-putting British Place Names

Go on then, how would you pronounce this?

Go on then, how would you pronounce this?

Yesterday, our ever-helpful sister blog Mind The Gap published a list of American place names that are not pronounced the way they are spelled, in an effort to increase international understanding of local quirks for visiting Brits.

Not to be outdone, we have created our own lexicon of the places with names that appear to be specifically designed to make any visitor from abroad—and in some places, ‘abroad’ just means ‘beyond that hill over there’—feel foolish.

There again, some places take the time to put the correct pronunciation on their civic signs, an innovation that is only to be applauded.

Alnwick Annick
Althorp Awltrup
Alverdiscott Alscott
Aslackby Azleby
Aveton Gifford Either Averton Gifford or Awton Jifford (or just A.G.)
Barnoldswick Barlick
Barugh Bark
Barugh (Great and Little) Barf
Berkeley Barkley
Berkshire Barkshire
Bicester Bister
Cholmondeley Chumley
Cholmondeston Chumston
Costessey Cossey
Cowbit Cubbit
Derby Darby
Durham Durram
Esher Eesher
Euxton Ekston
Fowey Foy
Frome Frum
Gloucester Gloster
Godmanchester Gumster
Isleworth Eye-zell-wuth
Leicester Lester
Leominster Lemster
Loughborough Luffboro
Marylebone Marleybone
Mousehole Mousle
Norwich Norridge
Oswaldtwistle Ozzletwizzle
Reading Redding
Ruislip Ryslip
Salisbury Solsbri
Southwark Suthark
Stiffkey Stewkey
Stivichall Stychall
Teignmouth Tinmuth
Tinwistle Tinsel
Warwick Worrick
Woolfardisworthy Woolsery
Worcester Wooster
   

As for Towcester, well it’s actually pronounced toaster. And yes, the town has a racecourse, and do you know what they race on the toaster racecourse?

Horses, of course. They’re not mad.

See more:
15 Good Reasons Why Brits Don’t Use The Name ‘Randy’
Six Innocent Phrases and Their Morally Suspect Origins
The Brit List: 10 Words Pronounced Differently in Britain
10 TV Shows That Explain British Culture

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic

See more posts by Fraser McAlpine