List of names in English with counterintuitive pronunciations


List of names in English with counterintuitive pronunciations

This is a set of lists of English personal and place names whose pronunciations are counterintuitive to their spelling, either because the pronunciation does not correspond to the spelling, or because a better-known namesake has a markedly different pronunciation.

Excluded are the numerous spellings which fail to make the pronunciation obvious without actually being at odds with it: for example, the pronunciation /skəˈnɛktədi/ of Schenectady is not immediately obvious, but neither is it counterintuitive.

See Wikipedia:IPA for English for guides to the IPA symbols used, and WP:United States dictionary transcription for a guide to the US dictionary symbols used.

Contents


Place names in Britain and Ireland

Although several examples are included in the list below, pronunciations for the following common suffixes may be considered regular:

  • -borough and -burgh – /-bʌrə, -brə/; (-bŭr·ə, -brə)
  • -bury – /-bʌri, -bri/; (-bŭr·ē, -brē)
  • -cester – /-stər/; (-stər)
  • -gh – silent
  • -ham – /-əm/; (-əm)
  • -shire – /-ʃər, -ʃɪər/; (-shər, -shēr)
  • -wick – /-ɪk/; (-ĭk)
  • -mouth – /-məθ/; (-məth)

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

K

L

M

N

O

P

R

S

T

U

W

Y

Z

Place names in the United States of America

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

V

W

Y

Z

Place names in other English-speaking countries

A
B
  • Baie d'Espoir, Newfoundland/ˌbeɪ dɨsˈpɛər/, French for "Bay of Hope", ironically pronounced "Bay Despair"
  • Brisbane, Australia – /ˈbrɪzbən/ pronounced virtually as if there is no vowel between second "b" and the "n", "brizbn", frequently mispronounced by Americans and Canadians as "brizBAIN"
  • Bunbury, Western Australia, Australia pronounced "bun-bree" never "bun-buree"
C
D
  • Delhi, Ontario – /ˈdɛlhaɪ/
E
G
J
K
L
M
O
P
Q
R
S
T
W
  • Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia pronounced "wogga wogga" frequently mispronounced by foreigners as "wagger wagger"
  • Wangi Wangi /ˈwɒndʒi wɒndʒi/

Given names

Surnames

A-B

C

D-E

F-H

I-L

M

N-Q

R

S

T-V

W-Z

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc Wells, John C. (2000). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. 2nd ed. Longman. ISBN 0-582-36468-X. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Pronouncing British Placenames at BBC's Edited Guide Entry h2g2 site
  3. ^ http://www.henley-in-arden.co.uk/our-town/brief-history/
  4. ^ Bill Bryson, The Mother Tongue, Harper Perennial 1991, ISBN 0-380-71543-0. pp. 196–197. Error prone and not a primary source, but words may have been added after reading Bryson's list
  5. ^ In south Oxfordshire; pronunciation varies in north Oxfordshire, see BBC Oxford How do you pronounce Cherwell?
  6. ^ Wells, John (6 May 2010). "Chideock". John Wells's phoetic blog. http://phonetic-blog.blogspot.com/2010/05/chideock.html. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Pointon, G.E. (1983). BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0 19 212976 7. 
  8. ^ Roach & Hartman, eds (1997) English Pronouncing Dictionary, 15th edition. (Cambridge University Press). p. 234
  9. ^ Kenny, Colum (1998). Molaise: Abbot of Leighlin and hermit of Holy Island : the life and legacy of Saint Laisren in Ireland and Scotland. Morrigan. p. 50. ISBN 0907677673. 
  10. ^ Burnand, Sir Francis Cowley, ed (1940). "Kildare and Leighlin". The Catholic who's who and yearbook (33‎rd ed.). Burns & Oates. p. 268. "Leighlin is pronounced Lochlin, with loch sounded as in Scotland (ie with guttural aspirate)." 
  11. ^ Campbell, Georgina (2006). "County Carlow". Georgina Campbell's Ireland 2007-The Guide: The Best Places to Eat, Drink And Stay. Georgina Campbell Guides. p. 146. ISBN 1903164230. http://books.google.com/books?id=OZ6L61o8Ud4C&lpg=PT146&dq=Leighlinbridge%20pronounced&pg=PT146#v=onepage&q=Leighlinbridge%20pronounced&f=false. 
  12. ^ Hutton, Eric (2007). "20th Century – 1999: Leighlinbridge, County Carlow, Ireland (provisional name)". UK and Ireland Meteorite page. http://meteoritehistory.info/UKIRELAND/C20.HTM#leigh. Retrieved 28 December 2009. 
  13. ^ a b Sangster, Catherine; Olausson, Lena (2006). Oxford BBC guide to pronunciation. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. p. 300. ISBN 0-19-280710-2. "This is correct for the Plaistows in London and West Sussex." 
  14. ^ See entry for 25th April
  15. ^ William Farrer & J. Brownbill (editors) (1907). "Townships: Wavertree". A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41304. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  16. ^ http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id=4&article_id=9295&page_number=4
  17. ^ http://www.townofchili.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=416&Itemid=72
  18. ^ http://www.echofoundation.org/Past%20Projects%20II/Peter%20Agre/Biography.htm
  19. ^ http://inogolo.com/pronunciation/d1888/Jason_Chaffetz
  20. ^ Elsdon Cole Smidge, America Surnames, Chilton Book Company 1969, pp 296–7 [1]
  21. ^ Douglas Martin, James E. Fuchs, Innovator in the Shot-Put, Dies at 82, New York Times, October 18, 2010
  22. ^ http://www.af.mil/information/bios/bio.asp?bioID=5907
  23. ^ http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~sooty/pronoun.html
  24. ^ http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/mclean
  25. ^ USA Today. 4 February 2000. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/shn/pronunc.htm. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  26. ^ [2]
  27. ^ [3]
  28. ^ http://www.utm.edu/staff/ngraves/shakespeare/set_VII_texts_comments/SetVII_94.html

References

  • G. M. Miller (editor) (1971). BBC pronouncing dictionary of British names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-431125-2. 
  • Ordnance Survey of Ireland (1989). Gazetteer of Ireland. Government Publications Office. ISBN 0-7076-0076-6. 

External links


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