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Pronunciation of place names across the world, how they are spelled and how they are actually said.



PRONUNCIATION OF
PLACE NAMES


Page 1 – A to K


Page 2 – L – Z

In the U.K. there are
many towns and villages with strange sounding names and, in some cases,
these names are not said as they are spelled, which causes a great deal of
confusion for visitors.  Now I am sure this is not only a British
phenomenon, there must be similar examples around the world, so if you
know of any please send them to me so they can be added to this page.

There will obviously also be differences with
pronunciation from area to area, as there are always many different
dialects within any country.  

In the U.K. one of the most common
differences is in words like “castle” and
“grass”.  Some areas say a short “a” sound (as in
the word “as”) whereas others say a long “aaarrr”
sound (as in the word “chart”).  This means that places
like “Bath” can be said as spelled or “Barth”.

An example of this can be found with “Chippenham”,
which one of my newsletter subscribers kindly sent to me as being
pronounced as “Chipnam”.  This, I feel, is the way it is
said in the West of Britain whereas, in the South I think we are more
likely to say it as it is spelled i.e., “Chip-en-ham”.

The actual pronunciation is not going to be
easy to explain but I will try to do it phonetically, it will, however,
rely on visitors knowing a little about the English language.

As an added dimension to this page I have
decided to include some links to other sites giving specific information
on the places mentioned.

For ease of operation I have
endeavoured to keep this as one page but, due to its popularity and
visitor contributions, it has now become somewhat unwieldy and,
therefore, I had split it into two.





Spelling

 

Pronunciation


Adelaide

 

  AD-laid

Rachel

Albany, Western Australia 
Al-bany NOT All-bany.

Eric


Albany Creek (suburb of
Brisbane, Queensland)

 

  All-bny

[it’s pronounced
this way in New Zealand as well)


Peter G Gleeson, BA (Macq)

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA  AL-buh-KER-kee

(If you were in the habit of naming your domestic
fowl, would rhyme with “Sal the turkey”)

M. Johansson


Alciston, East Sussex 
 

Aston

Stuart
Pennington


Aldinga, South Australia
All-dinga (not Al-dinga!!!) –
see comments below

Al-dinga (not All-dinga)

Belinda

Whoops,
another difference of opinion!

Aldinga
in South Australia is DEFINITELY pronounced ALL-dinga not AL-dinga (as
in pronunciation of Alan). In fact it was a running joke in south aust
because an interstate company were advertising land for sale there and
pronounced it as ‘AL-dinga’ – people couldn’t believe an interstate
company that wanted to sell something to locals hadn’t bothered to
check the pronunciation of the place name..

Holly

Aldinga – its not a difference of opinion. All residents of Aldinga
and South Australians generally pronounce it all-dinga. Only people
outside SA who take a stab at it might pronounce al-dinga. As an
ex-resident of the area, Aldinga was a regular holiday spot and
indeed I visited there again last Christmas.

Martin Woods

 


Alfreton
Olfreton
(although some disagree)

Ellena
Lyons


Alfriston, East Sussex 
All-Friston

Stuart
Pennington


Allerton,
Bradford, West Yorkshire
Ollerton

Jeremy
Double

 


Alnmouth
Allenmouth

Martin
Capps


Alnwick
(Northumberland)
Anic

Martin
Capps


Alresford

Alls-fid

Peter 


Althorp
(where Princess Diana is buried) 
The
village is pronounced Olthorpe but the House is pronounced Orltrop (notice the
reversal of the O and the R!)

Martin
Underwood


Amlwch
– Anglesey 
Am-look

Andrew
Moore


Ansty,
West Sussex 
An-Sty

Stuart
Pennington


Ardingly
(Sussex)
Ardingl-eye

Joan
Hall


Arlesey 
Arll-Zee

Andrew
Moore


Aspatria
Spi’atry (by some)

Richard
Tosswill


Averham,
Nottinghamshire
Air-rum

Phil


Aslackby, Lincolnshire
 Aze-ul-by

Andrew Tooms


Barlestone, Leicestershire

 

Belsun (may
just be locals though)

Sian Mitchell


Bamburgh
(Northumberland)
Bambruff

Ben
Vizard

Bambro

Martin
Underwood


Barnoldswick (Lancashire)
Barlick

Mark Iliff

Barnoldswick (as spelled)

Martin Underwood

Barnoldswick is not pronounced Barlick. Barlick
is just a contraction of Barnoldswick.

Ken Ranson


Barrow-in-Furness 
 ‘Furness’ is pronounced to
sound like ‘furnace’ not ‘finesse’.

Gavin


Barrow upon Soar, Leicestershire
Barreronsor

Sian Mitchell


Barwell, Leicestershire

 

Barrel

Sian Mitchell


Basket Range, South Australia
Basket
Range 

(Bas – as in Cash not Barsket)

Belinda

You’ve written that it should be
pronounced bas as in cash not barsket. This is a very Victorian pronunciation.

In Australia, the eastern states
have a short ‘a’ and South Australia has a long ‘ah’ or ‘ar’ (branch, graph,
grass, dance, etc) as you’ve mentioned in the third paragraph at the top of the
page for England.

I live near Basket Range and some
of my friends like in Basket Range, and it’s pronounced “barsket” range.

Rachel


Bawburgh, Norfolk

Bore-Bruh

Dominic

Beaconsfield 

 

Bekonsfield


Bearsted

Beerstid

Stephen Burgess


Beaulieu
Bewley

Philip


Bedworth
Bedduth

Anna
Bland


Belvoir
Beever                  

Sheila Fox


Berwick
on Tweed 

 

Berik
on Tweed

Bevere (village near
Worcester)

 


Bevvery

Andrew Brooke


Bicester 

 

 Bister                         

Brenda Young


Billesdon,
Leicestershire  
Billsdon

Phil

Biloxi, Mississippi  Bih-LUX-ee

M. Johansson


Bisham near Marlow,
Bucks

 


Bis-Um  (NOT Bish-am)

Dave Bennett


Blackley,
Greater Manchester
 Blakely

Peter
Draggett


Blidworth
(Nottinghamshire)
Blidduth

John
Stolarski

Blidworth, is
NORMALLY pronounced (by the vast majority of locals) as Blid-worth.

Phil


Bolsover
(Derbyshire)
 Baa-zer

John
Stolarski


Boughton, Lincolnshire
Bootun

Jed Bland


Bovey Tracey, Devon
 Buvvy Trasey

Bozeat,
Northants.
BOHzhut

Mark
Wheaver


Bradley near Wolverhampton


Braid-Lee

Craig Wilson


Bradwell
Bradl                          

Liza
Hicks


Braughing
(Hertfordshire)
Braff-ing

Janet Horton


Brewood,
South Staffs near Wolverhampton 
 Brood

Keith
Sedgley


Brisbane (Australia)

 


Brizz-bn

Peter G Gleeson, BA (Macq)


Brough, East Yorkshire
Bruff

Burpham, Surrey or West Sussex 
Ber-Fam

Stuart
Pennington


Burton Lazars, Leicestershire


 
Burton
Lazzers not Laz-aars

Sian Mitchell


Cairns
(Queensland)
Cans

Rozzie Chapman


Canberra, Australia

 


CAN-bra

Rachel


Canowindra
(New South Wales)
  Ca-NOWN-dra

Rozzie Chapman


Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia
 
Cassle-main

Peter G Gleeson, BA (Macq)


Chedzoy in
Somerset 
Chedzee 

Derek Appleyard


Chichester

 Chidistr

Paul Haden

I
personally think maybe a case of local dialect as opposed to actual
pronunciation as I think many people would still say Chichester.


Chiddingly, East Sussex
Chidding-Lie

Stuart
Pennington


Chili, N.Y.
Cheye-lye (both
syllables rhyme.)

Karen
Zethmayr

Chippenham (see
comments at top of page)

 

Chipnam    (locally)  
Sent by Ann Cook

Chipenum                     
James Bruton


Chiswick, New South Wales, Australia
Chizzik

Peter G
Gleeson, BA (Macq)


Chiswick, London
Chizzik

Cholmondeston,
Cheshire
 Chumston

Cholmondley 
Chumly

Bob Moon


Chop Gate
(North Yorkshire)
 Chopyat

Steve Watson


Cirencester
As
far as I know, this is the only “-cester” name to be pronounced as
spelled: bearing in mind Gloucester, Leicester and Towcester), though I
believe an obsolete pronunciation is Siss(i)ter (with or without the I in the
centre)

Martin
Underwood


Both my father and grandfather called it “Sissiter” as mentioned earlier, while
my less “rural” mother refers to it as you spell it.

Ron Gosling


Cley
(Norfolk)
Cly (as
in fly)

Philip


Cogenhoe

Cook-no

Jacqueline
Olford & Tony White


Congresbury 
 

Congsbree

Simon

Coonsberry


Coober Pedy, South Australia

 

Coo-buh pee-dee.

It’s not Coober Peddy.

Rachel


Costessey, Norfolk:
 
 Coss-ee

Dominic


Cowbit,
Cambridgeshire.
Cubbit

Phil



Cranbourne (suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)
 
Cranb’n

Peter G Gleeson, BA (Macq)



Creswick, Victoria, Australia
Crezzick

Peter G
Gleeson, BA (Macq)


Croughton,
S. Northants.
 
Crowton (rhyming with cow)  OR

Crowton (rhyming with crow)

Robert J.
Croton


Croxton Kerrial. Leicestershire
 
Crow Sun Kerry ull (bird not people)

Sian Mitchelll


Cuckfield, West Sussex
Cook-field

Alex Browning

Cuck-field (rhymes with
‘luck’)

This is one is contested a
lot locally.

Patricia Whiteside

Cuckfield is, in fact, local to
me (my children went to school there) and we have always called it
Cook-field – it seems like another one of those places where those born and
bred in a place pronounce it differently to ‘incomers’.


Culzean, Ayrshire, Scotland
Cul-ain

Lionel Bell


Daresbury (Cheshire)
Darsberry

RS


Darwen,
Lancs

Darren

Peter Draggett


Derby
Darbie

Jörg Müller


Dewsbury,
West Yorkshire
Jewsbry

Victor


Doncaster, Victoria, Australia
Doncassta

Peter G
Gleeson, BA (Macq)


Duchally
(in Auchterarder,Scotland)
Duck-ley

Gayle Jones


Dulwich (South London and South Australia)
Dullitch

Rachel


Dun Laoghaire (Nr. Dublin, Ireland)

 


Dunn Leery (when speaking English)

Doon Lair-uh (Irish
pronunciation – but not generally by the locals)

Rhoda Draper


Dunwich (Suffolk)
Dunij

Jimbo


Eaglesfield
Egglesfield

Richard Tosswill


Earley,
Berkshire.
 Erlee

Hamnet
Quinn


Easebourne near Midhurst in West Sussex

 


‘Ezbun’ ‘Ezborn’, or ‘Ezbourne’

Penny Bell



Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinbruuh or Edinburruh


Edinburgh, (suburb of Adelaide, Australia)

Eddin-burruh

Peter G
Gleeson, BA (Macq)

eddin-bra

Rachel


Eltham, SE London
El-tum

Peter
Roberts


Erith, Kent
 

Eer-ith

C. Smith


Esher
 Eesher

Philip


Etchilhampton 
(near Devizes Wilts) 
Eyeshalton

Keith
Lewis


Ewell
Yoo-all

Peter


Eyam
(Peak District)

Eem

Martin
Capps


Eyre Peninsula, South Australia

 

Air Peninsula

Rachel


Flitwick
 

Flitick

Gary Ware


Forster,
New South Wales

Foster

Belinda


Fowey
(Cornwall)
 Foy

Andrew
Nott

Fwoy (Cornish pronunciation)

Keith
Lewis


Fremantle,
Western Australia 
Fre-MANTel, NOT FREE-mantel

Eric


Frome

 

  Froom

Furneux
Pelham (Hertfordshire)
Fir-nooks pellum

Janet Horton



Gallipolis, Ohio
GAL-uh-puh-LEECE

Sounds like “Gal a police.”

Gary
Rector


Gamaliel,
Missouri
Ga-mail-ya

Tyler
Pruett


Gillingham,
Kent
Jillingham 

 


Gillingham, Norfolk & Dorset

Gillingham (hard sounding “g” as in
girl)

Rebecca
MacMillan


Glamis,
Angus
Glarms

John Butler


Gloucester 

 

Gloster

Goatacre
near Lyneham, Wilts
  Goadoccur

Keith
Lewis


Godmanchester
(Cambs.)
Gumster
(old pronunciation)

Philip
Robinson


Goonoo Goonoo (New South Wales)
 Gunna Ga-NOO

Rozzie Chapman

Gorinchem (Netherlands)
Horkem

Andrew Nott

Actually, it’s CHorkem, with CH as
in the Scottish pronunciation of “loch”. There’s no equivalent in
English, but the Germans, Spanish and Arabs are among the people who can
pronounce this.

Ivo Bouwmans

Gotham, Nottinghamshire  
Goat’am

Phil


Goudhurst, Kent

 

Gowdhurst

Stephen Burgess

Greenwich
Grenich

Grinnitch                             
JD


Greenwith, South Australia
  Grenith

Belinda


Greysouthen
Graysoon

Richard Tosswill


Groby
Grooby                  
Sent in by Sheila Fox

Grosmont,
North Yorkshire
Grow-mont

Peter
Draggett


Grosvenor, Adelaide, South Australia
Grove-ner

Rachel


Guisborough
Gizbrur or geezbrur

Happisburgh
(Norfolk)
Hazeborough

Moray
Smith


Harewood (between Leeds and Harrogate) 

Harewood
– locals

Har-wood  (upper class/gentry)

Martin
Underwood


Harrogate
Ha-rughget
– locals

Rod Bell



Hastings, Sussex
Haystings

Hawick (Scottish
Borders)
Hoyk

Peter
Neale


Herstmonceux 
Hurst-mon-soo

Ken Dryden


Hertford
(Hertfordshire)
 Har-fud (by
some)

Janet Horton


Heather
Heether                   

Sent in by Sheila Fox


Hele Bay, Devon
Heel Bay

Hellingly 
  Hellingl-eye

Joan Hall


Hessle
Hezzle

Philip


Heysham,
Nr. Morecambe
 Hee-Shum
or Hee-Sham

Andrew
Moore


Highams Park (NE London) 

 


Himes PAHk

Gary Taylor


Hoddesdon
(Hertfordshire)
Hods-dun

Janet Horton


Holborn,
Central London
Hoe-burn

Claire
Wright


Holme,
Nottinghamshire
Home

Phil


Horsted
Keynes
 Horsted
Canes

Faye
Davies


Houghton,
Cambridgeshire


Tony
points out there are several Houghtons in the UK, and several
pronunciations.

Hoe-t’n

although
to outsider ears the locals seem to pronounce it more as “Hoot’n”


Tony
Chabot


Houghton,
Leicestershire
Hoeton

Jed Bland


Hunstanton
(Norfolk) 
Hunston

Keith
Lewis



Idridgehay, Derbyshire

Eye-drij-hay


It’s great hearing people stumble over this
one. When pronounced more
locally the emphasis of the H disappears and it becomes ‘eye dri jay’.

Les Kirk


Ightham
I-tem (Eye-tem)

Ken Dryden


Keadby

Kidbee                               

  
Contributed by Eric Bishop


Kedleston, Derbyshire

 

Ked-less-tun

Jed Bland


Keighley
(Yorkshire)
Keethley

Jimbo

Keswick,
Cumbria,
England


(information)


Keswick, South Australia

Kezik

 

Rachel


Kettering
(Northamptonshire)
Ke’-rin

Apostrophe indicated glottal stop*

John
Stolarski


Keynsham
Kaneshum

Kirdford
Curd-FORD

Paul Haden

I feel that the spelling used
(Curd-ford) to indicated the pronunciation of Kirdford (W Sussex) doesn’t
make clear where the accent falls.
It falls on the second syllable, thus: KirdFORD, in the same way as
Chandler’s FORD or Model T FORD.
I’ve heard foreigners and incomers accent the first syllable, as rightly
occurs in BEDford and STANford, but this pattern should not be imposed on
KirdFORD.


Ian Thompson

 

* A
glottal stop is a speech sound articulated by a momentary, complete closing
of the glottis in the back of the throat. Glottal stops occur in many
languages and usually pattern as consonants.

 

A
BIT OF FUN AND OTHER INTERESTING SNIPPETS

The name “Devon” for the river in Nottinghamshire is not synonymous
in pronunciation with the county in Western England. The Nottinghamshire
river’s name is pronounced “Deevon”. Candida Lycett Green says so in her
book “Unwrecked
England
“.

William Sitwell