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How to pronounce and spell some of the more unusual place names from different countries



PRONUNCIATION OF
PLACE NAMES


Page 2 – L to Z


Page 1 – A to K

The names of many
towns and villages are pronounced differently to the way they are
spelled / spelt.  The following chart shows just a few:  if
you know of any others please send them in so they can be added for
others to enjoy.

More information on
pronunciation can be found on the other page on site which lists
villages and town beginning with the letter A to K.

Spelling

 

Pronunciation


La Jolla, Southern California
 La Hoy-er

John
Harris

La Jolla, CA is pronounced more like
La Hoya or La Hoy-yah, not La Hoy-er.

M. C. Potter


Lachlan (Tasmania)
Lack-lan

Rozzie Chapman

or Lock-lan – certainly the river in New South
Wales is the latter.

Eric

Lafayette, Georgia: USA  luh-FAY-et

M. Johansson

Launceston
(UK)

Lawnston

Lanson or Lawnson

Andrew Nott


Launceston (Tasmania)
Lon-ces-ton

Mark
Addison


Leadenham, Lincolnshire. 
Led’nam

Phil

Leicester
 
 

Lester


Leigh (Kent)
Lie

Faye Davies


Leigh
(Surrey)

Lie

Stuart
Pennington


Leigh (Lancs)
Lee

John Brookes


Leominster

(information)

Lemster

Lewes,
East Sussex
Loowis

Jon Bold


Lincoln
Lincon

Anna Bland


Linthwaite (near Huddersfield)
Linfit

Francis Taylor


Little Weighton
 


Little Weeton

Philip


Lobethal, South Australia

 

low-be-thool, lobeth-all.

NOT Lobeth-al or Lobe-taal.

This really bothers us locals.

Rachel


Lodi,
Wisconsin
LOW-dye

Karen
Zethmayr


Loose
Looz   

Cathi


Loughborough
Luff-br

Sally
Pomfrey

Louisiana

 

 loo-EEZ-ee-AN-a (like
“easy”), but most locals say loozy-anna.

Mel Johansson


Lower Peover (Cheshire)
Lower Peever

Philip


Lowestoft 
Lowstuff

Robert
Johnson

I think
this could be an example of local dialect as here in the South of England it
is usually pronounced as written i.e. Lo-es-toft


Mallala, South Australia

 


MAL-uh-lar

Rachel


Malmesbury 
Marmsberry                            

 Thanks
to Ann  Cook


Malvern (suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)
 
in Adelaide
it’s pronounced Mulven but in Melbourne it’s pronounced Mallven

Peter G
Gleeson, BA (Macq)


Malvern,
Worcestershire
Mulven                      

 Contributed
by Gary Lewis.


Manangatang, Victoria, Australia

 


ma-NANG-ga-tang


NOT

manang-atang

Rachel and
Mum


Manea (Cambridgeshire) 
May-nee

Sheila
Jones


Market
Weighton
Market
Weeton

Philip


Marlborough 
Town
is pronounced as spelled (first syllable to rhyme with market) but public
school is pronounced Morlbro or Mawlbro

Martin
Underwood


Marske
by the Sea, N.Yorkshire 

Mask (with a short ‘a’ as in apple)

Stuart
Pennington


Mazomanie,
Wisconsin
MAZE-oh-MAY-knee

Karen
Zethmayr



Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Mel-bn

Peter G
Gleeson, BA (Macq)


Meols,
Wirral (Cheshire)
Mels                               
Chris Lynch

Meols
Cop, Southport
 Meels
Cop                        

Chris Lynch

Meopham
Mepam                     

Sent
in by Peter Holman

Mepp-em

Andrew Moore


Midhurst
Middust

Paul Haden

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


Mildenhall
(Wilthsire)
Minal 
(to rhyme with spinal)  

David
James Jones sent in this one


Milngavie

(information)

Milgi 
(as in guy)  

Sent by
Bernard Friar & Sandy Henry


Milton Keynes

 
Milton Keens
Mobile, Alabama, USA MO-beel

M. Johansson


Moe, Victoria, Australia

 


mow-ee

Rachel


Moggil
Moggil  (New South Wales)
MOE-gill
ma-GILL

Rozzie Chapman


Moggil,
Queensland, Australia 
Mog-il (short
o).

Eric

Montgomery, Alabama USA  locally pronounced
mun-GUM-ry

M. Johansson


Mousehole
Mowzel

Ben Vizard

Massal                                                                            Philip


Munno Para, South Australia

MUNna
parra

Rachel

Minot, North Dakota USA  MY-not (rhymes with “why not”)

M. Johansson


Nailstone, Leicestershire

 

Nelsun (may just be locals)

Sian Mitchell


Nechells, Birmingham 
Nee-chells

Janet Horton


Newcastle
New-carsel or New-cassel

Peter
Draggett


New Norfolk
(Tasmania)
  New Nor-foke or Norfick

Rozzie Chapman

New Orleans

  New OR-lee-unz but most locals say nawlins

Mel Johansson


Noarlunga, South Australia

 

NOR-lung-ga

NOT
no-are-lunga

Rachel


Norwich
NORRich

Maggie
Butler


Nottingham (Notts)

 

Nott’num

John Brookes

(I think
this is more a case of local diction than actual pronunciation)


Old
Marston (Oxford)
Old Marsden

Jimbo

Olney,
Bucks.
OHnee

Mark
Wheaver


Oswaldtwistle

Ozzul-twizzle

Anthony Draper


Owston,
Leicestershire 
Ooston

Phil


Paignton
Painton

Paoli, Wisconsin
2 real live residents:
one says pay-OH-lee, the other PEE-oh-lye.

Karen
Zethmayr


Penicuik
near Edinburgh, Scotland 

PennyCook

It comes from the Welsh Pen-y-cok, meaning
Cuckoo’s Hill.

Kate
Palmer


Penistone
 Penny
-stun

Peter


Plaistow (village in West Sussex)

 

Plaistow, Derbyshire

Plaistow, London

Plaistow, Kent


Plass-toe

Andrew Brooke

PLAY-stow

PLAA-stow or PLASS-tow

PLAA-stow or PLAY-stow,


Pooraka, South Australia

 


p’RAK-uh

Rachel


Potter
Heigham (Norfolk)
Potter Ham

Derek Appleyard


Poughkeepsie
(NY)


(information)

PerKIPPsy

Michael
Murphy

Poo-kipp-see

Thanks to Ian for
this gem

Nobody says poo-kip-see. I get that
it’s funny because of the “poo,” but, as the first commenter says, it’s per-KIPP-see.
(Or, if you were phoneticizing for AE speakers, puh-KIPP-see.

Mel Johansson


Pumpkin
Center

Punkin Center

Tyler
Pruett


Rainworth
(Nottinghamshire)
Rennuth

John Stolarski

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

Phil


Ratlinghope, Shropshire

 


Ratchup

C. Smith


Rawtenstall
Rottenstorl

Peter Draggett


Redcar, N. Yorkshire
Red Car & Red C’ (as in the child
pronunciation of C for Cat) depending on where exactly in the local area you are from.

Stuart
Pennington


Reading
Redding

Jan Müller


Reigate
Ryegate

Reynella, South Australia

 


ruh-NELL-uh

Rachel

Robeson County, NC  Robbeson

There’s no “robe” in it.

M. Johansson


Rolleston,
Nottinghamshire.

Rolleston, Canterbury,
New Zealand

Rollston

Phil

We also have a Rolleston in Canterbury, New Zealand which I believe should
pronounced as Rolls Tun but most of the locals say Rol Less Tun.

Colin Dunn


Rothwell
(Northamptonshire)

Sometimes written Rowell

 Roll

John
Stolarski



Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Rotherum

Ruislip

 

Ryeslip                     

 Sent
in by David laver


Rushden
(Northamptonshire)
 Ruzh-dun

John
Stolarski


Rushton
(Northamptonshire)
Rush-Tonn
(emphasis on 2nd syllable)

John
Stolarski


Ruthvoes
(Cornwall)
 Ruthers

Andrew Nott


Salford (Gtr Mcr)

 


SOLLf’d

John Brookes

(I think
this is more a case of local diction than actual pronunciation)


Salisbury,
England

Salisbury, South
Australia

Sawlsbry

Rachel


Sandwith, 
Cumbria 
sannuth

Foggy


Scalford,
Leicestershire
Skawlford

Phil


Schenectady, New York
SkinEKTerdy

Michael
Murphy



Scone, Perth, Scotland
Skoon

S
edlescombe,
East Sussex
Sellzkm


by the
people who lived there but that seems to be dying out with the influx of non-Sellzkmites.


Derek Ash


Shrewsbury

Shrowsberry                    

From
Ann Cook

OR

Shroosbury

Mike
Lea-Wilson


Sioux, in any place name (e.g., Sioux City, Iowa)
 sue

M. Johansson


Skaneateles, New York
 Skinny-ATTerlees

Michael Murphy

OR

Skinny-AT-less

Robin Smith


Slaithwaite
(near Huddersfield)

“Slawit”
(short ‘a’ of course)

Philip
Robinson

There are three
ways the locals pronounce Slaithwaite near Huddersfield

“Slay-thwait”, “Slath-wait” and “Slawit” as in

“Slough-it”!!  (Slough
sounding like ‘cow’.)

David Union


Slaugham
 Slofam

Slough 
Slow (to rhyme with how/now)

Janet Horton


Smethwick
(West Midlands) 
Smeth-ick
(most commonly)

Sme-rick amongst older Black Country speakers.

Janet Horton


Somerby
Summerby

Phil


South Croxton, Leicestershire

 

South Crow
Sun (Crow like the bird not a group of people)

Sian Mitchell


Southwark


(information)

 Suthuk

Southwell
Suthall                                               
Ellena Lyons

although there is much local debate with some
people still saying Southwell.

The pronunciation of Southwell
has been bastardised over the past 30 years.  My wife was born there; her
family go back donkeys years in Southwell [In fact the original “Bramley”
apple tree still stands in the garden of what was originally one or her
relatives] and until I was about  25, neither her nor I had ever heard it
called “Suthell”.    Whilst this IS now a common used
pronunciation of Southwell, (mainly due to radio & TV media), a lot of old
South-wellians will spit in your face if you say “Suthell” to them! 
I fear that thanks to the media, this is one town that will lose its original
pronunciation.

Phil


South
Witham
South
With-ham

Phil


St. Leonards, Sussex
Snt Lenards

St. Neots 
Saint Near-ts

Andrew Moore


St. Osyth  
Toosee

(This could be a
nickname rather than actual pronunciation and was sent in by Liza Hicks.)


Staithes,
Yorkshire 
Stayths

Mandy
Gsell

Steers (by locals)

Stuart
Pennington


Stawell
(Somerset)
 Stall

Derek Appleyard


Steyning
Stening

Stiffkey
(Norfolk)

 

Stewkey

Philip


Stoughton,
Leicestershire
Stoeton

Jed Bland


Strathaven
Straven

Contributed
by Sandy Henry

Sydenham,
South London
Sidnum
or Sidnaam

Will
Millinship


Tchesinkut
Lake, NW British Columbia

Te-sink-ut

N.B. A native Indian
name which I am sure I have never heard pronounced in the years I spent in
Northern BC. Us Caucasian people pronounced it as “Te-sink-ut”

Bev


Teigh (Rutland)
Tee

Sian Mitchell

Teston
(Kent )

Tees’n

Andrew
Smith

Tettenhall 
(near Wolverhampton 
Teknor

Mike

I disagree with the
above: Tettenhall is correctly pronounced as written.

Keith
Sedgley

I grew up there and
it’s pronounced ‘Tetnul’.

Dave


Thebarton,
South Australia
  Thebarton (NOT The Barton)

Belinda

Tobaccoville, USA   tuh-BAK-uh-vl

The
vowel in the final syllable of Southern towns ending in -ville is neutral, and
barely pronounced at all.

M. Johansson


Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
 
Twoom-bah

Peter G Gleeson, BA (Macq)


Tottenham, London
Tottnam
Tucson, Arizona   TOO-sahn

M. Johansson


Towcester

(information)

Toaster

Sometimes pronounced with the first syllable
rhyming with “now”, probably in an attempt to make the place sound
less like a kitchen appliance!

Martin
Underwood


Tow Law,
County Durham

Tow Lah

Peter
Draggett


Traquair
House, Scotland

Trah-kerr


Trottiscliffe
(Kent)

Trosley

Andrew
Smith

Your site states Trottiscliffe in
Kent is pronounced “trosley”, it is not trosley is a contraction not
a pronunciation (and the name of the local park area)

Aaron

After
receiving the above comment I did a little more research and according to the
BBC it is pronounced “Tross-lee”

 https://h2g2.com/approved_entry/A19773499  

Further
comments from Aaron

I think the problem here is a
technical difference, the BBC do not state that the word is pronounced
Tross-lee, only that that is what it is called locally. I have lived in the
village for over 50 years and this contraction only started to come into
common usage about 25 years ago when the park was open, until then it was
pronounced as it was written.

As I said it is just a technical
difference between pronunciation and contraction, It is similar to saying that
young people pronounce McDonalds as Maccy d’s, it is just a contraction not a
change in the actual pronunciation of the word.

 


Truro
Tru-row

Peter
Draggett

Tucson, Arizona   TOO-sahn

M. Johansson

Tupelo,
Mississippi:, USA

 

  TOOple-oh

Mel Johansson


Ulgham (Northumberland)
… 
uffam

Peter
Neale


Upper Peover (Cheshire)
Upper Peever

Philip
 


Urchfont
(Nr. Devizes, Wilts)
Ushant

Keith
Lewis


Uttoxeter, Staffordshire

Uttoxeter in Staffordshire is pronounced Oot-oxeter
where the first syllable rhymes with “foot”, not Yew-toxeter.  In fact it’s
traditionally pronounced “oot-cheter”. This is how my dad says it and the
following website says Geoffrey Manners Cavendish, former owner of Crakemarsh
Hall, says a posher version “Axeter”



http://staffordshirebred.com/2013/07/26/other-peoples-houses/
(towards the
bottom of the page).

Nathaniel
Boden

Wagga
Wagga 
(New South Wales)
Wogga
(second Wagga is normally omitted)

Rozzie Chapman

If the second Wagga is not omitted,
it is pronounced the same as the first.

Eric


Walcha (New South
Wales)
Wol-ka

Rozzie Champan


Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia
 
War-na-bool

Peter G Gleeson, BA (Macq)


Warwick
Warrick

Anna Bland


Wednesbury,
West Midlands
Wensbury

Robert J.
Croton


Welwyn
Wellin

Andrew Moore


Weymouth, Dorset
Waymuth

Whitwick
Wittik                                                
Sent in by Sheila Fox

Wickhambreaux
Wickem-brew

Ken Dryden


Wigan, Lancs.
Wiggin

John Brookes

(I think
this is more a case of local diction than actual pronunciation)


Wildboarclough,
Cheshire
Wilbercluff
(local pronunciation)

Woolfardisworthy
(Devon) 


(information)

Woolsery

Philip
Robinson


Worcester

 

Wooster
(as in Wood and Good)

Worle
Wurl

James
Bruton


Wrotham
Rootam                      

Sent
in by Cathi

Rootm


We
locals in north Kent pronounce it root’m (there is no “a” sound).

Derek
Ash


Wudinna, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia 

 


wood-na

NOT

“woo-dinner” or variations
thereupon.

Rachel and
Mum


Wybunbury
(Cheshire)
 wimberry

RS


Wymondham,
Norwich
Windam

Philip


Wymondham,
Leicestershire
Why-mund-ham

Phil


Yachats, Oregon, USA.
Ya-hots

Paul Marshall


Yatala, South Australia

 

YAT-la

Rachel

 

A
BIT OF FUN AND OTHER INTERESTING SNIPPETS

How ’bout Truth or
Consequences, New Mexico. It’s named after a 1950s TV game show. Its
former name was Hot Springs*

Curtis
Croulet
 


Another US place name that’s
pronounced as spelled, but it’s the why that’s colorful: Plum Nelly Georgia,
near the Tennessee border is so named because it’s Plum out of Tennessee and
“nelly” out of Georgia
    

Karen
Zethmayr


 

“Menzies” (a Scottish clan and castle) – pronounced “MING-iss”

Pitjantjatjara“,
which is actually a tribe – pronounced “pigeon-jar-uh”

Rachel and Mum