Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelled

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dave brum
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Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelled

Post by dave brum » 05 Dec 2013, 18:42

Watching an old Alan Partridge sketch about the city that is spelled L.O.N.D.O.N and pronounced (expletive) I got to thinking about names of towns, villages and hamlets in fair Albion not pronounced as they're spelled. I got to thinking about the town in the Midlands where I met my wife, it's spelled Leominster but is pronounced Lemster. It catches almost everyone out.

I can think of a few, Milngavie Hawick and Kirkcudbright in Scotland ('Mul-guy Hoik and Kirkcoobry), Happisburgh in Norfolk (Hayesborough) and Woolfardisworthy in Devon (Wool-sery).

A couple of places have caught me out. Being a Cymrophone, I always assumed Trysull was a village in Meirionydd and mentally pronounced it the Welsh way. Turns out it'sin fact a couple of miles outside Wolverhampton and is pronounced 'treezle'!
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by Gill the Piano » 05 Dec 2013, 21:03

Alnwick = 'Annick' ; Beaminster = 'Bempster'; Towcester = 'Toaster' (actually, most places ending in 'cester' !)
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by dave brum » 05 Dec 2013, 22:19

I never knew about Bempster! Not too far from Brum is the English village of Cleobury Mortimer (Clibbery) in Shropshire, whose county town can be pronounced four ways, Shrewsbury, Shrozebury, to its inhabitants Shoes-bury, or to the large area of Wales which regards it as its major centre, Amwythig. Ddim am saith ig, felly! I know this because between 1989 and 1993 I lived there!

Regarding the CESTER towns, there is an exception, Alcester in Warwickshire and the A435, always referred to as the Alcester Road. People don't say All-ster as it tends to create confusion with Ulster, Ireland. Bong, just thought of Cirencester too!

Basford, Notts (Bass-ford), rather appropriate for a musician! Not far from Southwell (Suthull) Then there are those we all know about such as Altrincham (Altringham) and Barnstaple (Barnstable).

A Liverpudlian once told me there's this suburb of Liverpool called Gateacre but is pronounced Gatterkuh. It was featured recently on an episode of Location Location and was referred to throughout as it was pronounced - Gateacre. I'm mystified. Any Scousers reading this????
Last edited by dave brum on 05 Dec 2013, 23:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by dave brum » 05 Dec 2013, 22:45

Slough. Need I say more??
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by gizzy » 11 Dec 2013, 21:40

dave brum wrote: and is pronounced 'treezle'!
That's how they'd pronounce your wife's name in Brissle!

We stayed in Stiffkey in Norfolk, pronounced Stewkey.

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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by dave brum » 12 Dec 2013, 09:20

Wymondham in Norfolk on the A11, pronounced Wyndham. Not that I've ever been there, as far as I'm concerned the land east of the M1 is uncharted territory, a kingdom one only hears about in the mass media and reads about in books.
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by gizzy » 12 Dec 2013, 23:12

dave brum wrote:Wymondham in Norfolk on the A11, pronounced Wyndham. Not that I've ever been there, as far as I'm concerned the land east of the M1 is uncharted territory, a kingdom one only hears about in the mass media and reads about in books.
Arr we do be all savages 'ere. We 'as customs of our own, and we don't get to see many strangers round these parts. Come and have a bit of our home made bread (hur hur hur). Just don't comment on the number of toes some of us has.

We do have Lode, Over, Reach, March and Quy near to us, and places I can't pronounce like Pampisford, Manea.

Gizzy, who stayed in Wymondham on a weekend break once: it's a very sweet town.

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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by dave brum » 08 Feb 2014, 09:44

Hawarden in Wales (but with a Chester postcode, a Chester area code and not served by any Welsh TV transmitter) is pronounced 'hard-un'. It has a Welsh name - Penarlag.

A few km on the English side of the border in Herefordshire is Ewyas Harold, 'yoo-as'.
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by Gill the Piano » 08 Feb 2014, 18:39

After the flooding i hear many broadcasters pronouncing Bisham (just over the bridge here in Marlow) as written and not as Bissum. Handy way to spot incomers/tourists.
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by dave brum » 08 Feb 2014, 19:14

So it's Bisham not Bissum. The opposite to Portishead, which is pronounced 'port-zed' and not like a mobile garden storage hut.
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by Gill the Piano » 09 Feb 2014, 19:07

NO. It's Bissum, not Bish-am. If we hear you say Bish-am, we charge you double... :twisted:
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by dave brum » 09 Feb 2014, 21:55

I apologise. So 'the hamlet of the bishop, or bison, or even bisexual must be over that rather elegant looking white bridge over the Thames that I've oft seen on the television??
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by Gill the Piano » 10 Feb 2014, 19:32

That's it, along the road a bit from the bridge. Currently anyone playing in goal at Bisham school would need an aqualung...
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by gizzy » 11 Feb 2014, 00:17

Are you underwater, Gill? I saw aerial footage that said Marlow and it looked like an ark full of animals was going to float into view any minute. Hope you're OK!

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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by Gill the Piano » 15 Feb 2014, 20:24

I'm up the top end of the High Street away from the river. There will be an awful lot of people in trouble before us! We've had the army in town and in Cookham (where my friend is in deeper trouble) and she says the army are fabulous. But that if any fatuous politicians turn up she's going to set the dogs on 'em... :mrgreen: I would pay to see that.
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by dave brum » 15 Feb 2014, 20:29

Gill the Piano wrote:I'm up the top end of the High Street away from the river. There will be an awful lot of people in trouble before us! We've had the army in town and in Cookham (where my friend is in deeper trouble) and she says the army are fabulous. But that if any fatuous politicians turn up she's going to set the dogs on 'em... :mrgreen: I would pay to see that.
Cookham? Is that wot Tom Kerridge's restaurant is called???
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by Gill the Piano » 16 Feb 2014, 14:38

That's the Handy Fowlers for pseuds who want to pay 20 quid for a plate of shepherd's pie. Car park full of high-end motors worth more than my house and a waiting list of about 12 years for a table. It's about a quarter of a mile from home. We prefer The Vanilla Pod; far more understated and comfortable with excellent food and service and fewer braying Londoners.
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by dave brum » 16 Feb 2014, 15:17

If it was £20 per portion it would be more like 'rustic pot roast' than shepherds pie??

Probably you're better off with the cafe in Waitrose or just preparing a nice picnic and taking it down to the riverside (not at this present time obviously) with the ghetto blaster playing Buxtehude.

The Handy Fowlers??? Pauline and Arthur in East Endingtons??
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by Gill the Piano » 17 Feb 2014, 16:13

I'm not giving it the benefit of advertising by using its real name; a fist and flowers... Of course they couch the shepherd's pie in flowery speak re the pedigree of the beef and hand-reared gold-plated potatoes otherwise how else would they justify the eyewatering price?
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by dave brum » 17 Feb 2014, 20:14

Marlow is missing out on such a lot, deprived of the retail temple that is Aldi. I've just had some meat pies full of British beef for only 99p. Sainsburys equivalents are £3 for gravy and air, or £5 for something slightly meatier.
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by Gill the Piano » 17 Feb 2014, 22:12

I keep meaning to try Lidl. Now sir is out of hospital I might go exploring!
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by dave brum » 28 Mar 2015, 10:02

Not that far from here at the other end of the A435 there's a lovely little town called Alcester. To be grammatically correct it's pronounced Ulster. But most people call it Al-cester to avoid any confusion with the Irish province. Maybe the quaint little tea shops should start serving Alcester fries?
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by dave brum » 20 Apr 2015, 21:20

Peopleton is just off the A44 between Worcester and Pershore. I didn't think it would be pronounced as it was spelled - the town of the people, so I examined further. Peppleton? No. Aah, got it. It's Pippleton.

To the Old Norse placenames of Yorkshire, Slaithwaite is pronounced Slawitt. Wonder if that also applies to Southwaite in Cumbria. Sawitt?
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by Gill the Piano » 21 Apr 2015, 16:56

Altrincham is pronounced Alltringum. No wonder the tourists get confused. An ozzie once said he'd been looking for a place near Liverpool (Liverpewel) called Broken Head. Quite a good name.
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by dave brum » 21 Apr 2015, 18:26

...and Looga Barooga (Loughborough). Dol-ja-looly is one I've heard (Dolgellau).
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by breakup » 04 Jul 2015, 05:15

A friend of mine likes to pick on his wife by mispronouncing the name of a town they once lived in. Lancaster Pa. pronounced by the natives as Lank-aster, but he would get her going by pronouncing it as Lan-caster.

Many years ago there was a Drum and bugle Corps from Emmaus Pa. and it was pronounced E-ma-us. They participated in a parade in a town with a street named Emmaus but pronounced E-moss. When the announcer from the town mispronounced the name of the corps, there was a lot of shouting trying to correct him.

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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by Gill the Piano » 05 Jul 2015, 15:39

I regularly shout at the radio when they talk about the Bisham roundabout as Bish-am when it's actually Bissum.But the announcers take no notice...
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by breakup » 09 Jul 2015, 00:55

Gill the Piano wrote:I regularly shout at the radio when they talk about the Bisham roundabout as Bish-am when it's actually Bissum.But the announcers take no notice...
Are you sure your radio's turned on and the volume all the way up, I really don't understand why the announcers can't hear you.

I also don't understand why other posters can't tell when I'm typing really hard for emphasis on these forums. I mean when I play the piano and strike the keys really hard, anyone listening can tell, can't they?

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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by Gill the Piano » 09 Jul 2015, 16:56

Depends on the piano! :D
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by breakup » 09 Jul 2015, 18:27

Gill the Piano wrote:Depends on the piano! :D
Yes, perhaps I should unplug the headphones.

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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by dave brum » 29 Sep 2016, 09:44

Slaithwaite was mentioned on the radio the other morning (the birthplace of British composer Haydon Wood) but was mispronounced as 'Slath-waite'. I did take the liberty of texting Petroc to tell him how the name should be pronounced, but he never did acknowledge it.

In his defence, he has been making some wonderful lyrical comparisons to early mornings over the Thames and Hungerford Bridge this week from the Third's temporary base in the Southbank Centre.
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by Gill the Piano » 29 Sep 2016, 17:16

How IS it pronounced?
Apparently 'Weight Limit 3 Tons' is pronounced as 'I have a 40 ton lorry and I'm going to drive it over this bridge' in Lithuanian. Marlow Bridge now closed for the forseeable while engineers try to sort out the damage done by Girteka Logistics on Saturday night; halfwits.
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by dave brum » 29 Sep 2016, 17:52

Gill the Piano wrote:How IS it pronounced?

.
'Sla-witt', as I mentioned way back in April 2015, a couple of days before I took my sabattical from here.

I always think every time I see a lorry drive up our residential street how on earth we managed before satellite navigation systems? I mean, we had to purchase road maps and engage our eyes, brains and driving skills. I have one, but it is not used. They are a pain in the neck to set up and even more of a pain in the neck to program. Google Streetview however is useful.
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by Gill the Piano » 29 Sep 2016, 19:38

dave brum wrote:'Sla-witt', as I mentioned way back in April 2015, a couple of days before I took my sabattical from here.
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by dave brum » 29 Sep 2016, 20:40

A Fish Called Slaithwaite???
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by Gill the Piano » 29 Sep 2016, 21:27

Nope. Slawitt.
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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by dave brum » 29 Sep 2016, 21:55

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Re: Place names pronounced differently to how they're spelle

Post by dave brum » 12 Oct 2016, 18:34

Best place name in Britain has to be Grope Lane in Shrewsbury. In medieval times it was known as Gropec*nt Lane, due to what went on there after dark. I've walked down it hundreds of times.
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