Here are the most difficult place names in the UK to pronounce

Sinead Butler
Tuesday 04 May 2021 14:57
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People have been discussing on Twitter, place names in the UK that are difficult to pronounce.

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

We can all universally agree that some of the place names in the UK can be difficult to pronounce if you aren’t from here.

People from all over the world - including the UK - are now sharing the British places that they struggle to enunciate... and there’s a lot of them.

It all started when Kate Burton on Twitter asked her followers: “Who wants to torment some Americans with English name pronunciations? Give me some ideas.”

She then suggested Southwark (suh·thuhk) in London and Wymondhams (Wind’m) in Norfolk which both sound completely different to how they look.

This spurred other people to share their own places names and the tweet has since received nearly 6,000 replies.

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Some of the most popular places mentioned in the replies were:

  • “Loughborough,” (luhf·buh·ruh) - a town in the East Midlands.
  • “Bicester” (bi·stuh) - a town in Oxfordshire.
  • “Worcestershire” (wu·stuh·shuh) - a county in the West Midlands.

As a result, all of them began to trend on Twitter with people sharing times they’ve heard those places being mispronounced, including Loughborough as “Loog-ba-roog.”

People shared other suggestions from all over the country to add to the list, including:

  • “Moggerhanger” - a village in Bedfordshire
  • “Garboldisham” - a village in Norfolk
  • “Holborn” (how·bn) - a district in Central London.
  • “Marylebone” (maa·luh·bn) - a district in West London.
  • “Keswick” (keh·zuhk) - a town in Cumbria.
  • “Leicester” (leh·stuh) - a city in the East Midlands.
  • “Ruislip” (rai·sluhp) - a village in London.
  • “Leominster” (lem·stuh) - a town in Herefordshire.
  • “Mousehole” (muzzle) - a village in Cornwall.
  • “Fowey” (foy) - a town in Cornwall.
  • “Beaulieu” - a village in Hampshire.
  • “Birmingham” (BUR·ming·uhm) - city in the West Midlands.

One place is so difficult to pronounce in fact, that there is actually a phonetic spelling it underneath on the place’s sign for residents in “Woolfardisworthy” (Woolsery) - a village in Devon.

Guess it saves everyone a lot of time trying to understand the pronunciation.

Though let’s not leave out Wales and Scotland - they have some complicated place names of their own too.

From “Llanelli” (luh·neh·lee) to “Edinburgh” (ed-in-burra) to “Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch” (which understandably can be shortened to Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll or Llanfair PG).

Although this Twitter thread was created to highlight how Americans mispronounced some of our place names, it seems even us Brits are still left baffled at some of the names in our own country.

Who knew there were so many tricky places names out there in the UK?

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