[separator style_type="" top_margin="-40" bottom_margin="" sep_color="" icon="" width="" class="" id=""]
Blog-More Horrible London Place Names

More Horrible London Place Names


It seems that we are all united by a strange relationship with London’s place names – at Pronunciation Studio we have never received such a big response to an article before last month’s 10 Horrible London Place Names. Thank you for all of the suggestions you sent on Facebook and on the blog, we’ve gone through and selected 10 more horrible names, and this time we didn’t forget HOLBORN!

11. Wimbledon

Home to tennis /ˈtenɪs/, but why is the ‘e’ after the ‘l’? Imagine it’s spelt ‘el’ and the last syllable contains a schwa:


12. Gloucester Road

The ‘ou’ is just /ɒ/ as in HOT, then there’s exactly the same problem found in ‘Leicester Square’ – ignore the ‘ce’ completely!

/ˈglɒstə ˈrəʊd/

13. Grosvenor Square

Don’t say the /s/ in ‘Grosvenor’, and the ‘o’ is a diphthong /əʊ/, the ‘r’ in SQUARE is silent:

/ˈgrəʊvnə ˈskweə/

14. Streatham

Now we’re down saaaaf but the ‘th’ isn’t pronounced /θ/ as you may expect. Instead the ‘h’ is silent and you pronounce the ’t’. The ‘ea’ is just an /e/ sound:


15. Lewisham

Designed to confuse us – it doesn’t do what most names ending ‘ham’ do and kill the ‘h’. Instead you pronounce ‘sh’ as /ʃ/ as in shhhhh BE QUIET!


[thrive_leads id=’7075′]

16. Chiswick

A bit like GREENWICH with its silent ‘w’, but also be careful with the ’s’ – it’s pronounced /z/:


17. Clerkenwell

Full of hipsters, but it’s also weird because although the only written vowel is ‘e’, it creates 3 vowel sounds – /ɑ:/ /ə/ and /e/:


18. Ruislip

Don’t look for an explanation, just take our word for it that the ‘ui’ is pronounced as /aɪ/ as in WHY. Oh why oh why…


19. Shaftesbury Avenue

Where to begin with this one? Start with a long /ʃɑ:f/, don’t say the ’t’ or the ‘u’. So /ʃɑ:fsbri/. Then the ‘ue’ in AVENUE contains a /j/ sound like YOU:

/ˈʃɑːfsbri ˈævənju/

20. Holborn

Home to Pronunciation Studio and by far the most requested name in this article, many say it should have been top of the list. It’s actually pronounced in several ways by native speakers, but if you remove the ‘l’ and the ‘r’ and use the diphthong /əʊ/ in the first syllable, you won’t go wrong: