We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Pronouncing placenames correctly

Which London hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
163 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
Pronouncing placenames correctly

I was just reading a history of the Tower of London and learned that Beauchamp is pronounced like "Beecham." Which reminded me of my desire not to sound stupid when I visit London - pronouncing names incorrectly. Is there a resource to help non-British learn how to avoid this problem? Thanks for any help.

cornwall
Level Contributor
19 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
251. Re: Pronouncing placenames correctly

Porpoises are different from dolphins in that they don't have a narrow beak-like snout. They may not live around US waters. Some people pronounce the name ''porp oyse'.

Rutland, UK
Level Contributor
5,416 posts
77 reviews
Save Reply
252. Re: Pronouncing placenames correctly

I've come to this thread very late but on the matter of River Thames/Tems, I really hope this explanation is true. The 'th' used to be pronounced, as in thatcher, but King George 1, being German, couldn't make the th sound so pronounced it Tames/Tems. The court, and then the country, followed suit.

Incidentally in Leicester there is a Catherine Street, pronounced Cat Er Ryne. Don't think this has anything to do with King George though!

PS My TA nickname is pronounced Beecham.

London, United...
Level Contributor
3,892 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
253. Re: Pronouncing placenames correctly

Its pronounced Cath er Ryne street, not Cat, still odd though. I used to live on said street. Leicester has several weird ones, Belvoir St, Beauchamp School, Leiceseter, Loughborough.

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
12,551 posts
Save Reply
254. Re: Pronouncing placenames correctly

<<I've come to this thread very late but on the matter of River Thames/Tems, I really hope this explanation is true. The 'th' used to be pronounced, as in thatcher, but King George 1, being German, couldn't make the th sound so pronounced it Tames/Tems. The court, and then the country, followed suit.>>

False. It has never been pronounced with "th" as in "thatcher". The H was inserted to make it look more "classical".

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Thames

Sorry to disillusion you!

All these stories about kings being unable to pronounce certain sounds and the common folks following suit are just that, stories. Before sound recording came into existence in the early 20th century, nobody would have known how the king (or anyone else) pronounced anything, unless they heard for themselves, person to person.

London, UK
Level Contributor
1,786 posts
59 reviews
Save Reply
255. Re: Pronouncing placenames correctly

So what was the porpoise of resurrecting this thread? Sorry, couldn't resist.

London
Level Contributor
2,911 posts
Save Reply
256. Re: Pronouncing placenames correctly

I understand that there are Catherine Streets in Macclesfield and St Albans, too, where the last syllable is pronounced to rhyme with 'thine'. I've never heard of the 'th' being pronounced other than as in 'Nathaniel'.

In Oxford there are two streets called Magdalen Street. In practice I think everyone calls them both 'Maudlin Street', but I understand that pedants claim that the one in the city centre is 'Mag-da-len' because it takes its name from the dedication of the church, which everyone does pronounce 'Mag-da-len', while the one in Cowley *is* 'Maudlin' because it takes its name from the college of that name, which, for some reason I have never been able to fathom, is pronounced that way.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
146 posts
1 review
Save Reply
257. Re: Pronouncing placenames correctly

I've been reading about Cheyne Walk for ages, but did not realize until hearing the bus stop announcement today that Cheyne is pronounced Cheney as in "Dick Cheney." In my head, I had always silently pronounced Cheyne "Shane" as in Alan Ladd.

258. Re: Pronouncing placenames correctly

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 06 January 2015, 06:18