English Pronunciations for Americans in London
Yes, we speak the same language, but not only do we not use the same words for things, we pronounce things differently. There’s like these insider secret pronunciation rules that outsiders just don’t know and locals take for granted. Here are the ones I’ve noticed.
Greenwich. Not pronounced like a green witch, it’s gren, like grenade, itch. Gren-itch. But we all know that one, right?
Leicester Square. I want to say lie-chest-er — three syllables. Or lei-kest-er, kest, like kestrel. But, no, it’s Lester Square. Remember it by thinking it’s full of molesters. It probably is.
Draught. Draught beer is draft beer, and it’s pronounced the same way. Not drought, a lack of rain, draft.
Thames. The river running through London doesn’t rhyme with dames, nor does it lead off with a ‘th’ sound. It’s Tems, like the beginning of temperature, just plural.
Savile Row. If you’re buying a suit on this street, best to pronounce it right. Rhyme it with travel. Sa-vel. It’s not vile to shop, just travel to Savile.
Jaguar. Here, you pronounce the ‘u’ instead of blending it with the ‘g’ — Jag-u-ar. Not Jay-gwar.
£5.80. In the US, we’d say something like “five pounds, 80 pence.” Here, it’s “five pounds, eighty.” Don’t say ‘pence’ — it’s implied.
£0.80. Still, don’t say ‘pence.’ I know you want to, but here, this is “eighty pee.”
That’s all I can remember right now. Post a comment if you’ve noticed more.