Lord Worcestercleucch (pronounced WOOS-ter-CLOO), despite the handicap of being fictional (“The Marquess of Worcestercleucch, the St. Merion family, Cherryton Park, Merion Manor, Dussex, Lorset, and all associated titles, histories, and houses are completely fictional creations”), has produced a useful guide to the pronunciation of the grander English country houses. Some are disappointingly straightforward, but any list that starts with Alnwick (ANN-ick) and Althorp (ALL-trup) is clearly not without its pleasures. Enjoy. (Sent by a correspondent of wide knowledge and quirky humour who has seen many cities and learned the minds of men.)


  1. Mr Spectator says

    Sadly, it seems to have been semi-officially decided to start pronouncing Althorp as spelled (All-thorp) in order to facilitate the Princess Diana industry (she’s buried there).

  2. Unfortunately, no mention of how to pronounce “Carew” either. I remember there was a debate about the pronunciation of the name of the Metaphysical poet Thomas Carew on Language Hat a few months back, but there is also a Carew Castle in South Wales. It’s no longer inhabited but the ruins are pretty impressive.

  3. Thanks for the link; that is indeed a splendid ruin. And it was the site of “undoubtedly one of the most lavish entertainments in the history of Wales”! (I like the last photo on the page, too.)

  4. As usual when someone makes up a pronunciation guide there’s no telling how it’s meant to be pronounced, but a few of the commonest ones are wrong: Arundel is ARR-n-dl (arrow), not AIR-; Balmoral is bal-MORR-l (morrow), not -MOOR- (rhymes with tour or homophone for more?); Glamis is GLAHMZ not GLAMS; Mereworth is presumably MERR-i-worth, not MAIR- (can we guess whose accent is getting them confused here?); and on the same grounds I think Squerryes is highly unlikely to have the diphthong of SQUARE. Warwick is WORR-ik not WAR- (presumably representing WOR-); and Woburn is WO-bn for the village but WOO-bn for the Abbey.
    The BBC Pronuncing Dictionary accords with my common knowledge of these: I don’t want to look how many others are inaccurate.

  5. X’s comments are quite useful, but I don’t think the sharp barbs are necessary. Obviously an arrogant Brit.

  6. I don’t believe there’s any call for throwing nasty names about. Lord W’s list is quite useful and we can help to improve it by offering suggestions and corrections.

  7. Many thanks to all for the suggestions for Lord Worcestercleucch’s Pronunciation Guide. I’ve incorporated many of them (with a few alterations) and they can be viewed on this page:
    http://www.dicamillocompanion.com/LordW_Pronounce_copy(1).html. Carew’s there now, too!

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