Saying British place names

The United Kingdom, no doubt due to its rich cultural and linguistic history, has rather a lot of place names that are pronounced differently from what a non-Briton might expect from the spelling. Here are some examples I’ve encountered, along with the actual pronunciations given in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Some of these will no doubt already be familiar to readers because of similarly or identically named places scattered through the English-speaking world.

Thames /ˈtɛmz/
Islington /ˈɪzlɪŋtən/
Southwark /ˈsʌθək/
Borough /ˈbʌrʌ/
Marylebone /ˈmɑrlɪbən/
Holborn /ˈhoʊbərn/
Slough /ˈslaʊ/
Reading /ˈrɛdɪŋ/
Leicester /ˈlɛstə/
Gloucester /ˈglɒstə/
Salisbury /ˈsɔlzbri/
Willesden /ˈwɪlzdən/
Greenwich /ˈgrɛnɪtʃ/
Woolwich /ˈwʊlɪtʃ/
Norwich /ˈnɒrɪtʃ/
Chiswick /ˈtʃɪzɪk/
Lewisham /ˈlʊwɪʃəm/
Fulham /ˈfʊləm/
Ruislip /ˈraɪslɪp/

Regional accents can influence the pronunciation of certain place names.

Newcastle /ˈnjukɑsəl/ (Received Pronunciation)
Newcastle /njuˈkæsəl/ (Geordie)

Consequently, identically-named places in different parts of the country may be pronounced differently.

Wapping (London) /ˈwɒpɪŋ/
Wapping (Merseyside) /ˈwæpɪŋ/

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