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Wooster, Worcester, or Worcestershire sauce?


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26 minutes ago, Odaks said:

When it forms the end part of a full county name, it gets pronounced "sheer".  Why? Because it bloody does, ok?

Not up 'ere, it doesn't. Up 'ere it's always pronounced sher - sound like her. Yorksher, Lancasher, Derbysher, Hertfordsher, Herefordsher, etc. etc. etc.

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40 minutes ago, Garnet Psaltery said:

As a native Englishwoman I've heard it most often pronounced Wooster regardless of brand, or Wooster-sher if people are being a little posh.  I've never heard the syllable Wor pronounced as War.

I sometimes hear a soft "wur" for the first syllable.

I have a southern standard accent, for whatever it's worth. And now I can't remember how I usually say it!

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9 minutes ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

That's how I said it as a  kid but everyone told me I was wrong. 🤔

That's how I've always  pronounced it.  Although now, for fun, we always add extra syllables.

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   Is it just me being very curious about how it's pronounced in German?

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2 minutes ago, Orwar said:

   Is it just me being very curious about how it's pronounced in German?

A couple of clicks and guttural stops? 🤭

 

I'm sorry. I seem to be full of weird comebacks today. I'd better find something else to do for a while before someone gets bent out of shape and I get suspended for having fun again.

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1 minute ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

A couple of clicks and guttural stops? 🤭

   I don't know, but I'm worried of anything in the hands (or tongues) of the Germans that starts with a wor.

   .. I'll show myself out.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Odaks said:

Surely other countries aren't so silly?

All languages have such quirks but as far as I know none has nearly as many as English. French and Danich are probably the closest but they too have far more consistent pronounciation rules/customs.

Linguistics101 coming up - most of you probably know all of this and can safely skip the rest of my post.

There are three reasons why English pronounciation is so inconsistent. The Map Men explain one of them and briefly mention another.

The first is that English is fundamentally a constructed hybrid language,. It's assembled from bits and pieces of various Germanic, Romance, Norse and Celtic languages.

The second is that English spelling hasn't been updated over the centuries to the same extent other languages have been. The Great Wovel Shift is especially significant here but there have been many other changes in pornounciation not reflected in spelling too. My formal speciality is renaissance music so I've studied a lot of 16th and 17th century written sources in different languages and it's very easy to see how similar old and contemporary English spelling is compared to Scandinavian or German (I'm not really fluent enough in other languges to tell the difference.)

The third reason is the British empire. All those different cultures that had English forced upon them pushed back and added their own local slant to the language. It's amazing how much of this has been assimilated into the standard.

Today I think there is a trend to align English pronouncation with written English, not the other way round, probably because so many people have it as their second language. There's one particular word I've noticed that seems to have changed that way. It's "route". How to you pronounce it?

Fortunately there is a Plain and Easy Introduction to English pronounciation, originally written by Gerard Nolst Trenité in 1922 and expanded and updated by others over time. The only significant flaw is that it misses the word "ghoti":

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
   I will teach you in my verse
   Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.

I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
   Tear in eye, your dress you'll tear;
   Queer, fair seer, hear my prayer.

Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
   Just compare heart, hear and heard,
   Dies and diet, lord and word.

Sword and sward, retain and Britain
(Mind the latter how it's written).
   Made has not the sound of bade,
   Say-said, pay-paid, laid but plaid.

Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
   But be careful how you speak,
   Say: gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak ,

Previous, precious, fuchsia, via
Recipe, pipe, studding-sail, choir;
   Woven, oven, how and low,
   Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.

Say, expecting fraud and trickery:
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
   Branch, ranch, measles, topsails, aisles,
   Missiles, similes, reviles.

Wholly, holly, signal, signing,
Same, examining, but mining,
   Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
   Solar, mica, war and far.

From "desire": desirable-admirable from "admire",
Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier,
   Topsham, brougham, renown, but known,
   Knowledge, done, lone, gone, none, tone,

One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel.
   Gertrude, German, wind and wind,
   Beau, kind, kindred, queue, mankind,

Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,
Reading, Reading, heathen, heather.
   This phonetic labyrinth
   Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.

Have you ever yet endeavoured
To pronounce revered and severed,
   Demon, lemon, ghoul, foul, soul,
   Peter, petrol and patrol?

Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
   Blood and flood are not like food,
   Nor is mould like should and would.

Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which exactly rhymes with khaki.
   Discount, viscount, load and broad,
   Toward, to forward, to reward,

Ricocheted and crocheting, croquet?
Right! Your pronunciation's OK.
   Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
   Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Is your r correct in higher?
Keats asserts it rhymes Thalia.
   Hugh, but hug, and hood, but hoot,
   Buoyant, minute, but minute.

Say abscission with precision,
Now: position and transition;
   Would it tally with my rhyme
   If I mentioned paradigm?

Twopence, threepence, tease are easy,
But cease, crease, grease and greasy?
   Cornice, nice, valise, revise,
   Rabies, but lullabies.

Of such puzzling words as nauseous,
Rhyming well with cautious, tortious,
   You'll envelop lists, I hope,
   In a linen envelope.

Would you like some more? You'll have it!
Affidavit, David, davit.
   To abjure, to perjure. Sheik
   Does not sound like Czech but ache.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, loch, moustache, eleven.
   We say hallowed, but allowed,
   People, leopard, towed but vowed.

Mark the difference, moreover,
Between mover, plover, Dover.
   Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
   Chalice, but police and lice,

Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
   Petal, penal, and canal,
   Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal,

Suit, suite, ruin. Circuit, conduit
Rhyme with "shirk it" and "beyond it",
   But it is not hard to tell
   Why it's pall, mall, but Pall Mall.

Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron,
Timber, climber, bullion, lion,
   Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
   Senator, spectator, mayor,

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
Has the a of drachm and hammer.
   *****, hussy and possess,
   Desert, but desert, address.

Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants
Hoist in lieu of flags left pennants.
   Courier, courtier, tomb, bomb, comb,
   Cow, but Cowper, some and home.

"Solder, soldier! Blood is thicker",
Quoth he, "than liqueur or liquor",
   Making, it is sad but true,
   In bravado, much ado.

Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
   Pilot, pivot, gaunt, but aunt,
   Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant.

Arsenic, specific, scenic,
Relic, rhetoric, hygienic.
   Gooseberry, goose, and close, but close,
   Paradise, rise, rose, and dose.

Say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle,
Make the latter rhyme with eagle.
   Mind! Meandering but mean,
   Valentine and magazine.

And I bet you, dear, a penny,
You say mani-(fold) like many,
   Which is wrong. Say rapier, pier,
   Tier (one who ties), but tier.

Arch, archangel; pray, does erring
Rhyme with herring or with stirring?
   Prison, bison, treasure trove,
   Treason, hover, cover, cove,

Perseverance, severance. Ribald
Rhymes (but piebald doesn't) with nibbled.
   Phaeton, paean, gnat, ghat, gnaw,
   Lien, psychic, shone, bone, pshaw.

Don't be down, my own, but rough it,
And distinguish buffet, buffet;
   Brood, stood, roof, rook, school, wool, boon,
   Worcester, Boleyn, to impugn.

Say in sounds correct and sterling
Hearse, hear, hearken, year and yearling.
   Evil, devil, mezzotint,
   Mind the z! (A gentle hint.)

Now you need not pay attention
To such sounds as I don't mention,
   Sounds like pores, pause, pours and paws,
   Rhyming with the pronoun yours;

Nor are proper names included,
Though I often heard, as you did,
   Funny rhymes to unicorn,
   Yes, you know them, Vaughan and Strachan.

No, my maiden, coy and comely,
I don't want to speak of Cholmondeley.
   No. Yet Froude compared with proud
   Is no better than McLeod.

But mind trivial and vial,
Tripod, menial, denial,
   Troll and trolley, realm and ream,
   Schedule, mischief, schism, and scheme.

Argil, gill, Argyll, gill. Surely
May be made to rhyme with Raleigh,
   But you're not supposed to say
   Piquet rhymes with sobriquet.

Had this invalid invalid
Worthless documents? How pallid,
   How uncouth he, couchant, looked,
   When for Portsmouth I had booked!

Zeus, Thebes, Thales, Aphrodite,
Paramour, enamoured, flighty,
   Episodes, antipodes,
   Acquiesce, and obsequies.

Please don't monkey with the geyser,
Don't peel 'taters with my razor,
   Rather say in accents pure:
   Nature, stature and mature.

Pious, impious, limb, climb, glumly,
Worsted, worsted, crumbly, dumbly,
   Conquer, conquest, vase, phase, fan,
   Wan, sedan and artisan.

The th will surely trouble you
More than r, ch or w.
   Say then these phonetic gems:
   Thomas, thyme, Theresa, Thames.

Thompson, Chatham, Waltham, Streatham,
There are more but I forget 'em-
   Wait! I've got it: Anthony,
   Lighten your anxiety.

The archaic word albeit
Does not rhyme with eight-you see it;
   With and forthwith, one has voice,
   One has not, you make your choice.

Shoes, goes, does *. Now first say: finger;
Then say: singer, ginger, linger.
   Real, zeal, mauve, gauze and gauge,
   Marriage, foliage, mirage, age,

Hero, heron, query, very,
Parry, tarry fury, bury,
   Dost, lost, post, and doth, cloth, loth,
   Job, Job, blossom, bosom, oath.

Faugh, oppugnant, keen oppugners,
Bowing, bowing, banjo-tuners
   Holm you know, but noes, canoes,
   Puisne, truism, use, to use?

Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual,
   Seat, sweat, chaste, caste, Leigh, eight, height,
   Put, nut, granite, and unite.

Reefer does not rhyme with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
   Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late,
   Hint, pint, senate, but sedate.

Gaelic, Arabic, pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific;
   Tour, but our, dour, succour, four,
   Gas, alas, and Arkansas.

Say manoeuvre, yacht and vomit,
Next omit, which differs from it
   Bona fide, alibi
   Gyrate, dowry and awry.

Sea, idea, guinea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
   Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean,
   Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion,
   Rally with ally; yea, ye,
   Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay!

Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.
   Never guess-it is not safe,
   We say calves, valves, half, but Ralf.

Starry, granary, canary,
Crevice, but device, and eyrie,
   Face, but preface, then grimace,
   Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.

Bass, large, target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, oust, joust, and scour, but scourging;
   Ear, but earn; and ere and tear
   Do not rhyme with here but heir.

Mind the o of off and often
Which may be pronounced as orphan,
   With the sound of saw and sauce;
   Also soft, lost, cloth and cross.

Pudding, puddle, putting. Putting?
Yes: at golf it rhymes with shutting.
   Respite, spite, consent, resent.
   Liable, but Parliament.

Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,
   Monkey, donkey, clerk and jerk,
   Asp, grasp, wasp, demesne, cork, work.

A of valour, vapid vapour,
S of news (compare newspaper),
   G of gibbet, gibbon, gist,
   I of antichrist and grist,

Differ like diverse and divers,
Rivers, strivers, shivers, fivers.
   Once, but nonce, toll, doll, but roll,
   Polish, Polish, poll and poll.

Pronunciation-think of Psyche!-
Is a paling, stout and spiky.
   Won't it make you lose your wits
   Writing groats and saying "grits"?

It's a dark abyss or tunnel
Strewn with stones like rowlock, gunwale,
   Islington, and Isle of Wight,
   Housewife, verdict and indict.

Don't you think so, reader, rather,
Saying lather, bather, father?
   Finally, which rhymes with enough,
   Though, through, bough, cough, hough, sough, tough??

Hiccough has the sound of sup...
My advice is: GIVE IT UP!

Edited by ChinRey
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2 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

Hmm. When I lived in Massachusetts, I heard "Woostah"—but to be fair, I never knew a native to utter an audible "R" the whole time I lived there.

RIGHT!  I was brought up in Massachusetts.  Although I lost most of my Bay State accent decades ago, I still know that Worcester is pronounced "WOOSTAH" and Worcestershire Sauce is pronounced "WOOSTASHA Sauce".  Natives would never put an unnecessary R into a word like that (Unlike people south of the border in Rhode Island, who will move their R's around willy-nilly. )  Incidentally, the state is MassaCHUsetts.  I have no idea why people far south of there have decided that it's MassaTWOsetts.

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6 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

I have no idea why people far south of there have decided that it's MassaTWOsetts.

Haha I never heard that. We're they missing some teef? xD

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I don't particularly like that sauce.
So not really my problem.
Poor it in if you like, I will eat it, but I never use it.

And since I'm my own chef ...........

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Sid Nagy said:

I don't particularly like that sauce.
So not really my problem.
Poor it in if you like, I will eat it, but I never use it.

And since I'm my own chef ...........

I like putting a couple drops into a bloody mary with some lemon juice.

Edited by Finite
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"whiskey-sheer"

"woo-stir-sheer"

This has always been a challenge for me since childhood.

 

2 hours ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

 

"What's-this-here sauce."

I like this one better.

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1 minute ago, Finite said:

Haha I never heard that. We're they missing some teef? xD

It's a great puzzle. I've heard it many times over the years, even from fellow academics who have certainly seen how the name is spelled. It's sort of the reverse of what happens when non-natives of Missouri pronounce that state's name the way it's spelled instead of the way someone from Jefferson City or Joplin would pronounce it.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

It's a great puzzle. I've heard it many times over the years, even from fellow academics who have certainly seen how the name is spelled. It's sort of the reverse of what happens when non-natives of Missouri pronounce that state's name the way it's spelled instead of the way someone from Jefferson City or Joplin would pronounce it.

Reminds me when I moved to Florida for year. Eventually my ahs converted to ers and I figured out why some people in the south say idear instead of idea. It's one of the few words Bostonians actually say correctly.

Edited by Finite
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