Thursday, 19 November 2009

a puzzle

Can you think of two nine-letter words that do not rhyme, but which can be made to rhyme simply by exchanging their initial letters? By the way, in case you were wondering, I shall not be pandering to the usual conventions by providing a solution to this conundrum, so if you are interested in finding the answer, you will have to work it out for yourself.


  1. Pronunciation of English place names: I have endeavoured to explain these pronunciations purely in terms of spelling. International phonetic symbols would be more accurate but would be meaningless to anyone unfamiliar with these symbols. I have therefore used only one (ə), which stands for the indeterminate (unstressed) vowel heard in the second syllable of a word like ‘often’ and is otherwise known as a ‘schwa’.

    1. Almondbury…‘Aymbəry’.
    2. Barugh…‘Bark’.
    3. Brougham…‘Broom’.
    4. Caldmore…‘Caamər’ (‘calmer’).
    5. Cholmondeley…‘Chumly’.
    6. Cholmondeston…‘Chomsən’.
    7. Congresbury…‘Coomsbəry’.
    8. Happisburgh…‘Hayzbərə’.
    9. Hardenhuish…‘Harnish’ (rhymes with ‘varnish’).
    10. Puncknowle…‘Punnəl’ (rhymes with ‘tunnel’).
    11. Trowse…‘Tross’.
    12. Wyrardisbury…‘Rayzbəry’.

    How did you do?

  2. I'm afraid I did fairly abysmally Dennis despite being a native born Englishman (and Kentish Man). We have some locally here in Kent which catch people out -

    Wrotham pronounced Root'em
    Erith pronounced Earith
    Trottiscliffe pronopunced Trozlee


    1. I missed your comment somehow Glen and therefore apologize. I already knew Wrotham and Erith, but I think I’d have included Trottiscliffe in the list if I’d known about it.


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