Scones, battleships, and why the London underground’s called the tube

A proper, and amusing lesson in pronouncing one of the world’s finest words. How do YOU pronounce scone? Read more from

Notes from the U.K.

Last Sunday, I opened the paper to find almost a full page devoted to a burning question: How do Britons pronounce the word scone?

I’d been under the impression that everybody who isn’t me pronounced it—as the article explained it—so it rhymes with gone. I’m not sure how useful that is, since for all I know the pronunciation of gone shifts from region to country to class to ethnic group. I pronounce it gawn, although I don’t drag out the W. The pronunciation they’re relying on is, I think, something closer to gohn. Or is that gahn?

English is such a mess.

Still, gone is a good enough place to start. Let’s leave it there for a minute or three.

Irrelevant photo: A bunch of junk I picked up in a few minutes on the beach, mostly plastic rope from fishing nets and a few other bits…

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Author: nananoyz

I'm a semi-retired crazy person with one husband and two cats.

11 thoughts on “Scones, battleships, and why the London underground’s called the tube”

  1. Hmmmm… Grrr. Indeed how that word is pronounced is a problem. Not only do we have scones here in Scotland, not Britain, or Britons, because as we find here in Scotland, land of the scone, we also have Scone Palace, and both are pronounced quite differently.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hee hee, some years back we met this lovely Cockney couple and he talked about Scone palace, pronouncing it as in scone, rhymes with gone. But Scone Palace is pronounced scoon. God knows why. Scone as in the cakes is pronounced scone as rhymes with gone. Do Not ask me the whys and where-fors of language. Where did you visit here?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The golf? You would not come here for the weather. God’s sake though you were in my area. We live about an hour’s drive from Edinburgh and usually pop down there every summer for the outdoor blues music fest at the Grassmarket. BUT we used to live about 13 miles from St Andrew’s– a lovely place. Now we live the other side of the watter we are probably about that on the coast from Carnoustie. If you are ever back here let us know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was ready to move to Scotland. While our menfolk played golf the women went exploring and shopping in places like Anstruther and Pitlochry and Aberdeen. I need to dig out our itinerary to see where we went!
      We’re doing a similar trip to Ireland in June. My ancestry is Scots-Irish so I’ll see which side I’m most drawn to, I reckon.
      Definitely will let you know if we’re ever in Scotland again. And you let us know if you make another trip to Florida!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We will. Please do let us know. Anstruther is a lovely place too. The villages along the East Neuk are. Pitlochry, I know well. I mind my first holiday with a pal was there. We stayed in the middle of nowhere and got chased by dogs every night across fields, trying to find our way back to the hotel. We went to the theatre which wasn’t where it is now is. For a quite a while, before we kind of discovered Glencoe, me and the Mr would take a 5 days for 3 break at Blair Atholl, just up the road every April. My ancestry is very mixed, Highland, Irish famine folks, English –Norman–nobility, foreign mercenaries, Scottish assassins… I have never been to Ireland but I am certain you will enjoy it. I would like to go. it is defo on the list.

        Liked by 1 person

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