Are all British names with "-bury" pronounced "bree"?

The Scots like to say “eddin-burruh” I think. And it’s their city, after all.

Yep, British (and for that matter, any other country’s) place names are rarely ever pronounced with any sort of standardisation. For instance, I come from a village that borders another called “Haigh”, pronounced “hey”. Others pronounce similarly named villages “Hague”. See also Cambridge, which changes depending on which particular Cambridge you are talking about.

Not that I noticed (I lived there for seven years). It’s more like Edinbruh, though there’s at least four or five different accents in Edinburgh alone, so it depends who you are talking to I suppose.

It doesn’t help that the ‘official’ sources of pronunciation sometimes get it wrong. Holborn has always had a silent ‘l’ and an ‘o’ like in ‘no,’ (oʊ) but the automated tube announcer tube announcer now pronounces the l and says the 'o 'like in dog (ɔ). Same with Marylebone - the recording says it like the three words it’s made of, not the ‘Mahli-bn’ I’m used to. And ‘Bank’ on the DLR becomes ‘the Bank’ as if you were about pop in to deposit a cheque.

Worst, though, was Stanford Le Hope in Essex, pronounced by the recording as though it were a small village in the Loire. No, it’s pronounced exactly as it’s written, which is unusual but something that a person being paid to pronounce place names should check.

Anyway, America can be just as colourful with its names. Arkansas, anyone?

In my experience, very few people in Edinburgh are actually from Edinburgh (I’ve lived here 14 years and can count on one hand the number of friends and workmates I have that are actual Edinburghers), so that may explain the variety of accents.

Scottish placenames in particular can be very counter-intuitive. See Milngavie, Strathaven, Dunfermline and Bruichladdich as examples.

Similar would be the American Solitary and Secretary (four syllables) to the British “Sol-ih-tree and Sec-re-tree”

Sort of. The Brits have this tendency to emphasize the “bor” in comparison to Americans, who say LAB-ra-tore-ee, not la-BOH-ru-tree. We do really pronounce two syllables for anything ending in -tary or -tory. If you want it pronounced -tree, you oughta spell it like that! :stuck_out_tongue:

Coincidentally, I was wondering about the abbreviation “Brit”–your use suggests that British folks find nothing offensive or objectionable about it?

I’ve never heard any objection, but wondered if you Brits are just too polite to say anything…:wink:

People can be sensitive about such things, as I found out when I once referred to San Franciso as “Frisco.”

I have a mild dislike of it from Americans, though use it about myself pretty often.

No, nothing actually offensive about “Brit” to my Brit ears. I can imagine using it myself. At least it doesn’t mix up a Scot and an Englishman!

I guess it depends how it is used. Given the right tone of voice it could be offensive if used by a foreigner.

In general, I don’t think most people are bothered at all - it’s just shorthand. However, there may be other implications when using the term in Northern Ireland, and some Scots Nationalists won’t be happy being referred to as a Brit either.

How do Americans (in general, not just from the historically appropriate parts) feel about being referred to as Yanks?

Not to mention the famous sauce, which many Americans pronounce “War-sess-ter-shy-er,” the more clued-in pronounce “Wuhstersher,” but which a British coworker insisted was “Wursher.”

To be fair, that’s a Frenchification of a Native American word, so it’s not like that’s standard for American. Look at Kansas.

But that’s true of just about anything. I don’t think there’s any descriptor that can’t be made derisive by tone of voice.

I could have sworn that Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk was pronounced “BUR-ee”, but I am probably mistaken on that point.

My giveaway that I was not from the UK (this being long after my accent had changed enough for people to ask what part of Wales I was from) was when I pronounced Southwark as “south-wark” in a lecture.

Suffolk boy here - definitely ‘Berry’.

They’ll just think you’re a foreigner, specifically from the British Isles, the Antipodes, or South Africa. Even if an American does use the term for whatever reason, it will be “Yankee,” not “Yank.”

Well there’s our exception to “bury” as “bree”, then…it is two syllables after all.

I few miles from here is the town of Southwell. Nobody, including the locals or the BBC can decide on the correct pronunciation. Sometimes it’s “south-well”, sometimes it’s “Suth-ell”.

So no great offense, then?

To be fair, a lot of British people wouldn’t be all that sure how to pronounce Southwark either