How does one pronounce "Methuen", as in the publishing house in the UK?

Just wondering how Methuen is pronounced. I have a feeling I have been
mispronouncing it.


The town in Massachusetts is “Muh-THOO-en”.


As a New Englander you know it’s Meh-chew-en, at least to those making fun of that wonderful berg.

For the OP, I’d go pretty much with what Elvis said, though I’d have spelled it “Meh-th-oo-en” Meth - like the drug, oo - like a short ghosty bit, en - standard “en” type suffix.


Thanks Elvis.

That’s the way I’d been saying it; I once overheard someone say “METH’-you-in”
and got all confused.

:slight_smile: And Chelmsford is Chemsford. And Wilmington is Wimmington. How can we stand living here? :rolleyes:

I remember a song from about 20 years ago (John Lincoln Wright, perhaps?):

“Living in Braintree,
With you in Methuen,
Is almost like living in Lowell.”

Just to respond to the OP: Worcester is pronounced differently in Massachusetts than it is in Britain, as are many place names, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the British pronunciation you heard was correct.

Speaking of this whole mess, I was listening to a radio advert today on the way back from lunch, and heard an (obviously out of towner) annoucer call Woburn as WO-Burn. Drives me nuts that they’d play it like that here! It’s Wooooooo-burn.

Worcester here is woo-ster, nor Wor-Ches-ter. The latter is a mark of a tourist!

(wondering where he can get a Tourist hunting license, it’s the season after all!)

METH-you-en is the way I, with a Standard English accent, would say it.

Hmmm. Native New Englander checking in

I always said “me-THUE-en”, or maybe closer to “mu-ThUE- en” and Chelmsford is “CHUMS-ford”. But it’s kind of a schwa- e type thing, somewhere between a short e and a short u. And Chelmsford has the tiniest hint of an “l” before the s. It’s like you start to say the “l”, but don’t acutally say it.

Nope: WOOOOO-b’n


Let’s get it right! :slight_smile:

I’ll stand corrected. Can’t spell correct english without trying really hard. Phonetic spelling, even less so. I do say it “right” in person, but it’s kind of like emotionality online, tough to represent it properly.

Still no word on the Tourist permits though. What’s the bag limit? I assume shotguns and bows only in MA and Southern NH. :slight_smile:


As it’s a British publishing house, New England pronunciation not really relevant.

I presume this is a new world Chelmsford? Although the original isn’t that different - “Chems-ford”, also with a slight hint of the L.

New World… how very quaint of you. :slight_smile:

Yep, Chelmsford, MA. Most of MA city names are either of Native American origin (like the state itself) or have cognates from England. Makes it confusing, because the England cognates often have cognates in the other N.E. states, too, which may be only an hour or so drive away. Not to mention the cognates outside of N.E., as well.

Portsmouth, anyone?

Not sure if Concord comes from England, but that’s a real popular one, too.

Yeah…that Braintree deserved to be a subway terminus always amuses me :slight_smile:

Here’s one: Waltham.

You goes over there say WALLTH-um, almost as if it were one syllable, right?

In MA, it’s WALL-tham, almost exagerating the separation between the syllables by drawing out the first “A”.

Thank you irishgirl and Axel; I was hoping for input from the European side; since I was specifically interested in the UK book publishers.


I don’t think it does come from England - I can’t find any locality that it’s likely to stem from. It’s far more likely to be a true original name, similar to 'Freetown’s the world over.

It was probably named after the airplane.

Since we’re all here - can someone do **Gloucester ** for me? I’m embarrassed to say after all these decades in MA I’m still not clear if it’s gluhster (as in duh) or glahster (as in gloss or slaw)

Here it’s pronounced glo-ster, to rhyme with roster, or the last two syllables of imposter.