Social Success: A Victorian Guide To Proper Pronunciation (Part One)

It can be terribly embarrassing to mispronounce things, particularly names. And some people take genuine offence if the pronunciation of their name or castle should falter on another person’s lips. If you are in any doubt as to the correct pronunciation, when in the midst of a conversation, it might just be best to talk around that particular word and carry on as best you can.

However, with the aid of an authoritative tome, Manners and Rules of Good Society, we shall endeavour to highlight some especially trying words and to clarify the best way of pronouncing them.

The correct spelling of the words is found on the left, while the correct pronunciation is found on the right:

  • Arundel – Arrandel
  • Belvoir – Be’ver
  • Bethune – Bee’ton
  • Blount – Blunt
  • Bury – Berry
  • Charteris – Charters
  • Derby – Darby
  • Hughes – Hews
  • Leigh – Lee
  • Mainwaring – Man’nering
  • St Clair – Sinclair
  • St John – Sinjin

Now forewarned and thus forearmed, any ladies or gentlemen reading these humble pieces of advice should be able to venture into tongue-twisting conversation with confidence and grace…



Anon., Manners and Rules of Good Society; Or, Solecisms to be Avoided, (Leopold Classic Library).

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