View Full Version : How do you pronounce derby?


classical_hero
Aug 12, 2004, 02:21 PM
I was wondering how people pronounce this simple word call ed Derby. There will be on two options because as far as I know there are only two different pronouncations of this word.
1. I pronounce 'Derby' as the way it looks.
2. I pronounce 'Derby' as 'Darby'.
I am one of those who pronounce the word the first option. I am puzzled at how a word that has an 'e' in ti can be pronounce as 'a'. Please post you thoughts.

Civrules
Aug 12, 2004, 02:25 PM
Although I don't care much, I pronounce it "derby."

Mise
Aug 12, 2004, 02:27 PM
Darby.

It's just one of those peculiarities of the English language that it is pronounced as Darby. Like how "put" and "but" don't rhyme.

classical_hero
Aug 12, 2004, 02:38 PM
Darby.

It's just one of those peculiarities of the English language that it is pronounced as Darby. Like how "put" and "but" don't rhyme.
Yes. The English language has to be the most confusing languages every has been used. :cringe:

Ian Beale
Aug 12, 2004, 02:39 PM
I pronounce it 'darby'. It would seem unusual to me to hear it pronounced 'derby'.

Dell19
Aug 12, 2004, 02:41 PM
I live reasonably close to Derby pronounced darby...

MrPresident
Aug 12, 2004, 04:18 PM
My father is from Derby (pronounced like Dell said). Jesus, does their football team suck. You no longer fear hell after spending a cold rainy afternoon watching a nil-nil draw between Derby and Crystal Palace.

The Last Conformist
Aug 12, 2004, 04:24 PM
I say "Darby".

A few centuries ago, there was a sound-change going on in English, turing medial -er- to -ar-. For whatever reason, the change was then mostly rolled back, leaving a few rephonematicized oddities like "Derby".

Another example is "varsity", originally a shortening of "university". As you see, here the spelling was changed to suit.

Sanaz
Aug 12, 2004, 04:28 PM
The towns all around England have pronunciations that are awkward for Americans. I say "derby".

Esckey
Aug 12, 2004, 04:40 PM
Der-Bee

8 9 10

BCLG100
Aug 12, 2004, 05:05 PM
'daarby'

why ever not?

CivEmperor
Aug 12, 2004, 05:15 PM
English can be wierd like that, like how a "t" can sound like "ch" any way I say Darby.

Halcyon
Aug 12, 2004, 05:49 PM
It should be pronounced 'darby', be it the place or the race. If you want confusingly pronounced place names, though, then leave Derby alone and go to good ol' Featherstonehaugh. That one can only have been intentional.

Birdjaguar
Aug 12, 2004, 05:54 PM
It should be pronounced 'darby', be it the place or the race. If you want confusingly pronounced place names, though, then leave Derby alone and go to good ol' Featherstonehaugh. That one can only have been intentional.

And the pronunciation is....

JonathanValjean
Aug 12, 2004, 06:14 PM
I pronounce it in a way in which it rhymes with "kirby" or "curby." Here in the SE United States, I have always heard it pronounced this way, as in "The Kentucky Derby." My two cents.

anarchywrksbest
Aug 12, 2004, 06:19 PM
Darby. "Derby" just sounds a bit limp wristed.

sysyphus
Aug 12, 2004, 08:35 PM
'Darby', it's kind of like "Clark" instead of "Clerk"

bobgote
Aug 12, 2004, 09:11 PM
western australians :rolleyes:

have to cringe everytime west coast play freo :cringe:

it's darby.

Moss
Aug 12, 2004, 09:14 PM
Derby...I don't think I've EVER heard it pronounced darby....

North King
Aug 12, 2004, 09:21 PM
Derby, I've never heard someone say Darby. I don't care much, either, so you should have allowed us to put multiple choices. ;)

bobgote
Aug 12, 2004, 09:24 PM
Derby...I don't think I've EVER heard it pronounced darby....
it's cos they don't speak english in the US.

or in western australia for that matter.

Mrogreturns
Aug 12, 2004, 09:36 PM
How do you pronounce 'Derby'?

Correctly.

ManOfMiracles
Aug 12, 2004, 11:20 PM
'Darby' when referring to a city and 'derby' when referring to a horse race. Don't know how to show that in the poll so I'll just have to vote radioactive monkey.

Becka
Aug 12, 2004, 11:34 PM
Derby's derby and darby's darby. Unless Kentucky has amazingly become Kentawky and nobody told me.

Vasileius
Aug 13, 2004, 12:15 AM
I call it Derby... Never heard of darby ..

Iggy
Aug 13, 2004, 09:09 AM
The correct way to pronounce it is darby. The city of Derby (pronounced Darby) was the home of the Earl of Derby who in the late 1700s created a horse race which became known as a "Derby". Derby horse races occur around the world today.

Crazy Eddie
Aug 13, 2004, 09:25 AM
It should be pronounced 'darby', be it the place or the race. If you want confusingly pronounced place names, though, then leave Derby alone and go to good ol' Featherstonehaugh. That one can only have been intentional.

And the pronunciation is....

Fanshaw. ;)

insurgent
Aug 13, 2004, 09:48 AM
While we're at it, how come Leicester is pronounced "Lester"?

Iggy
Aug 13, 2004, 10:13 AM
While we're at it, how come Leicester is pronounced "Lester"?

The "Leice" in Leicester is old English for "less" (pronounced the same way). If you listen closely to a native of Leicester he / she says the word with a prolonged snake like hiss "s" as in Less-sster. The same can be said for Gloucester, (Glouce is old English for a type of shinny paint which one could purchase from Ye Olde DIY Shoppe.) This spoken variation is especially prevalent with drunken natives who hiccup whilst saying the word.

On the other hand maybe I do not have a clue, so I made something up. :)

The Last Conformist
Aug 13, 2004, 10:16 AM
On the subject of atrocious spellings, "ye" for "the" owns totally in that regard.

classical_hero
Aug 13, 2004, 12:24 PM
western australians :rolleyes:

have to cringe everytime west coast play freo :cringe:

it's darby.
Eastern staters :rolleyes:
it's cos they don't speak english in the US.

or in western australia for that matter.
It is you who cannot speak properly. Don't forget that the next Western DERBY is on Sunday week. Go West Coast Eagles. :D

Benderino
Aug 13, 2004, 12:27 PM
I guess the Brits call it darby. I've only heard derby though. Like "home run derby", etc. DARBY? It's got a friggin "e"!

-0blivion-
Aug 13, 2004, 12:31 PM
Darby. The term originated here, i think we would know ;)

classical_hero
Aug 13, 2004, 12:32 PM
On the subject of atrocious spellings, "ye" for "the" owns totally in that regard.
I have know idea what you are going on about. If I am wrong please correct me. 'Ye' is plural for you and has nothing to do with 'the', or did you mean 'thee'. If you meant 'thee', then that is singular you in old English. That is the problem with modern English, their is no plural for you any more.
NOTE: I know that I used the wrong no at the start, it was just a little joke.

Becka
Aug 13, 2004, 02:06 PM
I have know idea what you are going on about. If I am wrong please correct me. 'Ye' is plural for you and has nothing to do with 'the', or did you mean 'thee'. If you meant 'thee', then that is singular you in old English. That is the problem with modern English, their is no plural for you any more.
NOTE: I know that I used the wrong no at the start, it was just a little joke.

He's refering to such usages as "Ye Olde Tavern" or "Ye Olde Inn". It really ought to be "THE Olde Tavern." The 'y' replaced the runic (I believe) symbol, thorn () which made a "th" sound. Probably had to do with the advent of the printing press. Eventually fell into disuse, along with eth and other things. Evoultion of language.

Mise
Aug 13, 2004, 02:09 PM
@Becka:
So, "Ye Olde Inn," is actually pronounced, "The Old Inn," then? Wow I've been saying it wrong all this time!

Becka
Aug 13, 2004, 02:12 PM
We all have. :p
Or you could put it "e Old Inn" but everybody would think you're crazy. We should re-introduce the thorn and eth. Mmm and .

The Last Conformist
Aug 13, 2004, 02:17 PM
@Becka: It had more to do with Norman scribes in whose handwriting thorn and and y fell together. The printing press only added the final nail.

@Mise: Yep.

Edit: And yes, thorn is indeed derived from the Runic alphabet.

classical_hero
Aug 13, 2004, 02:30 PM
He's refering to such usages as "Ye Olde Tavern" or "Ye Olde Inn". It really ought to be "THE Olde Tavern." The 'y' replaced the runic (I believe) symbol, thorn () which made a "th" sound. Probably had to do with the advent of the printing press. Eventually fell into disuse, along with eth and other things. Evoultion of language.
I never knew that before. You learn some new things every day then. :goodjob:

brandonbowler
Aug 13, 2004, 02:44 PM
I pronounce it "derby" and Ive never heard "darby" either. Why is it spelled derby if you pronounce it "darby"? :hmm:

BTW, is often pronounced "ofen" or "of-ten"?? its been bugging me forever. :mad:

Rout
Aug 13, 2004, 02:47 PM
Darby.

Some other silly place names in Britain:
Edinburgh (edinboro).
Worcestershire (werster).
Salop (written abbr. for Shropshire).

Also theres a place near my home town of Scarborough called Cloughton (clowton) - often baffling visitors and residents alike when directions are asked for "cluffton" :crazyeye:

The Last Conformist
Aug 13, 2004, 02:49 PM
I pronounce it "derby" and Ive never heard "darby" either. Why is it spelled derby if you pronounce it "darby"? :hmm:
A few centuries ago, there was a sound-change going on in English, turing medial -er- to -ar-. For whatever reason, the change was then mostly rolled back, leaving a few rephonematicized oddities like "Derby".

Another example is "varsity", originally a shortening of "university". As you see, here the spelling was changed to suit.
http://andjo.free.fr/nil.gif

sabo
Aug 13, 2004, 03:20 PM
I"ve always wondered why some people in England and some in the south-eastern part of the US always put an "R" in words where it doesn't belong, has anyone ever heard any one say they were going to "warsh there car?"

The Last Conformist
Aug 13, 2004, 03:31 PM
I guess that would be the people from Warshington.

Becka
Aug 13, 2004, 08:51 PM
@Becka: It had more to do with Norman scribes in whose handwriting thorn and and y fell together. The printing press only added the final nail.

Darn Normans. :(

I pronounce it "derby" and Ive never heard "darby" either. Why is it spelled derby if you pronounce it "darby"? :hmm:

BTW, is often pronounced "ofen" or "of-ten"?? its been bugging me forever. :mad:

The 't' is supposed to be silent but I have no idea why. It's what my English teachers always told me so I assume they knew what they were talking about. *shrug*

ComradeDavo
Aug 14, 2004, 03:21 AM
Being from the UK, where we have a city called 'Derby', I pronounce it Darby like everyone else does.

funxus
Aug 15, 2004, 03:33 AM
I pronounce it Darby, the question is how I spell it.:) I accidently spelt it Darby a few times before I realised how it was spelt. People living in Derby weren't too fond of that.:)

I also just realised how to pronounce Leicester and Edinburgh... It's really weird.

Oruc
Aug 15, 2004, 04:01 AM
ive always pronounced derby, but i pronounce lots of things wrong it isnt my fault ive never heard certain words

MrPresident
Aug 15, 2004, 06:08 AM
Here's a list of hard to pronounce English place names:

Caius (as in Caius College, Cambridge)
Frome
Honiton
Leominister
Magdalen (as in Magdalen College, Oxford)
Woolfhardisworthy
Marjoribanks
Slough

Have a guess at how you pronounce them.

The Last Conformist
Aug 15, 2004, 06:15 AM
Magdalen is "maudlin", IIRC?

How are the rest pronounced?

classical_hero
Aug 15, 2004, 07:21 AM
Here's a list of hard to pronounce English place names:

Caius (as in Caius College, Cambridge)
Frome
Honiton
Leominister
Magdalen (as in Magdalen College, Oxford)
Woolfhardisworthy
Marjoribanks
Slough

Have a guess at how you pronounce them.
I would generally pronounce them as they are written.
1. Kay-us
2. From or Froome or Frume
3. Hone-ton
4. Leo-mine-ster
5. Mag-da-len, I'll pronounce it the way it is written
6. Wolf-hard-is-wor-thee
7. Mar-jor-ree-banks
8. Slow, or Slok not Sloff
Here's a controversy (how do you pronounce it) that happen in Perth over the pronounciation of Glendalough. How do pronounce it? A clue is in the answer to Slough.

MrPresident
Aug 16, 2004, 05:29 AM
Here's how you pronounce them:

1. Caius is pronounced "keys".
2. Frome is pronounced "froom".
3. Honiton is pronounced "hunniton".
4. Leominister is pronounced "lemster".
5. Magdalen is pronounced "maudlin".
6. Woolfhardisworthy is pronounced "woolsey".
7. Marjorreebanks is pronounced "marchbanks".
8. Slough is pronounced to rhyme with "cow".

Masquerouge
Aug 16, 2004, 05:50 AM
Here's how you pronounce them:
6. Woolfhardisworthy is pronounced "woolsey".
7. Marjorreebanks is pronounced "marchbanks".


:lol:

I remember my first trips to England... When I wanted to drink a pint of beer, and go to leicester square. Of course I didn't say pie-nt and Leister. But I survived.
I remember also one poem we learned in english class. Well, I remember a few verses :
"When the english tongue we speak
why does break not rhyme with freak ?
will you tell me why it's true
we say saw but likewise sew ?
And think of tomb and bomb and comb"
and I forgot the following but you get the idea.

ferenginar
Aug 16, 2004, 06:17 AM
Definately Darby

MrPresident,

What about?

Bicester
Towcester
Loughborough

Dell19
Aug 16, 2004, 08:36 AM
Another one since its local:

Belvior

Illustrious
Aug 16, 2004, 10:40 AM
There is an old limerick which takes the mickey out of oddly-spelled or pronounced English placenames.

There was a young curate from Salisbury
Who was terribly halisbury-scalisbury;
He ran around Hampshire
Without any pampshire,
Till the bishop insisted he walisbury.

Basically, it makes no sense unless you know the abbreviations for Salisbury and Hampshire. Then it makes sense... sort of.

Iggy
Aug 16, 2004, 10:46 AM
Then it makes sense... sort of.
Pehaps after an ale or two. ;)

Illustrious
Aug 16, 2004, 10:48 AM
Definately Darby

MrPresident,

What about?

Bicester
Towcester
Loughborough

To slip in and steal Mr P's glory:

Biss-ter
Toe-ster
Luff-brə

(where ə is the "schwa", or the sound made by "e" in "the" or "ou" in "colour")


HOWEVER.... just to spoil the party,
Cirencester isn't pronounced Sirn-ster as you might expect, but actually is pronounced as it's spelled: Siren-sester.

Atlas14
Aug 16, 2004, 11:04 AM
Derby definately. Ive never heard it pronounced darby, and I live in a strange state, Maryland. We have northern accents on the western shore of Maryland and semi-southern accents on the eastern shore, and in neither place have I heard it said darby. Why go to the trouble of making it sound darby when you could just pronounce it how it's spelled? Personally, derby sounds better.

IglooDude
Aug 16, 2004, 11:10 AM
Arrrgh... and in Massachusetts they've taken most of the names and doubled the pronunciation problems: They took the second R out of Worcester and now it is just Wusstah. Woburn has been deprived of vowels: Wbrn. Leominster is Lminster. Few people realize that tea wasn't the only thing the colonists dumped into Boston Harbor, they also got rid of most R as well.

The Last Conformist
Aug 16, 2004, 11:14 AM
Why go to the trouble of making it sound darby when you could just pronounce it how it's spelled?
Well, the sensible question would be why not spell it as it's pronounced.

Atlas14
Aug 16, 2004, 11:16 AM
Few people realize that tea wasn't the only thing the colonists dumped into Boston Harbor, they also got rid of most R as well.

Funny and true.

Iggy
Aug 16, 2004, 11:20 AM
Few people realize that tea wasn't the only thing the colonists dumped into Boston Harbor, they also got rid of most R as well.
Indeed, a prime example would be, "He is a pain in the ....." The Brits use the R, whereas the Americans do not. :)

stormbind
Aug 16, 2004, 11:33 AM
I find this thread confusing.

How do you pronounce Derby, Darby, Durby and Dirby? Surely the only way to know would be to hear it!!

Considering the difference in how Americans and British pronounce a (i.e. master) I think that trying to write what can be interpreted in many ways, risks misleading people.

stormbind
Aug 16, 2004, 11:40 AM
Well, the sensible question would be why not spell it as it's pronounced.
Because people pronounce things differently.

Women is commonly pronounced as Wimmen -- doesn't mean we should change the spelling.

Neither Colour nor Color are an accurate description of the sounds, though I would argue that the former is a closer match. I don't think anyone would advocate changing them both to Kuller ;)

The Last Conformist
Aug 16, 2004, 11:53 AM
Because people pronounce things differently.
In this case, largely because the accepted spelling suggests the wrong pronunciation.

Women is commonly pronounced as Wimmen -- doesn't mean we should change the spelling.

Neither Colour nor Color are an accurate description of the sounds, though I would argue that the former is a closer match. I don't think anyone would advocate changing them both to Kuller ;)
You'd be surprised ...

Proposals for English spelling reforms are about as rare as water in the ocean.

stormbind
Aug 16, 2004, 12:28 PM
Proposals for English spelling reforms are about as rare as water in the ocean.
I am surprised!!

In the UK, spelling is dictated by the people. The Oxford English Dictionary prints whatever spellings have appeared in published text. Nobody dictates, as is the oldest tradition of dictionaries.

So why would anyone lobby to change the spelling? If they want to spell differently, nobody is stopping them. They will be ridiculed by spelling-zealots* in the public, but it's the public who ultimately decide ;)

In the US, it is (or was) dictated by corporations and government. But that's a different world.

* Plenty of examples online.

The Last Conformist
Aug 16, 2004, 12:54 PM
So why would anyone lobby to change the spelling?
Because English has the most irregular spelling of any alphabetically written language, presumably. Contests for "worst alphabetic orthography" usually ends up as English-Tibetan deathmatches ... and the Tibetans haven't changed theirs in a millennium and a half.

Googling for "English spelling reform", "Regularized Inglish", "Shavian alphabet" should introduce you to the scenic worlds of English spelling reform proposals.

I understand SN is interested in the subject