Original article from Kent Live
The English language is wonderful, isn't it?
Our wonderful language is one of the hardest to learn because of the unpredictable spelling and challenging grammar.
Indeed, some who have lived here their whole life still don't know the difference between they're, their and there.
Kent towns and villages prove no different! We'd imagine that even those who have lived in the county for decades struggle to pronounce some of these place names.
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Place names often evolve over the years but generally were coined countless years ago.
If you live in an uniquely-spelt area, you've probably nailed its pronunciation by now.
But we bet some of your friends who live elsewhere keep getting it wrong.
In fact some people in the village down the road are struggling too.
Even the construction of this very list led to a heated debate in the office on how to pronounce some place names.
Which ones do you often hear people getting wrong? Let us know in the comments below.
The Chevening Estate
It's actually pronounced "cheev-ning" but we've heard some great variations.
The usual mistake is to call it "chev-vee-ning".
Maidstone may look quite obvious but it's not as clear as you might think.
The end of the word is actually pronounced "stn" rather than "stone".
So it's "Maid-stn"
A buy-on-get-one-free offer here, we've been saying Folkestone a little off too.
Phonetically, it is pronounced "Fowk-stn".
Challock – Between Ashford and Canterbury
Challock's sprawling village green
At first glance it might look like "chawl-ock", or even "chall-lock".
But the easy way to remember it is it rhymes with a swear word…
It's actually 'Chol-lock" (ahem).
Another sometimes mispronounced name is the village of Merewroth.
For those who are wondering it is "merry-worth", not "meer-worth".
Acrise – in the Folkestone district
This rural parish is often wrongly pronounced as "A-cries" .
But in fact the e is silent and it is spoken as "A-chris".
Seals line the banks of the River Stour in Pegwell Bay (Image: Victoria Jones/PA Wire)
Starting from Pegwell Bay, this river flows through Kent and causing debate on how its pronounced.
We still can't decide if it's "Stoor" or "Stower" (like shower). What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
Another strangely-spelt village in the North Downs, Petham's pronunciation causes a stir.
To settle the debate, it is "pet-ham", not "peth-am".
Betteshanger – near Deal
You may have heard this pronounced "Bet-tys-hanger".
But that's not right.
It's actually "bets-hanger".
A common mistake is to pronounce this previously-Kent-but-technically-London area "Eh-rith".
But you have to elongate the e, so it's pronounced "eeerith".
Elham – between Canterbury and Folkestone
A bit like the name Ellie – you can often hear people referring to the village of Elham, near Canterbury, as El-ham.
When in fact you heavily pronounce the E, to say Ee-lham.
Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells are spelt differently which often leads to visitors stumbling over the way it is said.
A name change for Tonebridge Wells to Tunbridge Wells is the reason why the names differ.
No matter whether you are talking about Tonbridge or Tunbridge Wells, the first syllable always rhymes with 'sun'.
Leigh – between Tonbridge and Sevenoaks
Any name with adjacent can sometimes lead to.
This one's not pronounced 'Lee' but like 'lie'.
Mongeham – Deal
Think sponge or gunge or lunge.
It's definitely not mong-ham. Thank you very much.
Wrotham – near Borough Green
This is a tricky one which must annoy many of the people living at the foot of the North Downs.
The 'th' in Wrotham often leads people who may not know the area well to say the Wro- th -am.
When in actual fact, its spoken like 'Routeham'.
Goudhurst – village on the Weald
Goudhurst looks idyllic in this village (Image: Laura Page)
It's not Goldhurst, it's Goudhurst!
With the first bit of the village's name spoken like 'Gow'.
Barham – Canterbury
Best to think of it like BARR-UHM.
Mersham – near Willesborough, Ashford
A bit similar to the Wrotham name, people often pronounce the 'sh' in Mersham.
When really, Mersham has the same rule. It should be said like Merz-ham.
Womenswold – village near Canterbury
Womensworld? No, its pronounced like Wimmens-wold.
An easy mistake to make when you take a first glance at signage or on a map.
Hougham – near Dover
Not Hooham or HOUGH-HAM.
Hougham is said as in Huffam.
Think of a moody teenager and you should be able to nail this one.
Westbere – between Thanet and Canterbury
West bear or beer?
It's beer and if you ever forget just remember there was once a pub within the village called Westbere Butts.
You go to the pub for a beer not a bear.
Horsmonden -Tunbridge Wells
Most people get the syllables correct but some people split them up like HORSE MON DEN.
Say it all as one word.
Stourmouth – Dover district
There are two mispronunciations associated with this small parish.
Don't forget there is a 't' in Stourmouth – so it's definitely not Sour-mouth.
The name actually derives from a village that was at the mouth of the River Stour.
The second one which grabs people's curiosity is the last part of the name.
Is it 'mooth or mouth'? Popular opinion says it's definitely mouth.
Upper and Lower Hardres – Canterbury district
This one has caught so many people out.
Upper and Lower – they are relatively simple to grasp – but Hardres, not so much.
Forget the 'res' when saying it. It's spoken like 'Hards'.
Teynham – Sittingbourne
Outsiders can pronounce it TAYN-AM but forget the 'y' and the 'h'.
This one's TENUM.
Lympne – near Hythe
Lympne is home to Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve (Image: Google Maps)
You would hope the staff at Lympne Castle never hear the name of the beautiful setting mispronounced.
Most locals across the district wouldn't give this name a second thought.
But for those who may not have visited before, they may think the 'p' is not silent.
Therefore, they may say Limp.
We all know its spoken like 'Lim'.
Dymchurch – Folkestone and Hythe
Not 'dime' or 'dye-m' but 'dim'.
Lyminge – near Folkestone
Again, another one which most people know apart from a small exception who are not familiar with the area.
It's not Layminge – it's said like Lim-inge.
Twydall – suburb of Gillingham
Do not pronounce the 'wy' in this suburb name.
In fact, its far more simpler than you may think.
It's pronounced like Twiddle.
Otham – Maidstone
This isn't like Gotham. you won't find Batman here.
Here the 'h' is silent.
Image there's an extra 't', like OTT'M.
Meopham – village near Gravesend
The 'o' in this village name is pretty much redundant.
It's said like Mep'ham – so make sure you tell those who aren't forgetting that 'o'!
Wickhambreaux – small village near Sandwich
There are many redundant letters in the spelling of this name.
The 'x' is the main letter that throws people off, but its really simple to say, Wickham-brew.
Ightham – village near Sevenoaks
The tranquil mote at Ightam
When we say 'alright?' you can often hear the 'ight' at the end of the word.
But Ightham is pretty much spoken like an 'item'.
Brasted – village near Sevenoaks
By looking at the word there are no off-putting letters to throw anyone off.
In fact, Brasted seems a pretty simple one.
But it does in fact catch people out.
It's actually pronounced Bray-sted (there's no y in the spelling).
A shopping mall is probably the best thing to remember.
But teamed with the 'ing' at the end, its one that is often mispronounced (especially by sat-navs) as maall-ing.
Eythorne – Dover district
Eye-thorne? Aythorne? The possibilities are endless!
The correct way of saying it is Ey-thorne.
Iwade – village near Sittingbourne
How can you possibly say this one wrong?
In fact, some people do!
We told you to ignore the eye in Eythorne, but pick it back up again when saying Eye-wade.
It's pronounced TROZZ-Lee.
I know. Just take our word for it, please.
Kit's Coty – village near Maidstone
Pretend there's an extra 't' in Coty.
Not 'COATY' but COTTY.
Temple Ewell – village near Dover
No one mispronounces Temple Ewell in the Dover area unless they are very young.
But those who again are not familiar with the area might not realise the Ewell part of the name is actually spoken like 'you'll'.
Capel-le-Ferne – between Folkestone and Dover
Capel, you'd think, is probably one of the easiest village names to say.
But, surprisingly, it is often wrongly spelt Caple – which then in turn leads people to say it like 'Capple'.
The mistake was even noted years ago by villagers when a new sign went up with the wrong spelling.