NEW research has found that Cheshire has some of the most frequently mispronounced place names in the North West.

With silent letters and unusual sounds often conspiring to catch visitors off guard, the region has several tricky titles among its towns and villages.

West Cheshire has been identified by the team at Preply, a language learning platform, as the home of one of the most difficult place names and it won’t be a surprise to many locals.

The village of Cholmondeley, pronounced simply as ‘Chum-ley’, was one of nine locations which made the most commonly mispronounced list.

Its slightly long-winded spelling, derived from Old English, give the impression that there are three syllables, but in fact, only two are required to pronounce this village’s name correctly.

(Image: Preply)

Elsewhere in Cheshire, Lymm also made the list. Perhaps not appearing particularly challenging at first, the extra ‘m’ and deceptive ‘y’ apparently cause problems for those who are not from the area.

Preply say common mispronunciation include ‘Lim-muh’ or even ‘Lime’.

Other areas such as Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire also had their fair share of mispronounced monikers.

How would you pronounce Huyton?

This town, located just outside of Liverpool, is often mispronounced by those not from the area. The correct pronunciation is ‘Hy-ton’.

Or, what about the Lancastrian town of Bacup? Many slip up at the first syllable, pronouncing the place name ‘Ba-cup’, when in fact it should be ‘Bay-cup’.

Also mentioned on the list were Bury, Cheadle Hulme, Maghull, Altrincham and Accrington.

Sylvia Johnson, Head of Methodology at Preply, said: “A key reason some streets, villages, and even rivers are more challenging to pronounce than others is the result of historical linguistic evolution. Several place names often reflect a mix of old languages such as Old English, Norman, Norse, and Celtic, which have unique letter combinations that don’t follow typical pronunciation rules.

“On top of this, variations in local dialects also contribute to the complexity of pronouncing certain place names, which make them tricky to pronounce correctly even for English speakers who are unfamiliar with the region.”

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