How do you pronounce ‘Trottiscliffe’?

Go on guess! If you are not from near there, I doubt you’ll get it. (Answer at the bottom of the page.)

I often laugh when my husband tries to pronounce the name of various English towns and villages. Don’t worry, he laughs when I say American ones. I found one today to test his pronunciation. This is a place close to where I grew up. In fact, back in primary school, the first time I saw it on a road sign, I couldn’t believe that Trottiscliffe was the correct spelling for this place. The correct pronunciation has just 2 syllables. Yes, 2! All those letters condense down to a mere 2 syllables. Crazy British spelling!

(Apparently there is a stone burial mound there, too. You’ll need to know how to pronounce it to ask for directions!)Image

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/thebish0ps/docs/Kent%202.htm

***The answer***
The pronunciation of Trottiscliffe, a village in Kent, is: /ˈtrɒzli/ “Trozli”. Did you get it right?!

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12 thoughts on “How do you pronounce ‘Trottiscliffe’?

  1. No, I didn’t pronounce it properly. What the hell happens the the two Fs in it if they’re not pronounced? Weird.

    Reminds me of when, in my teens, my dad corrected my pronouniation of Hyperbole. I was pronouncing it ‘hyper bowl’!

    • I rather like hyper bowl!

      I’m sure that at some point local people decided it took far too long to pronounce all the letters in Trottiscliffe and decided to dump half of them. But I don’t really see how they came up with the ‘li’ ending.

    • I’ve managed to find out a little more about Trottiscliffe, although it doesn’t help explain modern pronunciation:

      “Trottiscliffe comes from the Old English ‘clif’ meaning an ‘escarpment, a hill-slope, combined with a personal name; therefore, ‘Trotts’s cliff’. The Domesday Book records Trottiscliffe as Totesclive.”
      http://www.kentpast.co.uk/trottiscliffe.html

  2. I was brought up in Trottiscliffe in the 1950’s and ’60’s. My childhood was spent there and I went to the village primary school. It was ALWAYS pronounced as it is spelled -Trottiscliffe. Sometimes Trosley, but very rarely. Not sure when it was decided it should be pronounced “Trosley”!

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