While wandering around John Lewis, Zara, H&M, Selfridge’s, and Marks and Spencer in London looking for tech gloves on the third-busiest shopping day of the year, Tiff and I got into a conversation about the UK’s ridiculous pronunciation rules.

So many consonants seem to be included just for show, or else skipped for laziness. Maybe it’s to play Spot the Foreigner, which would be useful in such a cosmopolitan city — their version of Willamette, Dammit. I can’t tell. Chiswick is chizzick. Selfridge’s is suffrages. Southwark is suthark. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how they’d gotten from Edinburgh (I’d assumed Edinburg) to Edinburra.  Guys, now you’re adding stuff.  That breaks all the rules!

Now that we’ve arrived in Scotland, however, I can tell you why: at least in this case, the -gh suffix in Scottish English is gargled. Edinburghghghghgh. When you translate that mess to proper British English, it becomes a very proper British Edinburra.

Usher Hall Theater, Edinburgh
Usher Hall Theater, Edinburgh

The More You Know.

Anyway, my first impression of Edinburgh is that this is a town that I will like very much. If I had to pick one word to describe just about everyone I’ve met here, it’s “really frickin’ hospitable”.


Nick, that’s three words.

Bagpiper outside the Balmoral Hotel
Bagpiper outside the Balmoral Hotel

Whatever. The Scots seem like a people who are a party that’s already found a place to happen, and it’s right here, right now, all the time. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from; you’re invited.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *