Pronunciation is key

02 November 2016 | Jess Seal

This week I’m starting things off with a joke… 

Q. What’s the fastest bun in the world?


Now this is a risky joke to write on a blog because the strapline only works if you say (read) it right. The word scone needs to be said like gone rather than bone. So for those of you who say scone like bone give it a re-read and pronounce scone like gone….

Get it now?

I’m a northerner, and although my accent isn’t exactly strong, some words will stick with me for life. I’m always battling with my southern softy friends on how to say scone and in my firm opinion it should ALWAYS be announced scone (like gone).

The pronunciation battle between scone (like gone) or scone (like bone) is one that has been discussed between families and friends across the UK for plenty of years. It is a discussion however, that never seems to be resolved – until now.

YouGov, the online market research firm (in a handy PR stunt for itself – Hellooo *waves frantically* we do surveys you know?) has produced new research that might settle the battle once and for all. The study reveals that 51% of Britons pronounce it as scone (like gone) with around four in ten rhyming it with bone.

When you delve deeper into the research it is clear that region is a key factor on how people say the word.  Those living in the North and Scotland are more likely to use the ‘gone’ pronunciation with those in the Midlands and London using the (wrong) ‘bone’ option.

After discussing the pronunciation with the team here at Pic HQ (mostly from Gloucestershire), we’ve had a mixed response. Well, I say mixed – only one person says scone like bone – and he’s Welsh!

So that overwhelming office majority, combined with YouGov’s emphatic (or not so emphatic) result, means the deal is sealed for me. It’s scone as in gone, not scone as in bone. Now let’s never debate it again.

And don’t even get me started on bath and baarth!