The 21 Essex places you’ve probably been mispronouncing

Essex is home to many recognisable towns and villages.

From Colchester for being the oldest recorded town, to Brentwood which was made famous after the emergence of TOWIE, we have some very famous places.

And although some of our towns and villages might be famous, others are often difficult for some people to pronounce and spell – and you might have been saying them incorrectly after all this time.

So, we’ve compiled a list of the most commonly mispronounced Essex place names to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Stansted Mountfitchet

The small village of Stansted Mountfitchet is situated in the district of Uttlesford.

Of course, we all know how to pronounce Stansted thanks to the airport, but ‘Mountfitchet’ is one that confuses many.

Mountfitchet isn’t said how you’d pronounced it in French with an ‘ay’ sound at the end – like beret or bouquet. It’s actually pronounced how it’s spelt – ‘Mount-fit-chet.

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Theydon Bois

It’s easy to understand how people often mispronounce the Epping Forest village of Theydon Bois.

It looks like it should be pronounced like the French word for ‘wood’. But like Stansted Mountfitchet – it’s not pronounced the way the French would say it.

You need to pronounce the ‘Bois’ like ‘Boys’.

Witham

This sizeable town of Witham, Essex, between Chelmsford and Colchester sits right by the A12.

The tricky ‘th’ in the middle catches a lot of out-of-towners off guard, pronouncing it with a ‘th’ sound – the same way you pronounce ‘thick’. But that is incorrect.

For those who don’t know, it’s pronounce Wit-Ham.

Canewdon

The small Rochford village of Canewdon is one that many people, even those from Essex, are confused about how to pronounce.

People may believe it’s Can-you-don, but’s its a quirky little place named can-oo-don.

Tolleshunt D’arcy

The quaint village of Tolleshunt D’arcy is in the district of Maldon. The village gained national attention follwing the White House Farm murders.

A group of villages and towns named after the tolls on the road are pronounced just the same: ‘toles-hunt’ rather than ‘tolly-shunt’.

Tolleshunt D’arcy should therefore be pronounced as ‘tolls-hunt dar-sea’. It is most certainly not ‘toll-shunt dee-ar-sea’.

Aldham

Aldham is another town ending in ham which can prove difficult at first sight. Also based in the north of the county, we have ‘all-dum’.

‘Al’ is more like the ending of ‘ball’, and the ‘ham’ is soft like in ‘David Beckham’.

The village of Aldham can be found in the district of Colchester.

Loughton

Loughton is another one that we can forgive other people for saying wrong.

It’s a confusing one, being spelt like ‘tough’ but not sounding like that.

When you read it you wouldn’t necessarily know that it is actually pronounced ‘low-tun’.

Earls Colne

This town doesn’t need to be difficult, although it is easy to get tongue-tied after reading it.

This should be spoken like Earls ‘cone’ instead of being tempted to say ‘cole-n’.

Thorpe le Soken

Thorpe le Soken is also in Tendring and also hard to say.

People often say it like ‘sock’ when it should sound like ‘soak’.

Try saying ‘thorp-lee-soak-en’.

Mersea Island

This estuary island’s name actually derives from the old English word ‘meresig’, which means ‘island of the pool.’

We say ‘Mersea’ with a z, rather than incorrect pronunciation of ‘mer-see’.

Wivenhoe

Wivenhoe can be found on the outskirts of Colchester, and is home to the main University of Essex campus.

People often think you pronounce it like ‘wive’ but in fact you need to break it down into three parts.

Say ‘Wiv-en-hoe’ to pronounce it correctly.

Rawreth

This village near Wickford is easier to pronounce if you picture it as two separate words.

Raw-reth is pretty easy to grasp, rather than ‘Rah-Rath’

Beaulieu Park

Now this northern Chelmsford development is just as difficult to spell as it is to say.

It’s simply ‘bew-ly’ and we know it doesn’t look anything like that, there are too many vowels.

Some wrongly think it is ‘bow-loo’ because it looks French.

St Osyth

For some this is an odd name consisting of only consonants. This eastern seaside town based near Clacton-on-Sea is pronounced ‘oh-sith’, but some might believe it is ‘othes’ like ‘clothes’.

Ardleigh

Ardleigh is situated within the Tendring district. Some people pronounce the Essex village as ‘Ard-lay’ but this is incorrect.

Similar to Leigh-on-Sea, Ardleigh should be pronounced ‘Ard-lee’.

Dengie

Dengie is a small Essex village in the district of Maldon. It gives the name to the Dengie Peninsula.

Some people think the Dengie is pronounced ‘Den-gee’ with an elongated ‘e’ sound at the end.

But it should be pronounced ‘den-ge’ with a shorter ‘e’ sound.

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The Teys

Essex is home to a lot of ‘Teys’ including Marks Tey, Great Tey and Little Tey.

These villages are often pronounced like you would say ‘tea’.

The correct pronunciation is to say ‘tay’.

Belchamp Walter

At the very top of Essex you will find the small town of Belchamp Walter.

Bordering Suffolk, you don’t pronounce the ‘sh’ like in champagne.

Instead, it is a hard sound like ‘bell-champ’.

Pleshey

Pleshey, in west Chelmsford, can be confusing to say, even for people from Essex.

It’s often pronounced as ‘ple – shay’ but this is wrong.

Think of it as the opposite as the Teys.

It’s easy to imagine it being said without the second ‘e’, say ‘Pleshy’ and you will be right.

Stisted

The small village of Stisted can be found near Braintree and Earls Colne.

It is pronounced as ‘St-eye-sted’ but is often said wrong.

Many people pronounce it like ‘Stick’ rather that ‘eye’.

The ‘sted’ should rhyme with ‘led’.

Paglesham

Mispronouncing this Rochford village can sound very strange.

The ‘ham’ isn’t pronounced as you would expect, but rather as ‘um’.

Essex Live – Colchester