You've successfully subscribed to BeyondWords
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to BeyondWords
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Billing info update failed.
< Back to blog

Mind the trap: 20 London Underground stations with tricky pronunciations

Mind the trap: 20 London Underground stations with tricky pronunciations

The English language has a famously confusing spelling system, and one place this quickly becomes apparent is on the London Underground and DLR. What's written on the station wall doesn't always seem to match up with what the voice announcement says.

And these spellings don't just trip up tourists and locals — they can mislead AI voices, which typically pronounce untrained words based on a 'best guess'.

However, at BeyondWords, we have a team of computational linguists who can fix mispronunciations. And they've added all the trickiest London Underground station pronunciations to our British-English rulebook.

Listen to our AI voice 'Joe' read 20 of the most commonly mispronounced tube stop names below.

1. Bermondsey

  • Location: Jubilee, zone 2
  • Pronunciation: ber-mun-zee (IPA: ˈbɜːməndzi)
  • Mind the trap: The 'd' is silent.

2. Borough

  • Location: Northern, zone 1
  • Pronunciation: buh-ruh (IPA: ˈbʌrə)
  • Mind the trap: Lots of people mistakenly pronounce this like 'burrow'.

3. Bow Road

  • Location: District / Hammersmith & City, zone 2
  • Pronunciation: b-oh road (IPA: bəʊ rəʊd)
  • Mind the trap: It's 'bow' as in 'bow tie', not 'take a bow'.

4. Canary Wharf

  • Location: Jubilee / Elizabeth, zone 2
  • Pronunciation: ka-nare-ee worf (IPA: kəˌneəri ˈwɔːf)
  • Mind the trap: 'Canary' rhymes with 'Mary' (not 'Harry'), and 'Wharf' rhymes with 'or' (not 'barf').

5. Chiswick Park

  • Location: District, zone 3
  • Pronunciation: chiz-ik park (IPA: ˈtʃɪzɪk pɑːk)
  • Mind the trap: The 'w' is silent.

6. Clapham (Common/North/South)

  • Location: Northern, zones 2 and 3
  • Pronunciation: kla-pum (IPA: ˈklæpəm)
  • Mind the trap: The 'h' is silent.

7. Deptford Bridge

  • Location: DLR, zones 2 and 3
  • Pronunciation: det-fud brij (IPA: ˈdɛtfəd ˈbrɪdʒ)
  • Mind the trap: The 'p' is silent.

8. Euston

  • Location: Northern / Victoria, zone 1
  • Pronunciation: yoost-uhn (IPA: jˈuːstən)
  • Mind the trap: Lots of people get this confused with 'Houston'.

9. Gloucester Road

  • Location: District / Piccadilly / Circle, zone 1
  • Pronunciation: glos-tuh road (IPA: ˈɡlɒstə rəʊd)
  • Mind the trap: The 'uce' is silent.

10. Greenwich

  • Location: DLR, zones 2 and 3
  • Pronunciation: gren-itch (IPA: ˈɡrenɪtʃ)
  • Mind the trap: Don't say 'green' or the 'w'.

11. Holborn

  • Location: Central / Piccadilly, zone 1
  • Pronunciation: ho-buhn (IPA: ˈhəʊbən)
  • Mind the trap: There are two common pronunciations, but neither include the 'or'.

12. Ladbroke Grove

  • Location: Hammersmith & City / Circle, zone 2
  • Pronunciation: lad-bruk grow-v (IPA: ˈlædbɹʊk ˈgɹəʊv)
  • Mind the trap: Despite the spelling, it's pronounced like 'brook' not 'broke'.

13. Leicester Square

  • Location: Piccadilly / Northern, zone 1
  • Pronunciation: less-tuh square (IPA: ˈlestə ˈskweə)
  • Mind the trap: Ignore the 'ice'.

14. Loughton

  • Location: Central, zone 6
  • Pronunciation: lau-ton (IPA: ˈlaʊtən)
  • Mind the trap: 'ough' is one of the most varied pronunciations in English; in this case it rhymes with 'cow'.

15. Marylebone

  • Location: Bakerloo, zone 1
  • Pronunciation: mar-li-bun (IPA: ˈmærələbən)
  • Mind the trap: Don't be tempted to pronounce 'Mary' or 'bone'.

16. Plaistow

  • Location: District / Hammersmith & City, zone 3
  • Pronunciation: plaa-stow (IPA: ˈplɑːstəʊ)
  • Mind the trap: The play-stow pronunciation used in Derbyshire and Kent isn't used in London.

17. Ruislip

  • Location: Metropolitan / Piccadilly, zone 6
  • Pronunciation: rye-slip (IPA: ˈraɪslɪp)
  • Mind the trap: There's an unusual pronunciation for 'ui'.

18. Southwark

  • Location: Jubilee, zone 1
  • Pronunciation: su-thuk (IPA: ˈsʌðək)
  • Mind the trap: Most British-English speakers pronounce 'Suffolk' very similarly.

19. Vauxhall

  • Location: Victoria, zones 1 and 2
  • Pronunciation: voks-all (IPA: ˈvɒksɔːl)
  • Mind the trap: The 'Vaux' isn't pronounced like 'faux'.

20. Warwick Avenue

  • Location: Bakerloo, zone 2
  • Pronunciation: woh-rik a-vuh-nyoo (IPA: ˈwɒrɪk avɪnjuː)
  • Mind the trap: The second 'w' is silent.

Our British-English AI voices know how to pronounce these London Underground and DLR station names, and now you do too! You can save yourself some embarrassment next time you're asking for directions.