Why is Leicester pronounced as "lester" and not as "leisester"?

Is there any history behind it or has it long since been lost?

7 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    Old English version of the Latin for castle or fort and the old name for the nearby river (now the River Soar).  Similar to Bicester (pronounced Bister) the spelling is one of many counterintuitive pronunciations that has stuck, like Leominster (Lemster) or Beuchamp (Beecham). More confusing Lord Harewood (pronounced Harwood) lives at Harewood House (pronounced Harewood). 

  • Laredo
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    As A Brit I have to say that it is pronounced Lester. It is one of the oldest cities in the UK.  I have given you a link (only a Wiki) but it does give a quick history of Leicester. Sadly at the moment the city is in lockdown as they have had another outbreak of the Covid Virus.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    Unfortunately you are getting a load of lonely North American tools answering

  • 4 weeks ago

    Britain seems to have hit a home run with their metric system, although they can't make up their mind whether to use metric or imperial measurements - they use both.

    The only countries that still use the imperial system are the United States, Liberia, and Myanmar.

    However, when it comes to spelling, Britain appears to be the only country still sitting on the wrong side of the fence. And their terminologies are, in many ways, are enough to incapacitate even the most intelligent.

    Grammatical rules are often a nightmare even in the more advanced countries like the United States. Because it takes a dictionary to know where to send correspondence in Britain, it gives email a level playing field where such confusion isn't necessary.

    Generally speaking, the British aren't stupid people. The eastern hemisphere has a long history that extends back to the beginning of civilization on earth - and they, like the other countries in that sphere, are quite knowledgeable about it.

    More recent history, however, they're less knowledgeable about. Being probably the most arrogant country in the world (due, no doubt, to power they held over their once-vast empire that "the sun never sat on"), they seemed to have developed a mindset in which they're responsible for every good thing that happened in the world but blameless for contributing to the unfavorable events.

    Ahh, but where would we be without the British? Where would we look to find an example of a form of government to avoid? It isn't every country where terrorism "is to be expected" as declared by London's Muslim mayor. 👳‍♂️

    (Let the disapproval begin...)😁

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  • 4 weeks ago

    Gloucester is pronounced "Glawster," and Worcester is pronounced "Wooster," as in Woostersheer sauce.  It's just the  way things are.

    There are all sorts of names that are pronounced differently from how they are spelled in the UK.  Mousehole is "Muezzil," and Cholmondely is "Chumley."

    It's the same elsewhere.  I grew up next to Osoyoos in Canada, which is pronounced "Oh sue yis."

  • 4 weeks ago

    That is English language, Featherstonehaugh is pronounced Fanshaw. 

  • 4 weeks ago

    Leicester was originally a Roman encampment that was called Ligoraceastre.

    The first part, "Ligora", came from the name of a small river or brook nearby (now gone) and the second from the Latin "castra" meaning a fort or camp. Following the Norman invasion of 1066, Saxon and Norman words began to start being combined, morphing into the early form of English, leading "Ligoraceastre" being compressed into "Ledecestre". But as the majority of people couldn’t read, they chose the easiest way to say the place name without having any idea how it was spelt - which in this case often meant the "d" got lost. Old place name spellings are simply relics of the way they were once pronounced.

    However, there does seem to be a clear rule about whether or not you shorten words ending in -cester, and its derivations -caster and -chester. In cases where the first part of the word ends in a vowel, such as Lei-cester or Glou-cester, the middle part of the word is not pronounced. Where a consonant precedes the -cester variation, the full word is pronounced, retaining the consonant. This explains the Ciren-cester full pronunciation and why we articulate other well-known English places like Man-chester and Lan-caster exactly as they’re spelt.

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