This word is TRICKY! It isn’t pronounced like it looks! Learn how to practice this word by breaking it down sound by sound, knowing what’s stressed and what’s not. Then put it all together to feel confident using this word in American English conversation.
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>> I say worcestershire.
>> Worcestershire? Ok, we’ll go with that.
>> We should ask Rachel from Rachel’s English later on.
>> Yes. How to say that properly.
>> A little bit of worcestershire sauce.
>> Or worcestershire.
>> Wor-, or worcestershire? Nobody really knows how to pronounce it.
>> We don’t know.
>> We need to talk to Rachel.
As you can see, they’re not quite sure how to pronounce this word, so, let’s go over it. This is one of the few cases where we’re actually retaining British English pronunciation.
This sauce was first made in city of Worcester, England. ‘Shire’ is the British equivalent to our counties here in America, so this sauce is simply named for region from which it comes, Worcestershire, where ‘shire’ sounds just like the state name ‘New Hampshire’.
So, we drop the first R, and the vowel in that syllable is the UH as in PUSH vowel, wo-, wo-. So the lips will start in a tight circle, and then they’ll relax a bit out. But we still want a little bit of round for that vowel. Wo-, wo-. This is the stressed syllable. Then we have two unstressed syllables, -stershire, -stershire, so they can be lower in pitch and quicker. So we have the ST consonant cluster, worcest-, -st-, so your teeth need to come together for the S sound, tongue will go to the roof of the mouth for the T, worcestershire. Now, the second two syllables have the schwa. So, we need basically no jaw drop for those. Worcestershire, -stershire. To make the SH sound between the two -er- sounds, the tongue will come forward a little bit. But the tongue tip still doesn’t need to be touching anything. And your teeth will stay together, sh. And your lips will flare. Worcestershire. So, it’s just three syllables. DA-da-da. Worcestershire. Don’t pronounce that first R, and also make sure you put the schwa in the last syllable. Some people will want to say ‘shire’, but just like the state ‘New Hampshire’, -shire, -shire, it’s a schwa in that last syllable.
I also appeared on the cooking show Hilah Cooking, so click here to see that video. We made yummy Long Island Iced Teas. Also, click here to see the two videos of recipes that call for Worcestershire sauce, now that you can confidently pronounce that word. All the links are also in the video description.