The 10 trickiest place names in Lancashire that people just can't seem to pronounce

St James Street in Bacup, Lancashire
-Credit: (Image: James Maloney/LancsLive)


Lancashire is home to beautiful towns, cities and villages. Some with rolling hills and others with historic buildings and statues.

Whilst we can be proud to call our county home, some in the rest of the UK may struggle to pronounce some of our scenic spots. Although we're used to it, we can see why places like Rawtenstall, Euxton and Heysham could become a bit of a tongue twister.

In the wider North West, language learning platform Preply, have put together a list of the most mispronounced places in the region. For Lancashire, their top places include Accrington and Bacup, as well as several other towns in Manchester and Cheshire.

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Here's our top 10 of the hardest places to pronounce in Lancashire:

1. Quernmore

It's an obscure one, but it's almost certainly the hardest place in Lancashire to pronounce. Located in the village of Lancaster, Quernmore is a small area which had a recorded population of around 567 in the 2011 Census.

Showing the intricacies and frankly, downright ridiculousness of the English language, Quernmore is not pronounced how it's spelt. Whilst you may think you've cracked it just by looking at it written down, it's actually pronounced 'Quor-ma', rhyming with a popular mild curry.

2. Euxton

Euxton is a village in Chorley, with a population of around 14,000. Although this appears to be a difficult one when written down, once you know it's actually pretty easy to say.

Simply replace the 'ux' with a 'k' and say, Ekston instead. Once you've cracked this, you'll be talking like a Lancastrian in no time.

3. Rawtenstall

In our opinion, Rawtenstall is one of the hardest place in Lancashire to pronounce. The town in Rossendale is rich in history and was part of the Forest of Rossendale in medieval times.

However, we're sure the pronunciation of the town has always been an issue in times gone by. In case you're wondering, it's pronounced 'Rottenstall'.

4. Samlesbury

We think this one deserves to be re-written as the spelling can cause major confusion. The village is home to BAE Systems and a large modern brewery owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, which owns popular brands such as Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois - so the name may come up a lot.

However, to avoid any embarrassment, Samlesbury is actually pronounced more like ‘Saalmes-brie’.

5. Oswaldtwistle

Oswaldtwistle is one of the places on this list that's a bit more a tongue twister. The Hyndburn town has a rich industrial heritage and was once home to Sir Robert Peel of calico printing.

If you want to tell friends about these facts, then you may want to know how it's pronounced. So, breathe in and get your best Lancashire accent ready as it's 'Ozzle-twissle'.

6. Goosnargh

You may see this place name on labels for Goosnargh gin and in the culinary world, as the area is famed for its renowned restaurants and produce, such as their famous ducks. Just like some of the others on the list, dropping the ‘gh’ will make your life a lot easier as it should be pronounced ‘Gooz-nar’.

Goosnargh is situated between Preston and the Ribble Valley
Euxton and Balshaw Lane station near Chorley

7. Scarisbrick

Scarisbrick is another deceptively difficult one to say, as the spelling makes its look a lot easier to communicate. However, the West Lancashire village is actually pronounced 'scazebrick'.

8. Burscough

Also in West Lancashire is the village of Burscough, which sees the Leeds and Liverpool canal passing through, along with several rail lines. Having a great agricultural tradition, there's plenty of farmed land in the area and the Parish Church was even one of the Million of Waterloo churches built as a thanksgiving after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815.

A complicated history, but the way to pronounce it is one of the easiest on this list. Simply, go with 'Bursco' and you can't go wrong.

9. Bispham

Another easier one, Bispham is a village on the Fylde Coast and part of the borough of Blackpool. You may even pass it on a visit to the famous seaside town, but you may never have known how to really say it.

Ignoring the 'ph', it's pronounced 'Bisp-um'.

10. Bacup

Lastly, we think this is still a difficult one to get your head around, but by far the simplest on the list. Located in Rossendale, Bacup is close to the boundaries of West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester - so perhaps it's them we should blame for the peculiar name.

Unlike the others, you can add a letter to this one to make the pronunciation easier. Instead, it should be said as 'Baycup'.

Sylvia Johnson, Head of Methodology at language learning platform, Preply, said: "A key reason some streets, villages, and even rivers are more challenging to pronounce than others is the result of historical linguistic evolution. Several place names often reflect a mix of old languages such as Old English, Norman, Norse, and Celtic, which have unique letter combinations that don’t follow typical pronunciation rules.

"On top of this, variations in local dialects also contribute to the complexity of pronouncing certain place names, which make them tricky to pronounce correctly even for English speakers who are unfamiliar with the region."