poor (pronunciation)

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Little Chandler

Senior Member
español (ESP)
Hi everybody!

I'd like to know a bit more about the pronunciation of "poor". How do you pronounce it? Is it just a BrE (|pɔː(r)|) vs. AmE (|pʊə(r)|) difference? Or isn't it that simple?

At least I'd say that I've heard british people pronounce it |pʊə(r)|.

Thank you.
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The old BrE pronunciation was with [ʊə], but from around 1900 this changed to [ɔː] (and so in similar words like sure, moor). The [ʊə] pronunciation might still be heard now, but is very old-fashioned. For most BrE speakers poor is a homophone of paw, pour, pore.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Most, but not by any means all.
    Poor, paw and pour are very distinctly different for many of us.
    I won't argue about pore and pour, though I could if you forced me.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Ah, but you're Irish. The label 'BrE' doesn't apply to pronunciations once we cross the water.
    Hey, come on, there are lots of us rhotics, north of Watford. And it's not just that.
    Try HERE and pick the UK accents.
    Get them to say poor pore paw pour and note the differences in some of the voices. There's not much, but some :)

    Try HERE for an alternative. This time, poor is quite distinctive in the UK accents.
     

    Agró

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Navarre
    Sorry for my butting in, Panjandrum,
    Can you tell me what rhotic is? I couldn´t find it in the dictionary.
    Thanks!
    rho⋅tic

    << -- -- >>


    –adjective 1. of or pertaining to a dialect of English in which the r is pronounced at the end of a syllable or before a consonant: Midwestern American English is rhotic, while Southern British English is not. 2. of, pertaining to, or being an r-like sound.
    –noun 3. a rhotic sound.

    Origin:
    rhot- (see rhotacism ) + -ic






    Dictionary.com Unabridged
    Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009.
    Cite This Source |
    Link To rhotic
     
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    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Sorry for my butting in, Panjandrum,
    Can you tell me what rhotic is? I couldn´t find it in the dictionary.
    Thanks!
    Sorry, Nonstar:
    Of or pertaining to a variety or dialect of English in which r is pronounced not only in pre-vocalic position but also before a consonant or word-finally; characterized by r-pronouncing.
    OED
    In a rhotic accent, the word poor is pronounced with an /r/ at the end, turd has an /r/ before the /d/, as written. Non-rhotics ignore such details.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Something like two-syllable /'pu:wə/ isn't uncommon in my part of the world (northwest England), Agró:)
     
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