How do British people say neighbor?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

British people commonly pronounce the word “neighbour” as “nay-buh”. This pronunciation differs from the American English pronunciation, which is typically “nay-bor”. The main difference lies in the vowel sound. In British English, the vowel sound is closer to the “ay” sound, while in American English it is closer to the “oh” sound.

The word “neighbour” is a two-syllable word, with the stress falling on the first syllable. The first syllable is pronounced as “nay”, which rhymes with words like “day” or “say”. The second syllable is pronounced as “buh”, which is a short and unstressed syllable.

In terms of spelling, it’s worth noting that the British English spelling includes the letter “u” in “neighbour”, while the American English spelling omits the “u” and uses “neighbor” instead. This difference in spelling reflects the historical development of the English language and its various influences over time.

Speaking from personal experience, as a British English speaker, I have always pronounced the word as “nay-buh”. Growing up in the UK, this pronunciation was the norm and I have never encountered any confusion or misunderstanding when using this term.

It’s important to remember that language and pronunciation can vary across regions and countries. While the British English pronunciation of “neighbour” may differ from its American English counterpart, both are correct within their respective contexts.