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This Is the Correct Way to Pronounce ‘Scone,’ According to Researchers

A new YouGov poll could be about to settle the scone to rhyme with "gone" or scone to rhyme with "bone" the debate, once and for all.
Photo via Flickr user Heather Cowper

Scones are those not-quite-cakes, not-quite-biscuits reserved for the occasional mid-afternoon tea at your gran's house and or holidays in Devon. But before you're able to slather on the strawberry jam and an ungodly amount of clotted cream, it's inevitable that someone (probably your Granny) will bring up the correct way to pronounce "scone."

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Thankfully, a new YouGov poll could be about to settle the age-old scone the debate, once and for all.


In a weighted sample of 1,669 people from across the UK, YouGov found that the majority of Britons (51 percent) pronounce "scone" to rhyme with "gone," while the rest rhyme it with "bone." Six percent didn't pick an answer.

It's alright, guys. We know it's an emotional subject.

Unsurprisingly, the YouGov findings showed that your preferred pronunciation depends on where in the UK you're from. Those from the north of England and Scotland voted 60 and 80 percent respectively in favour of the "gone" scone. Wales and the south were also in the "gone" camp, while those living in the Midlands, the east of England, and London were most likely to pronounce "scone" to rhyme with "bone."

Despite this disparity in pronunciation, there was one thing the nation could agree on when it came to the teatime snack, and that was the application of jam. Six in ten Brits said that scones should be spread with jam first, then topped with a hefty dollop of clotted cream.

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The YouGov poll isn't the first attempt at resolving scone politics. Earlier this year, linguistics researchers from the University of Cambridge launched the English Dialects App to map how words are pronounced across the UK. It found a similar north/south divide but added that the home of the scone, Cornwall, pronounced the word to rhyme with "bone."

MUNCHIES reached out to John Harris, linguistics professor at University College London, to find out why these regional differences exist in the pronunciation of "scone." He said: "It's pretty random, really, as both pronunciations are consistent with the spelling. It's a one-off and quite hit and miss as to how it's pronounced."

But perhaps what we should really be worrying about, post-Brexit, is the integrity of the clotted cream we're slathering our scones with.