Insight & Analysis

Brexit not the only near 50/50 split in the UK

Published: Oct 2018

Anyone from outside the UK may find the almost equal split down the middle caused by the Brexit vote was the only matter under discussion. Far from it.

As baked treats go, scones are one, if not the, most popular in Britain yet, curiously enough, the pronounciation of the fluffy little cakes has been hotly debated for an awful long time. Do you pronounce scone like ‘cone’ or ‘gone’?

Just how divided the UK is over the pronunciation is revealed by a map tracking the spots where people say scone to rhyme with ‘bone’ and those who say scone to rhyme with ‘gone’.

According to the Daily Mirror, Reddit user Bezzleford made the map using data collected by Cambridge University in 2016, where researchers examined the pronunciation of the word across the UK and Ireland. As the Mirror points out, it appears from the map that the issue is nearly as divisive among Brits as Brexit is.

Swathes of the UK are yellow on the map, which means the area is split almost 50/50 on how to say the word. Most of Ireland and pockets of southern England and the midlands rhyme with ‘cone’ whereas huge areas of the north and Scotland rhyme scone with ‘gone’.

Speaking to Brilliant Maps, a website dedicated to “making sense of the world, one map at a time”, Reddit Bezzleford said: “Anyone from the UK knows that the number one cause of family feuds is over the pronunciation of ‘scone’. Scone rhyming with gone is almost universal in Scotland whereas in England it’s a lot more controversial.

“According to wiki Canadians and Australians also pronounce them rhyming with ‘gone’ but I’d like to hear what other people have to say. I personally pronounce it rhyming with ‘cone’ even though my parents say it rhymes with ‘gone’.”

If you like to place a bet, take the odds on a Brexit deal over this as the chances of ever getting an agreement are nil.

The great scone map of the United Kingdom and Ireland

All our content is free, just register below

As we move to a new and improved digital platform all users need to create a new account. This is very simple and should only take a moment.

Already have an account? Sign In

Already a member? Sign In

This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience.