"Ough" WordsMain article: Ough (combination)
The most notorious group of letters in the English language, ough, is commonly pronounced at least ten different ways, six of which are illustrated in the construct, Though the tough cough and hiccough plough him through, which is quoted by Robert A. Heinlein in The Door into Summer to illustrate the difficulties facing automated speech transcription and reading. Ough is in fact a word in its own right; it is an exclamation of disgust similar to ugh.
- though: /oʊ/ as in toe; (other examples: dough)
- tough: /ʌf/ as in cuff; (other examples: rough, enough)
- cough: /ɒf/ as in off; (other examples: Gough (name, some pronunciations))
- hiccough (a now uncommon variant of hiccup): /ʌp/ as in up; (unique)
- plough: /aʊ/ as in cow; (other examples: sough, drought, bough, and the name Doughty)
- through: /uː/ as in blue;
- nought: /ɔː/ as in caught; (other examples: ought, sought, thought, brought)
- lough: /ɒx/ with a rough breathing sound like the ch in loch
Finally, there is the place name Loughborough, where the first ough has the sound as in cuff and the second rhymes with thorough.
Famous quotes containing the word words:
“We have the words in our pockets,
obscure directions. The old ones
have taken away the light of their presence....”
—Denise Levertov (b. 1923)