Wednesday, 27 February 2013


How does one pronounce above in General British?

credit: net_efekt
LPD3 offers /ə'bʌv/ and so do CEPD18 and ODP. The word is not labelled as an item belonging to the group of weakform words. But why should there be no weakform pronunciation? Try to say these sentences in a manner as relaxed as possible and not too slowly:
  • above all, keep in touch
  • above all, she was his floozie
  • and above all, aim for the best.
Depending how formal or relaxed one's speech is, above all can be pronounced as
[əbʌv, əbəv, bəv, bv̩] + [ɔːɫ].

So and above all, aim for the best may materialise as [ən əbəv ɔːɫ eɪm fə ðə best].


  1. I sympathise with your query but, while by no means suggesting that your reduced versions are impossible, I'd have to say that they represent what I guess most people wd regard as extremely casual utterance. So it makes them very dubious items for the attention of lexicographers if that's what you have in mind.

  2. I think that [əbəv] is a common weak from. I'm not sure about [bəv, bv̩] though. Where have you heard them?

    1. By the way, this is what you get if you type "General British" in to Wikipedia.

  3. Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau perhaps: [ə'bəv]