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I know that there is this issue where Worcestershire and Leicester are pronounced as "Wustersher" and "Lester", so I wonder how Brichester is pronounced.

Also, is there any special rule which could help in getting the pronunciation right or is it just a thing you have to learn by heart?

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Worcestershire is pronounced with an "oo" sound after the W, like the oo in the words book, look and woof; not a letter U sound. –  Tristan Apr 3 '13 at 21:12
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@Tristan: it's a u sound like in push, put, cushion, or butcher. –  Peter Shor Apr 3 '13 at 21:23
    
Peter, that's basically the same sound. –  Tristan Apr 3 '13 at 21:58
    
Not pronounced as a letter U. –  Tristan Apr 3 '13 at 22:41
    
Apropos the peculiarities of British pronunciation, how do you think Magdalene is pronounced in the UK (as in Magdalene College and the Magdalene papyrus/codex housed in the college, or as in Mary Magdalene of New Testament fame)? Answer: maudlin, as opposed to mag' duh lin. Go figure! –  rhetorician Apr 4 '13 at 0:57
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5 Answers

It is indeed pronounced with the first syllable of Bristol and the second syllable of Gloucester.

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Just try as hard as you can to get it down to one syllable, while at the same time paying no attention to the fact that i and e certainly look like different vowels, and you'll be on the right path. You'll find it helpful to avoid actually opening your mouth.

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Following this advice, it would be Birchster (no Br- sound), and that's quite likely. Chichester is becoming shorter and losing its unaccented middle syllable. –  Andrew Leach Apr 4 '13 at 10:32
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I recently interviewed Ramsey and he pronounces it Bri-(as in Bristol) and chester, (as in the place Chester). I suppose it might be easier to think of it as said like this: brit-chester.

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Since Brichester seems to be a portmanteau word, created by Ramsey Campbell, I assume that it should be pronounced with the first syllable of Bristol and the second syllable of Gloucester.

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So Brister then? –  tchrist Apr 3 '13 at 22:06
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I think the ch in -chester names is usually preserved, whereas -caster usually have a k sound and -cester an s. –  Hugo Apr 3 '13 at 22:10
    
@Hugo I agree, the contraction only seems to apply with a 'ce' not a 'che'. There's another (real) place called Bicester, pronounced 'Bister'. –  Mynamite Apr 3 '13 at 22:57
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Brichester is a fictional place by horror writer Ramsey Campbell, so you can pronounce it however you want.

My first guesses are Brickstur, Bristur and Brichstur, but the ch in -chester names are usually pronounced (like Chichester, Manchester, Dorchester, Chester), unlike the hard k sound in -caster names (Lancaster, Doncaster, Tadcaster) and the s sound in -cester names (Leicester, Cirencester, Bicester).

Someone on RPGnet says it's pronounced:

Brychester - with the "i" pronounced "eye" like in "eyeballs turn to mush as you look at the thing from beyond reality"

So either that or Brichestur (a bit like Bridge-chestur).

Alternatively, you could find an interview with the author and see what he says. He's English, from Liverpool, and the place is set somewhere in Gloucestershire (which, incidentally, is pronounced something like Glosturshur).

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Don't the locals pronounce it Glaawstshr? –  TimLymington Apr 3 '13 at 22:31
    
They pronounce Cheltenham as 'Nam. –  Hugo Apr 3 '13 at 22:49
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