I sometimes read rhyming poetry where "again" and "rain" are clearly meant to rhyme. However in my accent they don't rhyme at all. I am now wondering in which accents they do rhyme.

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    Perhaps in some regions of Great Britain. I've definitely heard it before in media, and it's no surprise at all. – user85526 May 1 '15 at 20:38
  • @GeorgePompidou Do you know where in Great Britain? It doesn't rhyme in my British friends' accents. Also, the fact that it appears in published poetry suggests to me that it must be in a common accent. – dorothy May 1 '15 at 20:39
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    I dunno. Scotland? – user85526 May 1 '15 at 20:42
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    It rhymes everywhere in the Anglosphere in poetry. In normal speech, again is /əˈɡen/ while rain is /reɪn/ in most dialects I can think of—but in exaggerated, quaint, archaic, or poetic speech/writing, again can frequently be /əˈɡeɪn/ if needed. – Janus Bahs Jacquet May 1 '15 at 20:53
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    I've always thought that again has two pronunciations, much like either. Living in Canada, I frequently hear both. – Anonym May 1 '15 at 22:20

I pronounce to rhyme mostly. Brought up in the East Midlands. But I'm not sure but that context and mood doesn't affect the vowel quantity. I think I might be different in "Again, again, the bloody rain" versus "Oh no, he did it again".


OED has this pronunciation: Brit. /əˈɡɛn/ , /əˈɡeɪn/ , U.S. /əˈɡɛn/

Not mentioning "quaint" or "archaic" at all.

  • Thank you. I know it is possible but I was hoping for some sort of pronunciation map. – dorothy May 2 '15 at 6:23

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