Why "bu" in burial is not pronounced as "bu" in burrow? Is there a rule behind it, or it's just random?
Word History: Why does bury rhyme with berry and not with jury? The answer goes back to early English times. The late Old English form of the verb bury was byrgan, pronounced approximately (bür′yən). During Middle English times this (ü) sound changed, but with different results in different regions of England: to (o͝o) as in put in the Midlands, to (ĭ) as in pit in southern England, or to (ĕ) as in pet in southeast England. London is located in the East Midlands, but because of its central location and its status as the capital, its East Midlands dialect was influenced by southern (Saxon) and southeastern (Kentish) dialects. The normal East Midlands development of (ü) was (o͝o), spelled u. Because scribes from the East Midlands pronounced the word with this vowel they tended to spell the word with a u, and this spelling became standard when spellings were fixed after the introduction of printing. The word's pronunciation, however, is southeastern. Bury is the only word in Modern English with a Midlands spelling and a southeastern pronunciation. Similarly, the word busy, from Old English bysig, bisig, and its verb bysgian, bisgian, "to employ," is spelled with the East Midlands dialect u, but pronounced with the southern (Saxon) development of (ü), (ĭ)