I have listened to the pronunciation of the word skull in both Oxford and Longman Dictionaries AE and BE.

I do not feel that u in skull is pronounced like the u in cup ,it is more similar to the oo in book.

Is there a reason for that ?

  • 1
    Almost all English speakers will pronounce it with u as in cup, not oo as in book.
    – Théophile
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 17:40
  • The Oxford BrE pronunciations of skull and book sound very different, and quite accurate. More to the point of your question is why do you not feel that skull is pronounced like cup?
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 17:49
  • @Rani2Add I think you mean something between "ɔ" and "æ". Yes?
    – haha
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 17:53
  • 1
    Do "skull" and "bull" (or any of these words) rhyme for you?
    – Laurel
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 17:58
  • 1
    I think your question is kind of related to this one. Is it?
    – haha
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 18:01

1 Answer 1


Have a listen to the pronunciation on American Heritage Dictionary. They write it as (skŭl), using the same symbol as their vowel in "cup" (kŭp).

I've heard the pronunciation vary by region and culture across the US, sometimes like the vowel in "cup", sometimes as in "book", sometimes as in "coal".

There's something about vowels being followed by the letter L.


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