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I recently heard a BBC radio announcer pronounce "Wednesday" in a peculiar way. The 'd' wasn't dropped, resulting in something like "Wedinzday" (wɛdnzde).

I've read some Scottish dialects use this pronunciation. Is it class- or region-based? Something from RP or "broadcaster English"? Also, it doesn't appear that other words containing "dn" are affected (e.g. madness, midnight, etc.), so is this just a phonological anomaly?

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    Glaswegians I know -- and no one else -- pronounce the D in Wednesday.
    – JAM
    Sep 27, 2012 at 20:41
  • @JAM Thanks. That led me to information about the Standard Scottish English pronunciations. Feel free to make this an answer so I can accept it.
    – Zairja
    Sep 27, 2012 at 20:54
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    Wiktionary has IPA + audio clips. (TIL that American slang for Wednesday is apparently "Humpday".) Sep 28, 2012 at 4:43
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    @donothingsuccessfully: There are conflicting stereotypes involved - for example, Rab C. Nesbitt wouldn't get a job reading the BBC news, but Kirsty Young and others have done well there. And I believe many UK-based call centres use Scots because they tend to speak clearly (perhaps because they wouldn't be so easily understood by us Sassenachs if they spoke more casually, and they need the jobs! :) Sep 28, 2012 at 12:59
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    @neil, it is actually not closer to the historical form. The Old English genitive of Wōden was Wōdnes, and the day was known as Wōdnesdæġ. The form Wodin’s is a modern invention, formed regularly in Modern English by adding the clitic ’s to the name, different to the actual genitive case used in Old English. So the Weegie /wɛdɪnzde/ is more likely a recent thing. ‘Wednesday’ is (as far as I can think) the only word that contains /dnzd/ in English, and the most obvious ways to get past this is simplification (/nzd/ as most places) and epenthesis (/dənzd/ or /dnəzd/ as in Glasgow). Nov 30, 2013 at 2:13

2 Answers 2

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My parents are both from Northern Britain, my mother from Newcastle upon Tyne and my father from Glasgow. They both say "Wed'nzday". By contrast, I was brought up and live in the South-west of England, where the local pronunciation is "Wenzday"

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  • Yes, Suke is correct, the "d" is pronounced in my part of England (around Newcastle-upon-Tyne). This area uses many dialectal features, in terms of both pronunciation and vocabulary, that many people would regard as purely "Scottish".
    – GeordieG
    Nov 30, 2013 at 1:29
  • @GeordieG My Northern Irish accent keeps it, though there's a similarity between us and the Scottish too. I don't think it's restricted to the North of the Pretanic Isles, though; I'm pretty sure it can be found elsewhere, too.
    – Jon Hanna
    Jan 18, 2014 at 1:12
  • My own pronunciation wɛdənzdi comes from East Yorkshire where it is, or was, common Oct 28, 2017 at 23:13
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Indian speakers also pronounce the "d" in Wednesday. I've heard both wɛdnzde and wɛnzde.

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