I.P.A.

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-ough is by far the sequence of letters with the most unpredictable pronunciation, having at least six pronunciations in North American English and over ten in British English. Here are some examples.


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Although I sat coughing by the plough,
I had thought this through thoroughly enough.


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A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman
strode through the streets of Scarborough;
after falling into a slough,
he coughed and hiccoughed.


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The baker-man was kneading dough
And whistling softly, sweet and lough.

Yet ever and anon he'd cough
As though his head were coming ough!

"My word!" said he," but this is rough:
This flour is simply awful stough!"

He punched and thumped it through and through,
As all good bakers dough!

" I'd sooner drive," said he " a plough
Than be a baker anyhough!"

Thus spake the baker kneading dough;
But don't let on I told you sough!


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