Saoisrse Ronan. You’ve probably seen her in movies such as “Brooklyn”, “Mary Queen of Scots”, and “Little Women.” She actually has quite a few films under her belt and nominations under her belt for her acting to boot. Ok – now pronounce her first name.

Nice try.

Nope.

Close.

It’s pronounced “Sir-shuh”. Similar to inertia.

Here’s the thing, there are many scotches out there that endure the same fate. They are spelled with the Latin Alphabet that we’re familiar with; however, they’re not pronounced the way they’re written. Full disclosure: I’m not a Gael nor a recent descendant of one; I grew up speaking English, not Gaelic. And yes, English has its peculiarities with letters in words. The word “phlegm” – what’s the “g” doing there? Why is “rough” pronounced “ruff” and in “thorough”, it’s pronounced “ro”. And why is “ph” making the “f” sound when “f” is perfectly suitable to do so? Heck – even the word “phonetic isn’t spelled “phonetically”.

Back to the matter at hand. Actually, let’s introduce manner at hand: the pronunciation of certain scotches. To put a finer point on it: the Scottish pronunciation of certain scotches. I suspect that the scotches themselves are comfortable with us anglicising their names, saying their names more gaelically would bring a smile to said scotches. For example: when I say “Glenfiddich” the digraph “ch” is pronounced like a “k”. In my bad attempt at Gaelic, the “ch” sounds more like a back of the throat guttural hiss.

Anyway, as The Single Cask just landed with some tongue-twisters, we figured if you master these scotch pronunciations below and whenever an impromptu round of pronunciation Jeopardy starts up at the bar or in your basement, you’ll easily clean up. Oh, and the bolded syllables indicated where to put the emphasis.

Aberlour – Ab-url-our  (Instead of Happy Hour, it’s Aberl Hour.)

AnCnoc – An-nock (The capital C after An is silent, see?)

Auchroisk – O-thrusk

Balvenie – Bal-ven-nee

Bruichladdich – Brook-laddie.  (Or make the soft “ch” sound on the second one.)

Caol Isla – Culleelah.

Craigellachie – Craig-ellah-kee

Glen Garioch – Glen Gee-ree

Glenmorangie – Glen more-an-gee  (Think “orangee.”)

Glenrothes – Glen roth-is  (Like Glen Roth is busy.)

Kilchoman – Kill Hoe-mun.  (The “ch” is silent here.”)

Laphroaig – Lah-froyg

Ledaig – Leh-tchaig

Mannochmore – Ma-nock-more  (Again, the “ch” sound is your choice.)

Oban – Oben  (It’s like saying Open with a “b” instead.)

Poit Dhubh – Potch Goo  (Pronounced just like it’s spelled, right?)

Teaninich – Tee-ni-nik  (Or, again, make the soft “ch” sound.)

Té Bheag – Tcheh-vek  (Think of the “tcheh” sound in Czeck.)

Tomintoul – Tom-in-towel

Weemys – Weems

These are a few to get you started.  And there’s no written rule that you have to use the “ch” digraph or the trilling rhotic “r”.  However, it would be kind of cool and continental if you could.  And you can start with “Slàinte Mhath”.  Cheers.