dropping your haitches


New Member
my missus asked me to post this:

why 'erbs?

were did the dropping of the 'h' come from, is it poor pronunciation gone mad or is there another story to it?

ta :)


Staff member
?( I dunno....it is 'erbs to me, h erbs is plural for a bunch of guys called H erb. lol

There are lots of people who do say h erb, though, is it like tomato (long a) and tomato (short a)?

No more info than what you started with, but the best I could do lol :)


New Member
inthe uk the dropped h is quite typical of local slang [cockney is a prime example], but you'd never see it on tv ads or anything. we do see the 'erbs in us adverts and it is kinda disconcerting )

as for blaming the french, practically a hobby inthe uk!


From Dictionary.com:
The word herb, which can be pronounced with or without the (h), is one of a number of words borrowed into English from French. The (h) sound had been lost in Latin and was not pronounced in French or the other Romance languages, which are descended from Latin, although it was retained in the spelling of some words. In both Old and Middle English, however, h was generally pronounced, as in the native English words happy and hot. Through the influence of spelling, then, the h came to be pronounced in most words borrowed from French, such as haste and hostel. In a few other words borrowed from French the h has remained silent, as in honor, honest, hour, and heir. And in another small group of French loan words, including herb, humble, human, and humor, the h may or may not be pronounced depending on the dialect of English. In British English, herb and its derivatives, such as herbaceous, herbal, herbicide, and herbivore, are pronounced with h. In American English, herb and herbal are more often pronounced without the h, while the opposite is true of herbaceous, herbicide, and herbivore, which are more often pronounced with the h.


New Member
Nothern England is also a prime place to drop your h 's, and no one bothers to pick them upagain.


Luis G

Staff member
We make the h english sound with the spanish sound of the j.

I wonder what the correct sound of every single letter is, a while ago i read that spanish and italian are the only languages that are spoken just the way they are written.

A couple of exceptions to that rule in spanish, are preciselly with the h: huevo (egg) and Chihuahua, which are pronounced with the spanish sound of the w (and also english').


New Member
English is seriously screwed up insofar as pronunciation vs spelling half of the time. Just think about the nightmare words 'enough' and 'physics'.


New Member
they're just curve-balls we like to throw to put people out :D

their, there, they're, depending on your pronunciation can sound the same!