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Scone or Scon? February 2, 2006

Posted by boltzmann in Uncategorized.

It’s an elemental battle that has raged for countless years. What is the correct pronunciation of the word “scone” (referring to the cake frequently enjoyed with cream and jam)?

Is it “sc(ohhh)ne”, with a long “oh” as in “cone”?
Or is it “scon”, with a short “o” as in “gone”?

I vote for the former, “scohne”, on the grounds that the word “scone” includes the smaller word “cone” in its entirety and merely applies a prefixed “s”. I know the English language is not as simple as that, but it would be nice if, for once, it was!

How do you pronounce it? May the battle commence!!



1. Jag - February 2, 2006

Well the word “cone” also includes the smaller word “one” in its entirety ane merely prefixes a “c”. So – if the English language was that simple (which I agree I wish it was!) then the word “cone” should be pronounced “con” – and then “scone” would be said “scon” – which is correct. So by this method it would be “cone” that would be anomaly!

(Apologies – couldn’t resist!)

2. boltzmann - February 2, 2006

Arrrgh! I hadn’t thought of that!

But then “cone” would be wrong and “scon” would be right! Would you rather have “cone” right or “scon right? One or the other!

Wait a minute, though. If “cone” was pronounced to include “one”, then it would be pronounced “qun”, and “scone” would then become “squn”.

I love your post-bombings sense of humour, by the way. Much respect. I’ll add you to the blog roll.

3. Muzz - February 2, 2006

Ironically we had this debate in the pub the other day and settled on the “cone” version, partly because of cone and partly because the trailing -e would emphasise the -o-. This also means that one should be “oh-ne” but we won’t go into that.

4. Jag - February 2, 2006

I prefer “scon” rather than “scohne”. Perhaps the correct theory is that pronunciations alternate with every new letter added – so we start with “one” then we alternate to “cohne” then we alternate to “scon”. It follows then that if there was a word which had a letter that prefixed “scone” – then it would be pronounced “ohne”.

Anyway – this is doing me ‘ed in! As Muzz says: perhaps it’s better not to go into it anymore! 🙂

Most flattered re the link in the blog roll – have returned the compliment! Cheers!

5. boltzmann - February 2, 2006

Marvellous, Jag, thanks.

The alternating-pronunciation theory is an interesting one indeed.

6. Camilla - February 3, 2006

I say Scohn..it just sounds more right

saying that i prefer tea-cakes

7. Annie - London Underground Blog - February 3, 2006

It’s Scone as in the one which sounds like Cone 🙂

8. boltzmann - February 3, 2006

Well, the scores are as follows:

Scon: 1
Scohne: 4

It’s interesting, as this is the complete opposite outcome to that which I expected. Almost all of my friends say “scon”. In fact, the only other “scohner” I know of is my mother. Who, incidentally, also makes tea the correct way. More on that later, maybe!

9. Chelle - February 3, 2006

What Mr. Masker has neglected to add is that his father says ‘scon’, as do I, and also makes his tea the ‘actual correct way’ (i.e water before milk, so that tea bag diffuses to its maximun potential!), as do I!

I detect a bit of sneaky ‘scohne’ promotion going on!

4-2 then 😉

-Chelle (Mrs. Masker)

10. Neil - February 5, 2006

Don’t start the whole “tea in a cup or tea from a pot” argument now!

(I prefer it in a pot).

11. Jag - February 6, 2006

You’ve started it now: pot for me. But in any case – proper tea is taken black.

I grew up on scones (with tea) during my childhood and college – all of which took place “up North” – where it was always pronounced “scon”. Later, when down South, I discovered that concept of scones is pretty much non-existent – dominated instead by a world of croissants (pronounced “kwosance”) – it makes sense that the correct pronunciation of scone is deservedly the one that is most popular – which is “scon”.

Ergo; if it were tested for real, “4 – 2” in favour of “scohne” would rapidly become “millions to 2” in favour of “scon”. Case rests.

12. boltzmann - February 7, 2006

Case does NOT rest!!!

I could find you at LEAST one more person who pronounces it “scohne”. I reckon. That would be more than two, but still not millions.


“Croissants” is pronounced “Kkkhhrwassong” but not quite as crudely, and without too much of a “g” on the end.

13. Neil - February 7, 2006

I say “scon” as I am from “up north” too.

Does that skew everything now?

14. boltzmann - February 7, 2006

Yes, Neil, that ruins it all!

4-3 to scohne.

15. PKM - February 7, 2006

Aha- tie-break! My house, being, as it is, full of students, some from oop north but most nancy southerners such as myself, has had this very debate before- it came out about 4-2 in favour of “scon” over “scohne” with (I think) two abstentions, ie people who had a life.

I like putting punctuation in my writing- well you can’t do it when you speak, can you? Apart from air-quotes.. but I digress. I wonder if I can get a semicolon in; they are an underused piece of punctuation.

One vote for “scon” makes it 4-all. I personally find the ratio more like 3:1 for “scon”.

If anyone wants to email me my address is pyrophernalia [at] hotmail (dot) com.

16. boltzmann - February 7, 2006

#14: “Apart from air-quotes.. but I digress.”

Complete that ellipsis … damn it!

Semicolons in speech are quite hard to come by and harder to perform. The action for a semicolon, in the manner of air-quotes, would probably be a kung-fu style pointing jab and chop.

17. Adham - February 9, 2006


18. boltzmann - February 9, 2006

He means “Scohne”. Five-four to Scohne.

19. Jag - February 10, 2006

Not so sure – he didn’t inflect the pronunciation in the word scone – so one can only assume he meant to say it the way that most people say it – which is “scon” (as in “con”).

20. boltzmann - February 13, 2006

On a better day, Jag, I would agree with you, but I’m afraid that I have already asked him personally!

Adham is a man who knows how to round his vowels.

21. Peter - February 13, 2006

I’ve always said “scon”, and I reckon it’d be a blinding idea if someone came up with a spoof product called “Gaviscones”, which would, predictably, be easy-to-digest scones.

22. Boltzmann - February 13, 2006

All right. That makes it 5-5 !!

Gaviscones? That mist be like Spinal Tap’s spin-off sandwich product, Rock’n Rolls…

23. Joey - February 27, 2006

Scon. Gotta be! but then I’m from Wales… you never mentioned what happens west of the border! =P

24. Boltzmann - February 28, 2006

AAAAahhhhhh, I hadn’t thought of that! 6-5 to “scon”.

I’ll be in Wales this summer actually. You heard about the new roller coaster at Oakwood? It looks fantastic, if you’re into that sort of thing.

25. Nigel - May 15, 2006

Just to make it a tie again, although it seems that nobody cares anymore, I pronounce it “scOHne”. My friends and I were having a fairly one-sided but heated debate on it, and the consensus was 8 to 1 “scOHne”. Mind you, the one sole loser put up quite a fight. We’re Canadians, by the way.

So the score is now 6-6. Cheers. 😉

P.S. Talking about scOHnes makes me crave for them! =(

26. Theoraengenny - October 5, 2007

I’ve got an Amazon gift certificate burning holes in my pocket,
and I want to get the most bang for my buck.

Enter the Secret Amazon Web Pages:


This is where you’re going to find the “latest sales, rebates, and limited-time offers” from
Amazon, and you can score some pretty deep discounts if you’re a savvy shopper.

Next, there’s the special Sale link. This is open every Friday, and ONLY on Fridays.

You can find the same good discounts here as you would in hidden Deals, although some
Fridays you can really get lucky and make off like an Amazon bandit – I’ve seen discounts
there as low as 75% off sticker price.

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