The word scone derives from sgonn, which is Gaelic for ‘a large mouthful. Made from fine white flour, sour milk (or buttermilk), and a raising agent, scones are baked on a griddle or in the oven. Originating in Scotland in the early 1500s, they started off as cakes cut into four to make square or triangular portions. Now they are generally round and baked individually. In Victorian times they were an essential part of afternoon tea, served with jam and clotted cream – hence the name ‘cream tea’.

So, do you pronounce scone as sconn, or scone? I have tried asking colleagues (all of them from the UK) and pronunciation seems evenly divided and probably geographical. I am South African and I say ‘sconn’, but in Sweden they say scone.

And speaking of scones – which one of the below are you? I am definitely left!

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

8 thoughts

  1. Sconn. Butter first, then jam, then clotted cream if you’re having it. Cream always goes on top of things – for example, I wouldn’t put the cream in a dish and then pile apple pie on top of it.

  2. Definitely RIGHT because as with peanut butter and jelly, the jelly belongs on top due to its tendency to slide of if something is spread atop it.

  3. Left! I am not sure how I say it. I just know people in my adopted country of New Zealand make fun of me. Sigh.

    1. Amazing. I’ve lived pretty much all of my life in England where I’ve eaten many croissants and pains au chocolat….. You’re really missing out if you’ve never had scones, they’re gorgeous.

  4. To complicate things a bit more, if I was speaking Swedish I would defenitely say sconns. In English on the other hand I would say scones 😊

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