How do you pronounce Waterstones? Furious debate erupts online

How do YOU pronounce Waterstones? Furious debate erupts as people realise others are saying it VERY differently

  • One British man sought online help as he and his wife debated  pronunciation 
  • READ MORE: Waterstones staff are forced to find creative ways to mask gaps in the shelves

A man has sparked an online debate after asking people how they pronounce the name of British book chain ‘Waterstones’.

Although most people split it up into its two words – ‘water’ and ‘stones’, THE Reddit user explained how he says ‘Waterstuns’.

Earlier this week, the anonymous man sought out the internet’s help when debating the phonetics with his wife.

He explained: ‘Me and the missus are locked in a debate about this.

‘I say “Waterstuns” like Ray Winstone or Sam Johnstone and she says “Waterstones” like water and the word for rocks.

A British man has sparked an online debate after asking people how they pronounce ‘Waterstones’ (Stock image used)

‘Any thoughts to settle it would be magic. Cheers.’ 

More than a thousand commenters left comments on the forum – but the majority were stunned by his query.

One joked: ‘Were you dropped on your head as a child, good sir?’

Another added: ‘Ahahahaha. Seriously though who the f*** says waterstuns?? Apart from OP obviously.’

‘Your wife is, as always, correct,’ a third wrote.

People had even cited adverts from the store, which confirmed the pronunciation as ‘Water-stones’. 

However, there were a handful who rallied behind the man in solidarity, with many putting it down to their accent.

‘We’re a Scottish family,’ one replied. ‘We all say Waterstuns.’ 

When discussing the famous bookshop chain, while many of us will likely split it up into two words – ‘water’ and ‘stones’ – one Redditer posited that he says ‘Waterstuns’ like Ray Winstone or Sam Johnstone

A second said: ‘Oh thank god it’s not just me! 

‘Had the p*** constantly taken out of me by all my mates about this.

‘I had no idea other people said ‘waterstuns’!!’

Another regular visitor of the shop agreed.

‘I usually visit a branch a week and I’m with you,’ they said. ‘Waterstuns.’

More than a thousand commenters chipped in, with reactions ranging from outraged to supportive

However, it would seem the plot thickened as others elaborated on the shop’s etymology. 

‘Funnily enough, the shop is absolutely pronounced Waterstone’s as in Water and Stones,’ one wrote. ‘Their own marketing and old TV adverts suggest as much.’

In a 2019 podcast with Georgina Godwin, the host pronounced both the brand and founder’s name as ‘Water-stone’.

The man later edited his original post and added: ‘Looks like the weight of the majority is against me on this one. 

‘For those of you judging me just remember, “May he who has not sinned cast the first stun.”‘

According to its website, Waterstones prides itself as ‘an icon of the British cultural landscape’ which employs more than 3,000 booksellers across some 280 locations.

The shop’s story began in 1982, after being founded by Tim Waterstone, and the chain is now known for many scenic stores, which sometimes even feature cafes.

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