Who rhymes the words ‘for’ and ‘more’?

Previous findings

A previous survey by Wells found that similar word pairs, like for-four, tend to rhyme in the south of England most often, but it is becoming increasingly common for other dialects to rhyme such words now as well (1982: 235). Recent research from Dr Maciej Baranowski also suggests that a distinction between such word pairs still remains in the northern parts of Manchester.

Our findings

Comparable to what Wells (1982) found, the for-more rhyme is found throughout the whole country, with a staggering 87% of UK speakers rhyming the two words. Broken down into regions, there is a preference for for-more rhyming in the South, with 96% speakers compared to the North’s 82%, but it is clearly predominant in almost all dialects. One exception is found in Manchester, where there are slightly more speakers who distinguish for from more than in the rest of the country (only 66% of those with a Manchester postcode rhyme the two words, and they tend to be concentrated in the south of Manchester). Another exception is Scotland, where just 59% of the 82 respondents claim to rhyme the words.