Derby

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The town of Derby in England is traditionally pronounced with a first syllable that rhymes with 'car': 'DAHr-bee', IPA: /'dɑːr bɪ/. This is not always the pronunciation used by the inhabitants of the town, and it is rare in American English, where the standard pronunciation rhymes the first syllable with 'herb' and 'kerb': 'DUHr-bee', IPA: /'dɜːːr bɪ/. This applies to the town, the county, the aristocratic title (the Earl of Derby), the famous horse-race (which was founded by the 12th Earl of Derby) and various other derivatives. Americans talk of a 'derby hat', worn by men, which is not a name used in Britain. The British name is a bowler hat, or, colloquially, a bowler.

A similar feature of pronunciation, with the spelling '-er-' representing the sound 'AHr', can be seen in clerk, the proper nouns Hervey and Berkeley, where American usage differs in a similar way from the British, and the military rank of 'sergeant' where it does not.