Mercia - Murcia

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Don't confuse the two place-names and near homophones Mercia and Murcia, despite their near identical spellings. The commonest pronunciation of both in RP is 'MERSE-i-ah', IPA: /ˈmɜrs ɪ ə/ - although there are many variations. Both form adjectives, sometimes used substantively, by adding '-n'.

  • Mercia is the name originally of the kingdom founded by Angles, centring on the valley of the River Trent and lying between the Anglo-Saxon invaders to the east and the native British (Welsh) to the west.
Etymological note: Mercia is derived from the Anglian dialect of Old English, which named the kingdom Merce (the West Saxon form was Mierce, also written Mirce and Myrce) which means 'borderers'. The word is cognate with marches.
  • Murcia is a region and the capital city of that region in south-eastern Spain. (The Spanish pronunciation is 'moorthyah', IPA: /ˈmurθja/.)