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Menzies is traditionally pronounced 'MING-iz' (IPA: /ˈmˈɪŋ ɪs/) in Scotland, which maintains, mostly subconsciously, the realization that the '-z-' is actually a relic of an older yogh. The name is usually pronounced 'MEN-ziz' (IPA: /ˈmɛn zɪs/) in England and increasingly in Scotland; a pronunciation that appears in the USA is 'men-zees', /mɛn ziːz/, with equal stress on the two syllables.

  • One of these two jokey limericks may help you to remember this pronunciation (the joke is essentially to write words containg the sound '-ing-', /ɪŋ/, as it is spelled in Menzies - '-enz'):
A lively young damsel named Menzies
Inquired: "Do you know what this thenzies?"
Her aunt, with a gasp,
Replied: "It's a wasp,
And you're holding the end where the stenzies."


An adventurous pirate named Menzies
Simultaneously boarded two denzies.
The Rover, Sir Ralph,
Said, “Do you think that’s salph?
You don’t want to damage your thenzies.

Less jocularly, perhaps, you may remember the Olympic sprinter (and holder of the British record for the 100 metres from 1967 to 1974) and (later) Leader of the Liberal Democrats from 2006 to 2007, Ming Campbell, more formally Menzies Campbell: the 'Ming' is a familiar shortening of a forename pronounced 'MING-iz' (IPA: /ˈmˈɪŋ ɪs/).