How to Pronounce “Slough”: Slew? Sluff? Slow? Slug? Slog?
I‘ve read Pilgrim’s Progress several times but still had to look up how to pronounce slough, as in Slough of Despond. Does it rhyme with cow? Do? Cuff?
Have you thought about the letter combination ough? No letter combination in English is more frustrating. It can be pronounced at least nine different ways:
Slough causes problems because it’s pronounced different ways, depending on meaning. Slough pronounced sluff is the term for shedding skin, like snakes do. Slough meaning wet, swampy ground can be pronounced either sloo or slou (rhymes with cow). Dictionary.com prefers slou, while the American Heritage Dictionary prefers sloo. I’m going with sloo too (because it rhymes with goo, which seems appropriate).