Boris In New Election Material Gaffe

Andy Thornley
By Andy Thornley Last edited 75 months ago
Boris In New Election Material Gaffe

For visitors to London, it's a tricky one to pronounce — let alone spell — but it appears that the man who is in charge of the capital also has been having a little difficulty when it comes to spelling Marylebone.

In the run up to the Mayoral elections in May, Boris has been distributing borough specific literature through the capital's letter boxes. The leaflets are your typical pre-election bumph — focusing on improvements that have been made to your local area with the obligatory political spin.

Each leaflet includes a map of the borough and it is here that he's come a bit unstuck. In the leaflet for the borough of Westminster, Boris spells the affluent area of Marylebone  'Marlebone', as this image by Twitter user @ZuluAdams shows:

Marylebone, (pronounced mar-lee-bone), is an area which skirts Oxford Street and is home to the world famous Harley Street. The name actually derives from the church of St. Mary that was situated near a stream or 'bourne'.

The gaffe will be embarrassing for the current Mayor as he seeks to convince Londoners that he is the man they should vote to stay at the helm for another term. It's not the worst mistake that has or will ever happen on the campaign trail, but being unable to spell correctly a key central location in the capital will hardly have helped his cause — even if it was written and proof-read by his election team.

Image of Boris by Dean Nicholas from the Londonist Flickr Pool.

Last Updated 06 February 2012

Jonn Elledge

"pronounced mar-lee-bone"

Et tu, Andy? I was always brought up to say it as Ma-re-le-bn, only said quickly as if it has no vowels in it. It's one of those names the tube announcers get wrong, like Plaistow.

Grumble grumble my back hurts this modern music is all just noise.


Oh, yawn.


Great article Andy - I saw Boris riding down a bus only lane not so long ago, another highlight of his incompetence or arrogance? This article shows both.

I'm with the Ma-re-le-bn gang btw.

Paul Flaherty

I think it should be pronounced MAR-le-bone, with the emphasis on the first syllable.


two syllables: MAR-le'bn [same a Ho'bn]


Who cares about a spello.  He's a real person, not a political shark.  That's what matters and why so many of us love him so.


It's a typo. And it's a much more sensible spelling anyway

Phil McLoughlin

Did anybody notice his latest gaff on Friday It was either on ITV London news or the BBC London new 23 May 2014. Where he put the Tory's bad results down to the illegal hostility measures. Yes I had to play it back twice, because I thought I miss heard him. Even the reporter never picked up on it