France and Pants Don’t Rhyme in the UK

Just listening to Liza Minelli sing “Don’t Tell Mama” from Cabaret. She’s doing a British accent, and it just occurred to me that ‘pants’ (which typically refers to underwear in the British Isles) is pronounced so that it rhymes with ‘ants’, not ‘France’. From the lyrics:

Mama, Thinks I’m living in a convent,
A secluded little convent, In the southern part of France.

Mama, Doesn’t even have an inkling
That I’m working in a Nightclub, In a pair of Lacy pants.

You learn something every day.

As you were.


  1. Lisa: I’m pretty sure Brits don’t pronounce ‘pants’ so that it rhymes with ‘ponce’, do they? I’m not sure which way they say ‘ants’.

  2. Uh, now I’ve got myself confused. But the British say ‘France’ like ‘Fronce’, but they say ‘pants’ they same way we say ‘pants’.

  3. I think the British pronunciation of pants is slightly different from the way we say it. That is, I pronounce pants and bad slightly differently, whereas a Brit might pronounce them the same way. Then again, I’m from Cape Breton…

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