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On Fri, 2010-09-03 at 00:42 -0500, Eric Christopherson wrote:

> Anyone know if the surname _Wooster_ is a form of _Worcester_?

It is indeed, along with Worster and Wostear.

Our conservative spelling, and lack of the immigrants who have
introduced spelling pronunciations into the USA, have produced quite a
few interesting mismatches: Plaistow /ˈplɑːstəŭ/ in London, Cley /klɑĭ/
and Stiffkey /ˈstĭuːki/ in Norfolk. But a lot of the old pronunciations,
that were still in use when I was a boy, have been lost: Cirencester
was /ˈsisitə/, but is now pronounced as spelled.