You're not a moron, just speaking the wrong dialect. The British English pronunciation of borough and compounds using it like Scarborough in Yorkshire and Loughborough (roughly Luff'-bruh) have a schwa as their final syllable, quite distinct from the sound in dough, toe, sew, mow, Po ...*

The definitive list (southern British English):

  1. Though - rhymes with so
  2. Through - homophone with threw
  3. Cough, Gough - rhyme with off
  4. Tough, enough - rhyme with buff
  5. Borough and its compounds, thorough - a short schwa
  6. Hiccough - rhymes with up. I'd normally use the spelling "hiccup", though.
  7. Bough - rhymes with cow (there exists also a surname pronounced as (3) above)
  8. Ought, nought, fought, bought - rhyme with caught, taut, court, sort
  9. Lough - homophone with loch
  10. * left in to illustrate why response nodes are a Bad Thing when the node they respond to disappears. Watch and learn.

According to the pronunciation symbols used on, the various pronunciations of ough (including some rarer ones) would be written:

  1. of - cough
  2. ü - through
  3. au - bough
  4. &f - enough
  5. O - though
  6. o - thought
  7. & - Flamborough
  8. &p - hiccough
  9. äk or äk - lough
  10. äf - Gough
  11. ä - nought, ought

Note: for many people, ä is pronounced the same as o, so the last two probably shouldn't be counted as separate sounds.

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