Definition of aitch in English:



  • The letter H.

    • ‘We're in the sort of plush Glasgow hotel where waiters scuttle along behind you sweeping up your dropped aitches.’
    • ‘The dropping of aitches is widespread and is generally considered substandard.’
    • ‘To describe the noise, I've tried every combination of vowels and aitches.’
    • ‘But he also drops some of his aitches, so he'll say ‘orse for horse, and that's something that doesn't usually happen in Scotland.’
    • ‘She tried the name, again giving the hard consonant of the ‘K’ and the aitch a sibilant sound.’


  • drop one's aitches

    • Fail to pronounce the letter h at the beginning of words, a characteristic feature of certain dialects.

      • ‘If a policeman writes in why does he have to drop his aitches and sound gruff and arrogant?’
      • ‘Are we the only ones who drop our aitches and do we really say ‘were’ instead of ` was’.’
      • ‘She apparently also has the nicknames ‘Hollywood’ and ‘Fabulous,’ which means that poor Matt has to say those words like shibboleths, or like Eliza Doolittle trying not to drop her aitches.’
      • ‘Why do people moan about people dropping their aitches?’
      • ‘‘It's all very well for Blair to slur his consonants and drop his aitches, but that's all put on.’’
      • ‘Commoner Bevin still occasionally drops his aitches; during the war he whipped on his workers with ‘Give ‘itler ‘ell!’’
      • ‘The character tended to drop his aitches, yielding I never ‘ad it, so I'd ‘ad it as far as judgin’ was concerned.’
      • ‘When the soldier speaks he drops his aitches and several other letters.’
      • ‘Unlike so many of the older Portuguese he did not drop his aitches; but for all that he used quaint, evocative words, like potah potah for puddle, and seemed to belong to a hermetical world neither Guyanese nor foreign.’
      • ‘He's another one who drops his aitches.’
    • see aitch
      • ‘She now drops her aitches causing ‘Hillary’ to sound like ‘Ee Willy’!’
      • ‘It's not often a solicitor drops his aitches.’
      • ‘Some socialists, however, have sought to drop their aitches as a token of working-class solidarity.’
      • ‘Why do people moan about people dropping their aitches, and almost never complain about them dropping their r's.’
      • ‘He spoke with a Bedfordshire accent, and dropped his aitches.’


Mid 16th century: from Old French ache.