The 20 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in The English Language

Olu Ojo
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The English language, with its roots spanning various languages and cultures, boasts a rich vocabulary that occasionally poses pronunciation challenges even to native speakers. This compilation sheds light on the most intriguing and commonly mispronounced words, offering insight into their correct enunciation and historical origins.

Anathema

Anathema
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Anathema, stemming from Greek origins, refers to a person or entity that is greatly reviled or loathed. Surprisingly, this word is among the most frequently queried on Merriam-Webster.

Anemone

The 20 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in the English Language
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The delicate sea creature’s name is derived from the ancient Greek word anemōnē, meaning “daughter of the wind. Its deceptive simplicity has even the most eloquent, like Pixar’s Nemo, stumbling over its pronunciation.

Antarctic

The 20 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in the English Language
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Hailing from the Latin word antarcticus, the land opposite the Arctic has often had its name mispronounced, leading to variations like “Ant-ART-tic.”

Antidisestablishmentarianism

The 20 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in the English Language
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Perhaps one of the longest words in the English lexicon, this 28-letter term signifies opposition to disestablishing a state church. Its origins are entrenched in 19th-century British politics.

Asterisk

The 20 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in the English Language
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The symbol, primarily used in typing, traces back to the Greek word asteriskos, meaning “little star”. Common mispronunciations involve rearranging the final ‘S’ and ‘K’.

Brewery

The 20 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in the English Language
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Brewery is one of the more difficult words to pronounce in the English language. It’s often mispronounced as “bree-wer-ee” instead of the correct pronunciation, which is “broo-er-ee”. This can lead to confusion and misunderstandings, making it important for people to learn how to correctly pronounce this word.

Cavalry

The 20 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in the English Language
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This term, signifying mounted soldiers, is often erroneously interchanged with ‘Calvary’, a biblical reference. Its etymology is rooted in the Latin caballus, denoting a horse.

Comfortable

The 20 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in the English Language
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Emerging from the Latin confortare, meaning “to strengthen much”, its subtle nuances in pronunciation often lead to omissions of certain syllables.

Defibrillator

The 20 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in the English Language
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This life-saving medical equipment, essential for cardiac emergencies, is derived from Latin. Its name often undergoes phonetic alterations, making it challenging to articulate.

Deteriorate

The 20 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in the English Language
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This word, suggesting a decline in quality, has its first ‘R’ frequently mispronounced. The English language offers a plethora of synonyms, providing alternatives to this intricate term.

Explicit

The 20 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in the English Language
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A term signifying clarity and directness, its Latin origin explicitus meaning “unfolded” ironically leads to lisped articulations by many.

Exponentially

The 20 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in the English Language
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Originating from the Latin exponere, this mathematical term indicating rapid increase becomes increasingly convoluted as one endeavors to pronounce it.

February

The 20 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in the English Language
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The second month of the Gregorian calendar traces its name back to Februarius, dedicated to Februa, an early Roman spring cleaning festival. Notably, pronunciation variations are recognized by leading dictionaries.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

Floccinaucinihilipilification
Image credit: Google

This intricate term, one of the longest non-technical words in English, merely denotes the action of deeming something as trivial. Its roots encompass multiple Latin words, each signifying something insignificant.

Ignominious

Ignominious
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Popularized by various media outlets, this adjective, synonymous with disgraceful actions, has its roots in the Latin term ignominia, meaning “loss of a good name.”

Isthmus

The 20 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in the English Language
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Referring to a narrow land strip between two larger land masses, this term’s dual ‘S’ makes pronunciation challenging. Its name can be traced back to ancient Greek.

Library

The 20 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in the English Language
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A haven for bibliophiles, the term originates from the Latin liber, meaning book. Regrettably, even the most educated occasionally fumble its pronunciation.

Massachusetts

The 20 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in the English Language
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The state’s appellation is derived from native Algonquian tongues. Those unfamiliar with the region might struggle with its nuanced pronunciation.

Often

The 20 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in the English Language
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Despite its regular usage, this term’s pronunciation, derived from Middle English, remains a subject of debate, with variations in the silent ‘T’.

Onomatopoeia

The 20 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in the English Language
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With Greek roots, this term signifies words that phonetically imitate the sounds they describe, adding another layer of complexity to the already intricate English language.

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Author

  • Olu Ojo

    My name is Olu. I am a passionate entrepreneur who loves to write about Pets, Home Improvement Hacks & Products, Fitness, and Travel Lifestyle. I have two bachelor's degrees in Veterinary Medicine and Applied Accounting with a CPA designation. I currently shuffle time between completing a Master of Business Administration Degree Education, Professional Practice, and Content writing. I have freelanced lifestyle content and posts for many top authority websites like MSN, and Wealth of Geeks.

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