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100 Most Often Mispronounced Words in English


By Stephanie Ciccarelli

March 25, 2008

Comments (8)

your-dictionary-comTo continue on our verbal trail we've got a link to a site that lists one hundred of the most often mispronounced words in the English language.

Want to take a guess as to which words are mentioned?

We grew up speaking, reading and dissecting the English language.

Many of us think that we have a firm grip on the English language and the vast majority of us take for granted that English is one of the hardest languages to master.

Constructing sentences, conjugating verbs and employing the usage of proper grammar is easy in theory but sometimes the application doesn't hit the mark as this list will show.

Check out the 100 Most Often Mispronounced Words in English at MyDictionary.com.

If you had to pick 3 words based upon your own research (from the most often mispronounced words that you've heard) which words would round out your list?

Leave a comment!



Image via MyDictionary.com

Related Topics: dictionary, English, English language, mispronounced, mydictionary.com, words


    Hi Stephanie!

    I loved this edition of Vox Daily! Correct and proper pronunciation is a subject I have always enjoyed studying. I thought of a few words that were not on this list, but I bet others can come up with even more.

    Here's my brief list:

    cap’n captain

    While this pronunciation sounds cute in war movies, the only time I have used it is when I played a soldier in a video game.

    comfterble comfortable

    Some people get lazy and drop a syllable in this one.

    datta data

    This one is “iffy,” but the preferred pronunciation is data with a long ‘a.’

    famly family

    Somehow, some of us miss the middle syllable in this one.

    Pennsavania Pennsylvania

    Even Pennsylvania’s governor has been heard mispronouncing the name of the state that he governs. The name Pennsylvania literally means “Penn’s woods“ or “Penn‘s woodland,” a tribute to the state’s founder William Penn. Sylvania (not savania) is Latin.

    poh-leece puh-leece’ (police)

    I once knew someone who corrected me when I pronounced this word with a short ‘o.’ The only way that I could prove that he was incorrect was to open the dictionary.

    Also, the reference to the word “often” is both correct and incorrect. “Often” was originally pronounced with a hard ‘t.’ In the 15th century, many words began losing consonant sounds (like handsome). It wasn’t until the 19th century, with the rise of public education and literacy, that people began pronouncing the word off-ten. Another example of this is the word “chestnut,” which also lost a ‘t’ as people pronounced it chess-nut. Even though I often say "offen" myself, I would be prone to allow either pronunciation of often.

    Thanks for the great reading every day!

    Scott "Scooter" Fortney

    Posted by:

      Just one ironic example. It's very common here in the UK to mispronounce the word 'pronunciation'. Many people say 'pronounciation'.

      Posted by:


        This is a GREAT resource! I've bookmarked the page for those times when I need to be assured I have the right word. And Scooter, thanks for those valuable additions! I'm sure we can all probably come up with a few of our own to add to the list.

        Larry Wayne

        Posted by:

          Hi Scott, Peter and Larry,

          Thank you for commenting and I'm happy to hear that this list has been elevated to the status of resource by our VOX Daily family :)

          Scott, thank you also for adding more hard to pronounce words. Peter, thank you for giving us a British point of view ;)

          Larry, thank you for the encouragement :)



          Posted by:

            I notice that these lists always seem to leave off the word jibe (to be in accord with) which I hear some people pronounce as jive! Also, a friend recently tried to correct my pronunciation of poyn-set-tia, the flower, to her incorrect poyn-setta.

            Posted by:
            • athea marcos amir
            • January 21, 2009 1:21 PM

              Hi Stephanie,

              I saw your tweet which brought me here. Marvelous! One hundred words is one hundred more than most people may be saying correctly and these things are noticed. I think we touched on this in our conversation at the London Podcamp.
              This is the type of list, not only to have handy but to practice regularly.

              Take care,
              Love the information as always.

              Posted by:
              • Doug Jeffery
              • May 9, 2010 11:06 PM

                No other word in English language is more often mispronounced than ... Wednesday

                Posted by:
                • crash
                • October 21, 2010 6:55 PM

                  I got such a kick out of reading this!
                  And, I learned a thing or two.

                  Posted by:

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