17 Words You’ve Probably Been Mispronouncing Your Whole Life.

There is nothing more embarrassing and hurting to the title of a language savvy than mispronouncing words. A lot of people pick a certain pronunciation of a word and just go with it, mindless of the fact that that pronunciation is incorrect. Down below are some of the most butchered pronunciations of common words that almost everyone makes, even public and seemingly educated personalities. Do let us know how many you pronounced correctly. 

1. Espresso

Don’t make the mistake of pronouncing an x that doesn’t exist in this word. It is pronounced:

/ˌɛˈsprɛsoʊ/ NOT  /ˌɛkˈsprɛˌsoʊ/ 

2. Kilometer

Hint! How do we pronounce the word meter? I know you know the answer and you’re right. Why would you mess it up when it’s part of a compound noun. That’s why this word is pronounced as:

/ˈkɪləˌmitər/ NOT  /kəˈlɑmətər/ 

3. Supposably

This word has been a victim of misuse. It does not mean what you think it means. The fact is, most people who use supposably really mean supposedly, and it should be pronounced as such.

4. Asterisk

Most people make the embarrassing mistake of pronouncing an x at the end of this word. Apparently, there is no x in this word. Accordingly, it is pronounced as: 

/ˈæstərɪsk/  NOT  /ˈæstərɪsks/

5. Prerogative

Britney Spears fell for this word and we don’t want the same thing to happen to you. Prerogative is pronounced as: 

/prɪˈrɑgətɪv/   NOT  /ˈpɜˈrɑgətɪv/

6. Mischievous

How many syllables does this word have? Four is a wrong answer. This word has only three syllables. Most people pronounce it with an /i/ after the letter v. Hence, it is pronounced as:

/ˈmɪsʧəvəs/  NOT  /ˈmɪsʧəviəs/

7. Mauve

Most people pronounce this word as /mɔv/ which is not correct. The right pronunciation is /moʊv/ and it rhymes with “grove“. 

8. Nuclear

Despite George W. Bush’s efforts to normalize the pronunciation “noo-CUL-ur,” , the correct pronunciation is and will forever remain /ˈnukliər/.

9. Jewelry

This word is one syllable shorter than you think. It is pronounced as: 

/ˈʤulri/  NOT  /ˈʤuəlri/

10. Zoology

It is not /zoʊˈɑləʤi/. The correct pronunciation here is going to sound crazy, It’s just /zu:ləʤi/ (rhymes with “eulogy”).

11. Often

As the famous jokes about the word often go: the t in often is as silent as the p in swimming. Need I say more? 

12. Niche

While commonly mispronounced /nɪʧ/, this word comes from the French word nicher, which means to nest. Accordingly, the correct pronunciation is /niʃ/.

13. Larvae

Take a moment to pronounce this word. If you pronounced it like /ˈlɑrveɪ/, as your science teacher most probably did, then that’s incorrect. The correct pronunciation is /ˈlɑrvi/.

14. Celtic

This one almost blew me away. 


15. GIF

Let’s just settle this debate once and for all: The actual inventor of the GIF says it’s pronounced “jif.” Don’t believe it? Watch him make the determination himself (skip ahead to 0:53 if you’re short on time).

16. Forte 

The word, which refers to one’s strong point, is actually pronounced: 

/fɔrt/  NOT  /ˈfɔrteɪ/

17. Liable

When you say “liability,” you probably include all the right syllables. The same goes for the adjective form of it: It’s pronounced: 

/ˈlaɪəbəl/ NOT  /ˈlaɪbəl/

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17 thoughts on “17 Words You’ve Probably Been Mispronouncing Your Whole Life.”

  1. Klaudia Mrozińska - Krawczyk

    I’ve co e across another mispronunciation similar to often. It is suggest. I’ve often heard Americans pronouncing it with gdz

  2. To avoid confusion, Celtic is pronounced *keltic*, unless you’re referring to the football team Glasgow Celtic, in which case it’s pronounced *seltic*.

  3. I love reading these things, but I could not decipher the pronunciations. I still don’t get if often is pronounced with a “t”. And I’ve never seen phonetic spelling with Greek letters. ?

  4. Clearly the person who compiled this list isn’t aware of the differences of American English and British English.

    Additionally ZOOLOGY is not pronounced the same as EULOGY … unless you are using to saying EWW-OW-LO-JEE

  5. The “t” of often is silent.
    As for the phonetic spelling, while there are some in common, these are not Greek letters, but rather IPA (international phonetic alphabet). It’s a tool used to pronounce any word from any language.

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