30 Words You're Probably Mispronouncing

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Dictionary.com has updated its list of commonly mispronounced English words. We've included them below; along with links to the proper pronunciations.

We all misspell words from time to time; especially when quickly firing out emails. Most recipients will overlook these errors, but when it comes to mispronouncing the very same word, people are a lot less forgiving. Most consider it a sign of poor learning and ignorance.

Dictionary.com's list of 30 common mispronunciations contains an interesting mix of rarely used words, foreign adoptions and simplistic phrases that are uttered on a daily basis. Food-related words top the list — so you might want to bone up on those before your next restaurant visit. (Either that, or get your date to order for you.)

We've included links to Dictionary.com's audio pronunciation for each word. Just click on the speaker icon to hear the word spoken aloud. And yes, we're aware that some of the included pronunciations have an American twang. Nevertheless, they should still help to steer you in the right direction.

Dictionary.com’s 30 Commonly Mispronounced Words:

  1. affidavit [af-i-dey-vit]
  2. almond [ah-muh nd, am-uh nd]
  3. beget [bih-get]
  4. cache [kash]
  5. caramel [kar-uh-muh l, -mel, kahr-muh l]
  6. coupon [koo-pon, kyoo-]
  7. croissant [French krwah-sahn; English kruh-sahnt]
  8. epitome [ih-pit-uh-mee]
  9. espresso [e-spres-oh]
  10. et cetera [et set-er-uh, se-truh]
  11. façade [fuh-sahd, fa-]
  12. fiery [fahyuh r-ee, fahy-uh-ree]
  13. genre [zhahn-ruh; French zhahn-ruh]
  14. haute [oht]
  15. hyperbole [hahy-pur-buh-lee]
  16. lambaste [lam-beyst, -bast]
  17. mauve [mohv]
  18. mischievous [mis-chuh-vuh s]
  19. niche [nich]
  20. peony [pee-uh-nee]
  21. prerogative [pri-rog-uh-tiv, puh-rog-]
  22. quinoa [keen-wah, kee-noh-uh]
  23. reservoir [rez-er-vwahr, -vwawr, -vawr, rez-uh-]
  24. salmon [sam-uh n]
  25. sherbet [shur-bit]
  26. turmeric [tur-mer-ik]
  27. verbiage [vur-bee-ij]
  28. Weimaraner [vahy-muh-rah-ner, wahy-, wahy-muh-rey-]
  29. whet [<a href="http://www.dictionary.com/browse/weimaraner?s=t">hwet, wet]
  30. Worcestershire [woo s-ter-sheer, -sher]

Have you noticed any words that people frequently mispronounce that aren't on the list above? Let us know in the comments!


    I hole-hardedly agree, but allow me to play doubles advocate here for a moment. For all intensive purposes I think you are wrong. In an age where false morals are a diamond dozen, true virtues are a blessing in the skies. We often put our false morality on a petal stool like a bunch of pre-Madonnas, but you all seem to be taking something very valuable for granite. So I ask of you to mustard up all the strength you can because it is a doggy dog world out there. Although there is some merit to what you are saying it seems like you have a huge ship on your shoulder. In your argument you seem to throw everything in but the kids Nsync, and even though you are having a feel day with this I am here to bring you back into reality. I have a sick sense when it comes to these types of things. It is almost spooky, because I cannot turn a blonde eye to these glaring flaws in your rhetoric. I have zero taller ants when it comes to people spouting out hate in the name of moral righteousness. You just need to remember what comes around is all around, and when supply and command fails you will be the first to go. Make my words, when you get down to brass stacks it doesn't take rocket appliances to get two birds stoned at once. It's clear who makes the pants in this relationship, and sometimes you just have to swallow your prize and accept the facts. You might have to come to this conclusion through denial and error but I swear on my mother's mating name that when you put the petal to the medal you will pass with flying carpets like it’s a peach of cake.

      Unlike the list in this article, the examples YOU compile are more pertinent to Australians :)
      Well done!

      This was the most painful paragraph I have ever read.

      Last edited 17/08/16 1:58 pm

    These are pretty much words that are exclusively only mispronounced by people with an American accent due to how it treats certain sounds and combinations of letters. Speakers of non-American English wouldn't have this issue, unless they learned their pronunciation FROM American speakers.

    Worcestershire [woo s-ter-sheer, -sher]Which means, as was pointed out to me by an Englishman, the city in Tasmania should be pronounced Lon-ston.

    Oops. Brain no worky.

    Last edited 17/08/16 4:40 pm

      Indeed. When the capital is no longer Hobart.

        Ha! Quite right.

        I've fired the fact-checker responsible.

      No, even the English would pronounce it as Ho-bart.

      Launceston is a dark place. You should never go there Simba.

        Cataract Gorge with a free swim at the end is pretty rad.

          Ah yes, that place is pretty beautiful. Well worth visiting if you are in the area.

    Oh, it's 'prerogative'. Never knew that.

    How about 'maroon' or do you have to be a [moron-e] to pronounce it correctly?

    But it's got 3 pronunciations of Reservoir! WHICH ONE IS IT?!?!?

    Some of these will be Sydney only pronunciations.

    I know when I moved from Adelaide to Melbourne I had to undergo intensive training to re-learn how to say bag. In Adelaide it's said as "Bayg" in Melbourne "Bahg"

    Bah, the disadvantage of refusing to register for Lifehacker - I can't edit.

    One more that is patently incorrect.

    genre [zhahn-ruh; French zhahn-ruh]

    Having a French husband the proper way to say this is with a silent e. Zhanr. Because it's at the end of a word and NOT accented it's a mute e. Other French words with a mute e are "rue, bouche, route, casquette, soixante, madame, aubergine"

    The uh you add on the end there is very much the Anglicisation because our tongues have a little trouble with a mute e.

      That will depend on which part of France your husband comes from. My experience of living there was that dialect differences can make a huge difference. I had to de-Paris my accent to be acceptable to southern ears.

    I'm surprised that flaccid and culinary wasn't on the list.

    Flaccid is pronounced flak-sid.

    Culinary is pronounced q-linary.

    A few more:

    Nuclear (it's not "nu-cu-lar")
    Species (not "spee-shies")
    Superannuitant (often mispronounced "superannuant")

    and of course:

    Linux - not "lie-nux" or "lee-nux" but "lin-nux" - see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmfDaxYhi9I at about the 4:20 mark.

      Linux = "linnix"


      The pronunciation of Linux makes no sense. It is a word created from the inventor's name, which is Linus, pronounced "Lie-Nus". Therefore, it makes no sense to prounce Linux any way other than "Lie-Nux". It' sjust a convention clearly forced upon us by stupid people. Similarly, there can be no argument about pronouncing GIF any way other than "giff", because the "G" stands for Graphics, pronounced "Graff-iks". If the letter is standing for a hard "G" then that's how it should be pronounced in the acronym. Nothing else makes sense.

        The video I linked to is Linus Torvalds himself, specifically stating how "Linux" is pronounced. It isn't a convention forced on us by stupid people, it's the way the creator of the thing says it's supposed to be pronounced!

        Let me Linguistics that for you...Linus Torvalds is a Finn of Swedish origin. The Swedish pronunciation of his first name is /ˈliːn.ɵs/ (sort of like "Leenus") and the usual Anglo-American pronunciation is /ˈlaɪnəs/ (like "Lainus" from the Peanuts comics).

    Vulnerable being pronounced by newsreaders as 'vunerable'

    You could start to wonder whether these commonly mispronounced words are simply just evolving in the way they are pronounced. After all if the mispronunciation is becoming common, then couldn't this common usage make it an appropriate way to say the word? Languages are constantly evolving after all.

    I remember watching a show on the ABC where a rather learned lady discussed the etymology (and pronunciation) of words. One that sticks in my mind is "schedule" - apparently it was originally pronounced, sed-yul.

    Otherwise pronounced shed-yul or sked-yul.

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