Reading Addicts’ Regular Mispronunciation of Words.

By August 21, 2017Language

We asked our Reading Addicts what words they have read over and over only to realise they’d been pronouncing them wrong all along. We had such a great response we decided to collate some of the best and present them here. With any luck this will stop any future mispronunciation of common words and names in our future reading!




Hermione: her-my-oh-nee

Of Harry Potter fame, of course!

Bruschetta: bru-sket-ah

NOT bru-SHET-ah as the CH in Italian is pronounced as a K sound.

Picturesque: picture-esk

Not, as one Reading Addict believed since they were a child: “picture-skew”!

Laoghaire: Lay-ruh

As featured in the Outlander series… Gaelic is notoriously difficult to decipher.

Plover: pluh-ver

The wading bird does NOT rhyme with clover but DOES rhyme with cover…

Coroner: coh-ron-er

If you only ever read it, you may put the emphasis in the wrong place and make it sound like coh-row-ner!

Superfluous: sue-PER-flew-us

Not, as one Reading Addict had thought, super-fluous.

Penelope: pen-eh-low-pee

I can imagine how this would stump someone!

Priscilla: prih-sill-ah

The C is silent!

Quinoa: keen-wah

OK so I may have been pronouncing this one wrong for a while… It is NOT quin-oh-wah.

Sycophant: sick-uh-fant

One Reading Addicts confessed to an hilarious mispronunciation “sy-cho-faint”.

Subtle: sut-uhl

Yes, the B is silent.

Egregious: eh-gree-jus

If you have only ever read it this one can be tricky!

Assuage: ah-swage

NOT “ass-yoog” or “ah-soo-age”

Epitome: eh-pit-uh-mee

I still keep reading it as “eh-pit-tome”, to this day, despite knowing how to say it!

Chortle: chor-tuhl

Definitely not with a hard K sound…

Colonel: ker-nuhl

I suppose someone used to say “coll-on-nell”?

Quay: key

This was a popular one with many pronouncing it “kway”.

Paradigm: pah-rah-dime

The G is silent!

Hyperbole: high-per-bow-lee

Not some crazy game of football- HYPER-BOWL!

Enamoured: eh-nah-mud

One of my favourite Reading Addicts mispronunciation stories where she made her pronunciation a little too French “ehn-ahm-oured”

Discotheque: diss-co-teck

Funky French word where the QUE is a hard K sound.

Haworth: haw-worth

Not, as many believe, “hay-worth”.

Crichton: kry-tuhn

Another where some letters are just plain silent.

Satyr: say-tuhr

As if the Y and T should have been swapped about.

This is only the tip of the mispronunciation iceberg! We have many, many more of your offerings but these were our favourites so far. Keep ’em coming, Reading Addicts, and remember: it is unfair to berate someone for their mispronunciation of a word as it means they learnt it through reading- and that is NOT a bad thing!




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One Comment

  • Jackie says:

    I’m notorious for this. Two that come to mind are aficionado (ah-fis-io-nah-do) and Episcopal (eh-piss-co-pop-al) though my friends could tell you many more. Colonel and epitome for sure!

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