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AE 489: 50+ Most Difficult English Words to Pronounce
G’day, guys. What’s going on? Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today, I have 50 or more different and difficult-to-say English words. Okay. So, these were chosen by you guys on The Aussie English Facebook page. I put out a little message saying, hard words in English, give me a suggestion for a video, and this is your list. So, I’m going to try and go through all of these. I’m going to try and say them, maybe explain a little bit of the pronunciation that’s going on for these words, and then I’ll give you an example sentence of me using the word that I want you to repeat this sentence so that you can practice your pronunciation with me. Okay? So, the definition will also be down the bottom there, guys, if you would like to know more about how to use each of these individual words. I hope it expands your vocabulary. Let’s get into it.
Alright, guys. So.
1: encyclopedia. Encyclopedia. Notice where the emphasis is here. Okay. Encyclopedia. Encyclopedia. James has an encyclopedia.
2: colloquial. Colloquial. I speak with my friends using colloquial English. Colloquial.
3. This is a long one. This is a long one, okay? Antidisestablishmentarianism. Antidestablishmentarianism. Okay? So, to be honest, this isn’t one you’re going to use very often. It’s just kind of a joke, because it’s a very long English word, but an example of using this would be. This man supports antiestablishmentarianism. Antidisestablishmentarianism. See if you can say that fast, guys.
4: thirsty. Oh! thirsty. Thirsty. Notice with my Australian accent I’m not saying that ‘R’. Thirsty. Thirsty. Thirsty. I’m thirsty. I’m really really thirsty.
5: loyalty. Loyalty. Loyalty. Okay? Loyalty is an important trait. Loyalty. Loyalty.
6: colonel. Now, this is one that screws up a lot of people, even kids learning English. When they see this word and they’re like “Colonel? What the hell is a “colonel”?”. We would pronounce this as “colonel”. “Colonel”. Sort of sounds like a kernel of corn, right. Little bit of corn. Colonel. His father’s a colonel in the military. Colonel.
7: hungry. Hungry. Hungry. She is incredibly hungry. Hungry.
8: angry. Hungry – Angry. Okay? Say that with me. Angry. Angry. Why are you so angry? Angry.
9: ridiculously. Ridiculously. Notice where the emphasis is there. Ridiculously. This car is ridiculously priced. Ridiculously.
10: bespectacled. Bespectacled. Another one that is not that common. Funny word though. (It) means to have glasses on, right. Bespectacled. He is a bespectacled and studious young man. (He) loves to study and is wearing glasses. Bespectacled.
11: surreptitiously. surreptitiously. So, notice where those emphasis? emphases? emphasezes? Emphases. Notice where those emphases are. surreptitiously. Surreptitiously. Surreptitiously. James surreptitiously left the room. Surreptitiously.
12: towel. Towel. And that’s a difficult one, because of that vowel, ‘ow’, ‘ow’. Towel. Okay. Have you got a towel? Have you got a towel? Have you got a towel? Towel.
13: iron. Iron. In this example, I don’t pronounce the ‘R’. I would say this like, ‘iron’, ‘iron’, and there’s a ‘Y’ in there. Iron. A ‘Y’ sound. Iron. I’m going to iron my clothes. Iron.
14: world. World. Again, I’m not pronouncing that ‘R’. World. It sounds like ‘whirled’, as in you whirl something around. Wohoo! Whirl! But the world. It’s a big world out there. World.
15: redundant. Redundant. Notice that emphasise. Redundant. Redundant. What he said was redundant. (It) wasn’t required. Redundant.
16: jewellery. Jewellery. Jewellery. Jewellery. (It’s a) bit of a tongue twister there, because of the ‘L’ and the ‘R’. My mum loves jewellery. Jewellery.
17: another R-L word. Squirrel. Squirrel. Squirrel. Squirrel. Australia has no squirrels. Squirrel.
18: required. Required. Required. What is required for the job interview? Required.
19: hour. Hour. Hour. We leave in an hour. Hour.
20: phenomenon. Phenomenon. Phenomenon. Notice the emphasis. Phenomenon. Weather is an interesting natural phenomenon. Phenomenon.
21: anemone. Anemone. Anemone. Again, that emphasis on the second syllable. Anemone. This is what I used to screw up. I used to say “amenome” or… yeah, I used to screw up all the time in school. Anemone. You find sea anemones in rock pools. Anemone.
22: unbelievable. Unbelievable. Unbelievable. That story was unbelievable. Unbelievable.
23: thigh. Thigh. I’m always saying with ‘TH’ make a sandwich. The tongue is the meat in the sandwich. The teeth are the bun, I guess, the bread above the tongue. Thigh. Thigh. Okay? The ‘TH’ is difficult. The ‘GH’ is silent. So, it sounds like the word ‘I’ with ‘TH’ in front of it. Thigh. Thigh. My thigh hurts after running. Thigh.
24: dough. Dough. ‘GH’ that’s silent again. Dough. Dough. I made some dough. Dough.
25: clothe. Clothe. Clothe. In this case, the ‘TH’ is voiced. Your throat needs to be vibrating. Clothe. Clothe. As opposed to ‘cloth’ where it’s not vibrating, right. Clothe. Clothe. We clothe our children. We close our children. Clothe.
26: vegetables. Vegetables. Vegetables. So, it’s not ‘veggie tables’, right? Veggie tables. Tables made of veggies. It is ‘vegetables’. Vegetables. Eat all your vegetables. Vegetables.
27: comfortable. Comfortable. Sort of similar to ‘vegetables’, where we get rid of a syllable ‘vegetables’, ‘comfortable’. Comfortable. This shirt is pretty comfortable. Comfortable.
28: choir. Choir. Choir. Choir. I don’t know why this one spelt with a ‘CH’, guys. To be honest, it’s one of those really, really stupid words in English. Choir. Okay? Choir. They sing in a choir. Choir.
29: message. Message. Message. Not message. Not message. Message. Message. Did you get my message? I sent you a message today. Did you get it? Message.
30: massage. And it can be ‘massage’ if you want. There’s kind of two variants. Massage. 30: massage. Or massage. Massage. I’d probably say massage. Massage. She’s getting a massage today. Massage.
31: farrago. farrago. Notice where the emphasis is. Second syllable. Farrago. Farrago. It’s a farrago of fact and myth. Farrago.
32: bamboozle. Now this is a good one. Bamboozle. It just sounds good to say. Bamboozle. Bamboozle. The puzzle is going to bamboozle him. Bamboozle.
33: thread. Thread. Now make that hamburger with a tongue in the teeth, thread, and then go straight to the ‘R’. Thread. Thread. He had a loose thread in his shirt. Thread.
34: languages. Languages. Languages. Again, emphasis at the start there. Languages. Languages. How many languages do speak? Languages.
35. Now, this isn’t really a common one, okay, but you’ll hear this attached to other words. So, borough. Borough. Borough. You’ll hear this in words like David Attenborough, right. His surname, Attenborough. Which borough were you born in? Borough.
36: unequivocally. Listen to that emphasise. Unequivocally. Unequivocally. Unequivocally. Okay? This is unequivocally true. How I pronounce ‘unequivocally’ is unequivocally correct. I hope. Unequivocally.
37: thorough. (It) rhymes with ‘borough’, right. Thorough. The investigation was a very thorough. Thorough.
38. Not to be confused with ‘thorough’, through. Through. Through. Concentrate on that ‘TH’ sandwich. Through. Like ‘threw’ the ball. (It) sounds the same. Through. Except this means to go through, right, to go through something. We walked through the forest. Through.
39, and I was dreading this word. I hate this word. Anesthetist. Yeah, that’s it. I got it. I hate this word. Anesthetist. This is difficult because you have the ‘S’ and the ‘TH’. Anesthetist. So, you’ll say that ‘S’ and as you’re saying the ‘S’, poke your tongue into that ‘TH’ sandwich, say it, ‘S-TH’, anesthetist, right? Anesthetist. God, that one’s hard. Anesthetist. The anesthetist applied the anesthetic. And that’s the biggest problem. You’ve got the word ‘anesthetic’, which is related to ‘anesthetist’, but the emphases are different. Anesthetist. Anesthetic. I don’t know why, guys. I don’t know why.
40: unfortunately. Unfortunately. Unfortunately. Unfortunately, you didn’t win the lottery. Unfortunately.
41: jeopardy. Jeopardy. And I think I used actually mispronounce this as ‘jeopardy’. Jeopardy. Jeopardy. Okay? Jeopardy. Jeopardy. It’s not ‘geoparty’. It’s Jeopardy. Jeopardy. Though, ‘geoparty’ sounds fun. Maybe it’s a party where geologists. ‘Geoparty’. Jeopardy. You put everyone’s lives in jeopardy. Jeopardy.
42: repeatedly. Repeatedly. He said the word ‘repeatedly’ repeatedly. Repeatedly.
43: misogynistic. Misogynistic. Notice the emphasis there. Follow the eyebrows. Misogynistic, right? Misogynistic. Misogynistic. My father is rather misogynistic. That’s not true. He’s not really, but for the sake of this example, my father is a rather misogynistic. Misogynistic.
44. I also hate this word. Rural. Rural. Rural. This is a really hard one. Rural. Rural. He lives in a rural area of Australia. Nailed it! He lives in a rural area of Australia. Rural. Rural.
45: persuasive. Persuasive. That argument was persuasive. Persuasive.
46: sophisticated. Sophisticated. Sophisticated. They had a sophisticated conversation. Sophisticated.
47: judgemental. Judgemental. She’s very judgemental of other people. Judgemental.
48: threshold. Threshold. I’ve reached my threshold. Threshold.
49: mirror. Mirror. Mirror. What do you see in the mirror? Mirror. Notice that Australian accent. ‘Mirror’ as opposed to an American accent, “mirror”. Mirror.
50: walnut. Wall, nut. Got no nuts here. Walnut. She has eaten a walnut. Walnut.
51. I don’t know how you guys found this word. Jesus. Otorhinolaryngologist. Hopefully, I’ve said that right. Otorhinolaryngologist. I wonder if people who work with or as Otorhinolaryngologists take a long time to learn this word. You work as an otorhinolaryngologist. Otorhinolaryngologist. Okay. I finally got it.
52: Worcestershire. Worcestershire. I love Worcestershire sauce. Worcestershire.You’re only ever going to use that word with regards to the sauce Worcestershire or if you go to the place in England, Worcestershire or Worcestershire. Worcestershire.
53: authoritative. Authoritative. Notice the emphases. Authoritative. Authoritative. His voice was calm and authoritative. Notice to that very last ‘T’ is a t-flap. Authoritative. Authoritative.
54: impetuous. That’s a good one. Impetuous. I love the ‘P’. Impetuous. She made an impetuous decision. Impetuous.
55: plough. Plough. Another ‘GH’ that is silent. Plough. I plough the farmer’s fields. Plough.
56: conscientious. Conscientious. Conscientious. She’s a very conscientious lady. Conscientious.
And the very last one, guys, you got there. Well done. Well done.
57: vulnerable. Vulnerable. Vulnerable. Right. Vulnerable. The little boy was vulnerable. Vulnerable.
Well done, guys. I hope that helps. I’m going to do more of these sorts of videos in the future, so if you have a difficult word that you would like me to do a video on, put it in a comment below, guys, and I will compile a list, I’ll put together a list for the next one.
Anyway, guys, in the meantime, make sure you hit that ‘Subscribe’ button and the bell notification next to it if you would like to stay up to date with all the videos as they come out.
Also, make sure that you listen to the Aussie English Podcast. If you guys are learning Australian English, this is a free podcast you can download on your phone and you can listen wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, in order to improve your Australian English, or English in general, guys. So, check that out at www.TheAussieEnglishPodcast.com.
Anyway, that is enough from me, guys. I hope you have a ripper of a day and I will see you soon. Peace.
Otorhinolaryngologist. Far out. Otorhinolaryngologist. Jesus. Otorhinolaryngologist. I wonder if people who work with or as otorhinolaryngologists take a long time to learn this word.
You work as an otorhinolaryngolo… jesus. You work as an otolaryn… You…. F^&* me! Why is this so hard? You work as an otorhinolaryngologist. Yes, yes.
Definitions & Pronunciation:
1. Encyclopedia – /ɪnˌsɑekləˈpiːdɪɐ/ – a book or set of books giving information on many subjects or on many aspects of one subject and typically arranged alphabetically.
2. Colloquial – /kəˈləʉkwɪəl/ – (of language) used in ordinary or familiar conversation; not formal or literary.
3. Antidisestablishmentarianism – /ˌantɪdɪsɪˌstablɪʃmənˈteːrɪənɪzəm/ – opposition to the disestablishment of the Church of England.
4. Thirsty – /ˈθɜːsti/ – feeling a need to drink.
5. Loyalty – /ˈloɪəlti/ – the quality of being loyal.
6. Colonel – /ˈkɜːnəl/ – a rank of officer in the army and in the US air force, above a lieutenant colonel and below a brigadier or brigadier general.
7. Hungry – /ˈhɐŋɡri/ – feeling or showing the need for food.
8. Angry – /ˈæŋɡri/ – feeling or showing strong annoyance, displeasure, or hostility; full of anger.
9. Ridiculously – /rɪˈdɪkjələsli/ – so as to invite mockery or derision; absurdly.
10. Bespectacled – /bəˈspektəkəld/ – wearing glasses.
11. Surreptitiously – /ˌsɐrəpˈtɪʃəsli/ – in a way that attempts to avoid notice or attention; secretively.
12. Towel – /ˈtæɔl/ – a piece of thick absorbent cloth or paper used for drying oneself or wiping things dry.
13. Iron – /ˈɑeən/ – smooth (clothes, sheets, etc.) with an iron.
14. World – /wɜːld/ – the earth, together with all of its countries and peoples.
15. Redundant – /rɪˈdɐndənt/ – not or no longer needed or useful; superfluous.
16. Jewellery – /ˈdʒʊlri/ – personal ornaments, such as necklaces, rings, or bracelets, that are typically made from or contain jewels and precious metal.
17. Squirrel – /ˈskwɪrəl/ – an agile tree-dwelling rodent with a bushy tail, typically feeding on nuts and seeds.
18. Required – /rɪˈkwɑeəd/ – officially compulsory, or otherwise considered essential; indispensable.
19. Hour – /ˈæɔ/ – a period of time equal to a twenty-fourth part of a day and night and divided into 60 minutes.
20. Phenomenon – /fəˈnɔmɪnən/ – a fact or situation that is observed to exist or happen, especially one whose cause or explanation is in question.
21. Anemone – /əˈneməni/ – a plant of the buttercup family which typically has brightly coloured flowers and deeply divided leaves.
22. Unbelievable – /ɐnbɪˈliːvəbəl/ – not able to be believed; unlikely to be true.
23. Thigh – /θɑe/ – the part of the human leg between the hip and the knee.
24. Dough – /dəʉ/ – a thick, malleable mixture of flour and liquid, used for baking into bread or pastry.
25. Clothe – /kləʉð/ – put clothes on (oneself or someone); dress.
26. Vegetables – /ˈvedʒtəbəl/ – a plant or part of a plant used as food, such as a cabbage, potato, turnip, or bean.
27. Comfortable – /ˈkɐmftəbəl/ – (especially of clothes or furnishings) providing physical ease and relaxation.
28. Choir – /ˈkwɑeɐ/ – an organized group of singers, especially one that takes part in church services or performs in public.
29. Message – /ˈmesɪdʒ/ – a verbal, written, or recorded communication sent to or left for a recipient who cannot be contacted directly.
30. Massage – /ˈmæsɐː(d)ʒ/ – the rubbing and kneading of muscles and joints of the body with the hands, especially to relieve tension or pain.
31. Farrago – /fəˈrɐːɡəʉ/ – a confused mixture.
32. Bamboozle – /bæmˈbʉːzəl/ – cheat or fool.
33. Thread – /θred/ – a long, thin strand of cotton, nylon, or other fibres used in sewing or weaving.
34. Languages – /ˈlæŋɡwɪdʒəz/ – the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way.
35. Borough – /ˈbɐrɐ/ – a town or district which is an administrative unit
36. Unequivocally – /ɐnɪˈkwɪvəkli/ – in a way that leaves no doubt.
37. Thorough – /ˈθɐrɐ/ – complete with regard to every detail; not superficial or partial.
38. Through – /θrʉː/ – moving in one side and out of the other side of (an opening, channel, or location).
39. Anesthetist – /əˈniːsθətɪst/ – a medical specialist who administers anaesthetics.
40. Unfortunately – /ɐnˈfoːtʃənətli/ – it is disappointing that
41. Jeopardy – /ˈdʒepədi/ – danger of loss, harm, or failure.
42. Repeatedly – /rəˈpiːtɪdli/ – over and over again; constantly.
43. Misogynistic – /məˌsɔdʒəˈnɪstɪk/ – strongly prejudiced against women.
44. Rural – /ˈrʉːrəl/ – in, relating to, or characteristic of the countryside rather than the town.
45. Persuasive – /pəˈswæɪsɪv/ – good at persuading someone to do or believe something through reasoning or the use of temptation.
46. Sophisticated – /səˈfɪstɪkæɪtɪd/ – having, revealing, or involving a great deal of worldly experience and knowledge of fashion and culture.
47. Judgemental – /dʒɐdʒˈmentəl/ – of or concerning the use of judgement.
48. Threshold – /ˈθreʃɔld/ – a strip of wood or stone forming the bottom of a doorway and crossed in entering a house or room.
49. Mirror – /ˈmɪrɐ/ – a surface, typically of glass coated with a metal amalgam, which reflects a clear image.
50. Walnut – /ˈwoːlnɐt/ – the large wrinkled edible seed of a deciduous tree, consisting of two halves contained within a hard shell which is enclosed in a green fruit.
51. Otorhinolaryngologist – /ɔtəʉˌraɪnəʉˌlærənˈɡɔlədʒist/ – the medical specialty concerned with diseases of the ear, nose, and throat.
52. Worcestershire – /ˈwəstəʃə/ – a pungent sauce whose ingredients include soy, vinegar, and garlic
53. Authoritative – /oːˈθɔrəˌtæɪtɪv/ – able to be trusted as being accurate or true; reliable.
54. Impetuous – /ɪmˈpetjʉəs/ – acting or done quickly and without thought or care.
55. Plough – /plæɔ/ – a large farming implement with one or more blades fixed in a frame, drawn over soil to turn it over and cut furrows in preparation for the planting of seeds.
56. Conscientious – /ˌkenʃɪˈenʃəs/ – wishing to do one’s work or duty well and thoroughly.
57. Vulnerable – /ˈvɔlnərəbəl/ – exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.