Embarrassing English Errors Ep15: Speak & Spick

In today’s episode, Embarrassing English Errors Ep15: Speak & Spick, I teach you how to pronounce the subtle difference between the words “Speak” and “Spick”.

Embarrassing English Errors Ep15 – Speak & Spick

G’day guys. Welcome to this episode of Embarrassing English Errors.

Today we’re going to go over the two words “Speak” and “Spick”. “Speak” is obviously a verb, and it means to talk or to say, you know, you speak with someone. “Spick” on the other hand, for me at least I mostly hear this when you watch TV shows or movies from the US, from America, and it’s a derogatory term for people from South America or Mexico. So, they say “Spick” for someone who is an immigrant from these areas and speaks Spanish as their first language. So, I’d imagine it’s from the word “Hispanic”, “-spanic”, and so they get the word “Spick”. So, that’s why it’s obviously a word that you don’t want to necessarily mix up when you’re speaking, especially with other Americans, and especially with Americans who originate from Mexico or South America. It’s also used in a term “Spick and span”, which means really clean or really tidy, and this doesn’t have an derogatory or nasty meaning, but I can’t think of it being used in anything other than that and mostly derogatory speech when talking about Hispanics in um… America.

Anyway, what are some other words in English that have the same sound “-eak” from “Speak”?

Speech

Speed

Speaker

Species

Speechless

Speedily

Speedo

And what are some other ones that have that “Spih” [sound] from “Spick”?

Spiff

Spill

Spilt

Spin

Spit

Spear

Spitfire

Spirit

Spinoff

And some other words in English that have the vowel sounds form both “Speak” and “Spick”. We’ll go through “Speak” first.

Weak

Reek

Peek

Greek

Bleak

Cheek

Squeak

And then “Spick”.

Wick

Brick

Chick

Click

Nick

Rick

Thick

Stick

So, now let’s go through a few made up words and real words to practice the pronunciation of these two vowel sounds, and we’ll use different consonants at the start of these words, and they’ll end in “-ick” or “-eak”.

Shick – Sheek

Lick – Leek

Bick – Beak

Dick – Deak

Thick – Theek

Fick – Feek

Stick – Steek

Flick – Fleak

Chick – Cheek

So, now we can go through the two different vowel sounds five times.

Ih x Ee x 5

And now we’ll go through the words “Speak” and “Spick” back to back so you can practice switching from one word to the other ten times.

Speak & spick x 5

So, that’s it for today’s episode guys. If you have any other words that you’re having difficulty pronouncing then feel free to send me a message or comment on Facebook and I’ll do an episode on them as soon as I can. Until then guys have a good one!