The 10 hardest words to pronounce in English are really really hard to pronounce.

Specific. Worcestershire. Penguin. Welcome to the English language’s worst word nightmares.

If you’re anything like me, then there are a few words that you seriously cannot say.

No matter how many times I practice them over and over again in my head, or listen to the perfect voice on Google translator saying it correctly, I still sound as good as a three year old.

I particularly avoid the words scone (sc-oh-ne or scon?), penalise (pen-a-lise or peen-a-lise) and anonymity (don’t even get me started). If, by any chance they happen to come up in a conversation, I tend to let my voice trail off and mumble the forbidden word under my breath. For a long time, I thought I was the only one suffering from this language incapacity.

Turns out, I’m not alone. Thankfully.

Reddit user, JustATreeNut, asked Reddit: What’s the hardest English word to pronounce.  It seems that there are thousands of words which cause people a hell of a lot trouble. The top ten words included (and you have to say them aloud!):

1. Worcestershire (apparently said: wuss-ter-sheer)

2. Specific (I think everyone has troubles with that)

3. Squirrel (for anyone with a German accent)

4. Brewery

5. Phenomenon

6. Derby (said darby)

7. Regularly (is it right to just say reg-u-ly?)

8. February

9. Edited

10. Heir (it’s not air but neither is it hair)

It’s not just us ordinary people who need a bit of help pronouncing the rather tricky words in the English language. Actor, Benedict Cumberbatch tends to get a bit muddled by the word ‘penguin’.

Thanks, Benedict, for reminding us that even award-winning actors have trouble, too.

What words do you find hard to pronounce? 


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