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7 most difficult English words that will let you forget what you wanted to say

Reading time
5 minutes

When speaking English you sometimes come across some words that make you think if you are actually pronouncing them correctly. Well, there are certainly a couple of words that pop up into my head right now. If you cannot think of any at the moment, here are a few words that are likely to have interrupted you in a conversation in the past. Which one of them is your favourite most difficult English word to pronounce?


7. Rural

This word could arguably be further down the list, but I wanted to give you a start with a word that makes everyone stop and say the word over and over again. Somehow you also always have the urge to show that you are convinced you are able to pronounce it. I don’t know why. Well, of course, you then you have to prove it, no question.


6. Sixth

In sixth, is the word “sixth.” Written it never seems as such a difficult word, but when your mouth gets to the word “sixth” your tongue just naturally refuses to perfectly pronounce this word. But don’t worry, nobody’s perfect.


5. Sesquipedalian

Originating from 17th century Latin and originally meaning ‘a foot and a half long’, this word literally stands for ‘long-winded’ words, such as Sesquipedalian. And one would think it would mean something really mysterious and fascinating. But no, just ‘long.’


4. Phenomenon

Some words are just a phenomenon when it comes to reading and writing. You get so tangled up with letters that you have to start over and say it again very slowly to not get confused. Phenonmenon is one of them. No, wait, ‘P-H-E-N-O-M-E-N-O-N’. There we go!


3. Onomatopoeia

Referring to words that are similar to sounds or noises, these words are often used for “boom” or “buzz.” Although the imitated words are usually very short, the word onomatopoeia is weirdly long and difficult to pronounce. Just looking at the word makes me stutter. But just like everything else, practice makes perfect.


2. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

For every Mary Poppins fan this word is easier to pronounce than the word ‘pronounce’ itself, especially with a lot more wit. The easiest way to practice this word is either by singing or by breaking it up into small parts. You will see, after a bit of practice you will be able to express something ‘extraordinarily good’ in a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious manner. Another reason to watch Mary Poppins again!


1. Worcestershire

Without any doubt this is one of the most tongue twisting single words out there. It will make you feel small and untalented, or it will make you laugh until you cry, one of them. Historically being a county of west central England, it is also a unique sauce for food and drink (yes, also drinks), sometimes also called ‘Worcester sauce’.

To give you a little hint on how to pronounce it, the first ‘R’ in the word is silent. It is still a difficult word, but if you are having difficulties with this one, you are definitely not alone, I am certain of that.

Nuvaquahu - ex Communication Coordinator

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