Top 5 Words I Would Use In Conversation If I Knew How To Pronounce Them

I often come across words I would like to use in conversation, but don’t because I’m not sure how to pronounce them.

If I say them correctly, I will sound smart, but I mispronounce them I will surely sound vacuous or fatuous.

Those are two good examples right there. I think the first word is vack-you-us or something close to that, but I am not too confident. I would pronounce the other word fat-you-us but for some reason it apparently has a “ch” sound in it. Some words are just best left unsaid.

So here are the Top 5 Words I Would Like To Use In Conversation But Don’t Because I Don’t Know How To Pronounce Them.

First, though, here are a few honorable mentions:

Halcyon – I have seen this word in print several times, but honestly I have not found many instances to even try to use it in conversation. That problem for now keeps it out of the Top Five. Regardless, I am sure I would mess it up if I tried to say it. Here is how it would sound if I tried to use halcyon in conversation: “Those days were the hal-(pause)-key-(pause) yawn time of my life. It really was a hal-kyo-n time for all of us.” I am fairly certain both those attempts are way off.

Caribbean – Is it Kah-rib-ee-in or Care-ib -eyon? I have heard both.

Wash – I just can’t stop saying “warsh.” It’s the same thing with Warshington or warshing machine. It’s a Midwestern thing or Northwest Ohio thing or something like that. I try to say wahsh, but I usually fail miserably.

Famous people – Mila Kunis (Mile-ah Coon-is or Mill-a Q-knees?) is a great celebrity I can’t talk about. Similarly Amanda Seyfried, Ralph Fiennes, Jared Leto and Shia LaBeouf all do fine work and have played memorable roles, but I can’t remember how to pronounce any of their names.

Bourgeois or bourgeoisie – I would sound smart if I referred to someone as a member of the bourgeoisie until I pronounced it ber-joe-is or something else terrible.

Mischievous – I want to say mis-chee-vee-ous, but I am wrong.

Nuptial –I didn’t even know I was wrong with this word until today. I was sure it was nup-tyou-al, which doesn’t even look right, but it is apparently nup-shul.

5. Worcestershire – It’s a tasty sauce and I love it on steak, but I constantly get this word wrong. I have been corrected when I said “were-chest-er-shire” but I don’t think “were-chester” is right either. Instead, I say, “Please pass the sauce,” or I just get up and get it myself.

4. Superfluous – I think I could sound very smart if I could figure out how to say this word. “I really think some of these grandiose (grandy-ose?) words are super-flew-us, I mean soup-if-lous, and should be eliminated!” Most likely, I would just sound stupidfluous.

3. Giannis Antetokounmpo – This NBA player is amazing and should be a star already, but no one knows how to say his name. I think it’s Gee-on-is, or something close to that, but I am not sure and I have watched a ton of his games. I won’t even try the last name.

2. February – I just can’t say Feb-roo-airy. In my mind, it’s Feb-you-ary. I will just avoid saying the month for a few more weeks.

1. Niche – This word comes up a lot and I have heard other people say it correctly, but I never use it since I can’t remember how to pronounce it. Is it Nish? Kneesh? Nich? Kneech? Maybe it’s Knee-shay like cliché?

Any words you want to add to the list? Or any thoughts on my terrible language skills? Feel free to comment below? Thanks!

4 thoughts on “Top 5 Words I Would Use In Conversation If I Knew How To Pronounce Them

  1. Great post! I, too, often suffer from “shy word syndrome” in which I ask myself right before I say it, “Am I about to say this incorrectly?” and then will substitute in a more ordinary word at the last minute, often combining the two words in a rediculous botching of both words at once. And “warsh” is also used in the Deep South. Drove me nuts when I was growing up!


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