Is There A Word For Words Not Pronounced Like They're Spelled?

Inspired by the Worchester pronounced Wooster thread.

I was talking to someone and I mentioned the Colonel. It’s pronounced “Ker-nel”

And the person I was talking to said "that mean olo is sometimes pronounced er as in Colonel.

I guess she was trying to make a comparison like somethimes PH is prononunced like an “f” or TI is sometimes prononunced “sh” like in nation.

But I don’t buy that argument, I just think it’s a word that isn’t prononunced like it’s spelled.

Like Worchester is a word not spelled like it’s prononunced. It not that in English “orche” is sometimes pronounced “ooo” So the pronunciation comes out Woo-ster.

So my question is there a term for words that are not pronounced like they are spelled?

I think it’s “Throatwarbler Mangrove”, but I’m not sure how that’s pronounced.

It’s Worcester, BTW.

Raymond Luxury Yacht

There is a word: “Polish”.

I know the answer but I have to run. I will tell you the answer tomorrow (Wednesday).



Words that are spelled the way they were pronounced when they entered the language.

I don’t buy that argument either. “Sometimes” doesn’t mean “in one or two anomalous cases.”

I don’t know whether the word you’re ghotiing around for exists, but if it doesn’t, it ought to.

The adjective is “non-phonetic”. I don’t know of a noun, so you’ll just have to say “non-phonetic word”.

Is that true of pneumonia ?

Surprising that someone calling themselves Ludovic would say this. Polish is pronounced exactly as it’s spelled – using Polish rules of pronunciation. You’re only going to run into trouble if you use English rules. Polish hasn’t got the exceptions English has. Nothing like “colonel”/“kernel”.

It always looks to me as if Welsh has eccentric pronunciation, but I’m not really familiar with its rules at all, and for all I know those impenetrable collections of improbable letters follow just as accurate and rigid a system of pronunciation as Polish.

Just so.

Colonel was indeed pronounced col-on-el when it first appeared in the 16th century.
The modern pronunciation, according to OED, became established in the early 19th century.

In first grade Miss Kempson called them “outlaw words”. So there you go.

Yes, there was a bulletin board with a lariat on it.

I think the term you’re looking for is: “the majority of words in the English language.” Try pronouncing every single letter of every word when you read something. Most words are not spelled like they’re pronounced.

I think Ludo was referring to the whole “polish”/“Polish” thing.

More or less I believe the explanation for colonel is that the word originated in italian as colonello who was the cammander of a “column” (colonna) of men. The Spanish took the word and in Spanish it changed to “coronel”. The English then took the word from the Spanish and after using it for some time decided to go with the original Italian spelling so what you have is a word which is pronounced in Spanish but written in Italian.

Welsh has fairly regular pronunciation, at least more so than English. So (using IPA symbols), “ff” is always pronounced f, “f” is always pronounced v, “dd” is always pronounced ð, etc.

Is this some in-joke I am not aware of?

It is not an in-joke. Read the last work phonetically.