Silent Letters

Was wondering if every letter of the alphabet can be used in a way where it is a silent letter?


The letter b is silent in numb
The letter k is silent in Knock

and so forth.

seAt; lamB; sCience; aDjust; strikE; twelFth; Gnaw; Honor; saIl; Knock; paLm; Mnemonic; damN; leOpard; Pneumatic; mRs.; aiSle; duTch; gUard; snoW; beauX; saY; pince-neZ.
Sorry, I couldn’t muster any for J, Q, or V.

No offense, DM, but I think you might be cheating a bit.

The “f” is heard in a correctly pronounced “twelfth”.

“Mrs.” is an abbreviation, not a word.

Since “c” can have an “s” sound, it can be argued that it is prounced in “science”. (If you think of it the same way as a double “s”.)

And (extreme nit-pick warning) many, though not all, pronounciations of “palm” include the “l”.

Nice try though. You came up with more than I probably would have off the top of my head.

Every time I say Dutch the t gets pronounced.

To be honest, most of those came in a game and quiz book I had in 1965. (But it listed “iRon” instead of “mRs.”, and may have been British.)

I’d suggest haLf instead of paLm. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say the L in half other than for comic effect.

R is easy: HaRvaRd.

For J… how about san Jose? (it’s cheating, but no more than “beaux” or “pince-nez”.)

A silent “J” in San JosŽ? No way! Even in Englkish it’s pronounced like English “H”–unless, perhaps, you are a Cockney, in which case it might be silent.
Hispanics among the Teeming Millions are invited to make their own comments about this.

I’ve heard “San Jose” pronounced both with and without a distinct sound between the N and the O (in contrast to “La Jolla”, which does seem to have a definite H sound). I don’t know which is correct. How do the people who live there pronounce it?

The only instance of a silent Q I know of is in the Monty Python sketch.

To add to the list: there is a silent “t” in soften, and depending on who you talk with, you may not hear the “t” in twenty.

Kobolde, die sich mit rotheissen Schuereisen unter Aussenaborten verbergen.

Dear Son,
" "
" "
" "
" "
love, mom

That’s the only silent letter I ever got.

Or, as Harpo Marx would have said, " ."

How about lacQuer for Q?

  • That’s * good, Fretful. Now how about a silent “V”? :slight_smile:

Another candidate for ‘c’ could be indiCt.

And where does comptroller fit in this discussion?

Does phthisic count as a silent ‘f’?

How about chaise longUe for ‘u’. (A pet mispronunciation peeve.)

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”
– William of Ockham