Printer Friendly

Fecund phonetics.

The same letter, or group of letters, can have different pronunciations and hence be represented by different phonetic symbols. This is demonstrated in Unusual Words (2008145) and Arbitrary Words.

Conversely, the same phonetic symbol can represent different letters or group of letters. For example, both the E and I in PHONETIST are pronounced as is the I in PIT. A phonetist is a person versed in phonetics.

Each of the words below has more than one identical phonetic symbol represented by a different letter or group of letters. The phonetic symbol is given first, together with the different letters/letter groups it represents in the words listed.

The phonetic symbols are those used in the phonetics list of the Oxford English Dictionary, Second Ed.



i: (as in bean) e ee ie ea ae y i eo ei ey ui oe defreeze piecemeal faeces completability Timorese repeople preconceive Ceylonese Guianese synoekete (an insect that lives harmlessly with ants or other\ social insects)

a: (as in barn) ar a ah aa armada Bar- Mitzvah aardvark

o: (as in born) aw or au ar o hawthorn augmentor Warsaw Porlock (a town in Somerset, U.K.)

u: (as in boon) oo oe u hoopoe (a bird) schussboomer (a fast downhill skier)

e: (as in burn) ir or er ur ear birthwort (a shrub genus) perturbation earthworm

e: (as in schnee--German) ee e beerenauslese (a sweet white wine)

a: (as in tag--German) a ah schlagsahne (whipped cream)

O: (as in Goethe--German) eo o Eotvos (a Hungarian physicist)

The combination of the phonetic symbols j (sometimes regarded as a semi- vowel) and u: (ju:) is pronounced as the letter U in the alphabet, and also as the whole words you and yew: ju: eu u

euthutropic (describes certain earthquake shocks)


I (as in pit) e i y a u ie ee ae ey ce bewitch fifty arbitrage busy busied breeches phonaesthetic finney (local name of finnan haddock) phoenician (a crimson colour) idiocy (nb. first and last letters)

e (as in pet) e ea ae a eo o et ue ei bedspread aesthetic Demerara enfeoff encrimsoned estaminet pedagoguette (a nonce word for a school-mistress) Seignette (a 17th century French chemist)

A (as in cull) oo u o a bloodsucker honeysuckle shaddup (shut up!) ugglesome

a (as in pot) o a codswallop

e (as in another) er ar e a o ou u y afterwards adversary abdomen arsenous agapanthus bylina (a Russian traditional heroic poem) buffoonery


e~ (as in fin- French) ai e maintien (bearing, deportment)

a~ (as in franc--French) en ant am an em penchant campan (a marble) ensemble

o~ (as in bon French) om on compagnon


eI (as in ate) e ee ai ay a oe ey er et Elysee railway chambermaid ternstroemiaceous hey- day Perrier-Jouet

aI (as in bite) i y ai ei eye ye ey uy ae identify cyanide Isaianic microseismic eyesight dye- line geyerite (arsenide of iron) huyssenite (a borate & manganese and iron) paedeia (in ancient Greece,\ society' culture)

eU (as in so) o oa ow overcoat lowermost

aU (as in now) ou ow outbow countdown

Ie (as in peer) e ia ea ie iu io arterial funereal experience bacterium exterior

Ee (as in pair) eh er ehrenbergite (a silicate of alumina, allied to fuller's earth)

Ue (as in tour) oo o voorloper (a boy who walks with a team of oxen) kokerboom (a large Aloe plant)

oe (as in boar) or ou o fore-court fourscore


aIe (as in fire) ye io i iro syenodiorite (a type of rock) tiring-irons


These words each have a doubled phonetic symbol.


i: (as in bean) e ae oe zoe ae (a larval crustacean) pale ae (Botany: inner bracts) pre-CEdipal (a term in psychoanalysis)


I (as in pit) y i e a ey copy ing thirty ish fifti eth foli age line age Wesley ism fide ism


aI (as in bite) ie i ay eye die idism (the condition of having 2 different forms at different stages of life) mackay ite (a green hydrated tellurite of ferric iron) pie-eyed (drunk)


s (as in shoe) s c cres cendo



i: (as in bean) ce e ie coenospecies


I (as in pit) y e i synthesis femality phenylic (of, or derived from, phenol) fidgety

a (as in another) a e ou aphanipterous (pertaining to the Order Aphaniptera, insects in which the wings are rudimentary scales)

The two words felicity and phillygenin ([C.sub.21][H.sub.24][O.sub.6]) each have four identical phonetic symbols (I). However, 2 of these represent the same letter (i) in each case.


Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England
COPYRIGHT 2011 Jeremiah Farrell
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Thorpe, Susan
Publication:Word Ways
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 1, 2011
Previous Article:Pseudo-Plurals vs. Quasi-Pseudo-Plurals.
Next Article:Punk whiz 14: state of the pun.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |