Difficult WordsPin

15 Most Difficult Words In the English Language

Learn the most difficult words in the English language! English has a lot of rules and truisms. For example, if “a” and “u” are put together in a word, they will make the sound, “aw”. And if “g-h-t” comes at the end of a word, the g-h will be silent. The rules are there, obviously, to help us find our way through the challenging maze that is the English language.

And the guidelines do help.

Yet, every day, we use words that seem to thumb their noses at rules. They simply refuse to follow any expected route. That’s simply because they are such difficult words. They might be hard to say or cause a problem when reading. These kinds of words might even be tough to pronounce. Here are a few —

Difficult Words

The Most Difficult Words in the English Language to SPELL Correctly

1. Collectible

There is no way to tell that the letter between the t and the b is supposed to be an “i”. Except to just know.

2. Judgment

This is misspelled FREQUENTLY. Be careful.

3. Irritable

There is never a clue whether that “a” really ought to be an “a”. It simply has to be remembered.

4. Seize

The “i” before “e’ rule doesn’t work here.

5. Aleve

This is hard to spell because the word doesn’t exist. Aleve is a pain reliever/anti-inflammatory. If you wish to get rid of pain, you ALLEVIATE it.

6. Nickel

This is a coin worth five cents. It is very easy to think it should be spelled more like “tickle”.

The Most Difficult Words in the English Language to PRONOUNCE Correctly

1. Sixth

The “x” is said at nearly the same time as the “th”. In order to accomplish this, the speaker has to modify the ‘x” sound a bit and raise the tongue higher than usual while saying the “th”. Not an easy word at all.

2. Squirrel

They’re cute, but a person’s tongue could cramp with all the moves necessary to say this word.

3. Laughter/Slaughter

These two words are spelled exactly alike, except for the S in front of the second word. Still, the first one is laughter, as in what happens when someone tickles your toes. Laughter is pronounced “LAFF-ter”. The second word is about as far from laughter as possible—to slaughter is to kill. It is pronounced, “SLAW-ter”.

4. Rural

Pronounced “RER-ruhl”. Try saying THAT word three times fast.

5. Choir

Pronounced “KWY-er”. Strange, yes. But boy can they sing.

6. February

February has an “r” before “u”, which gets caught in a lot of people’s tongues.

The Most Difficult Words in the English Language to READ Correctly

1. Anemone

According to all the rules, this word ought to read, “uh-NEE-mown”. But this wildflower, which is the buttercup’s cousin, ignores what it is “supposed” to do. It is pronounced “uh-NEH-muh-nee.”

2. Gnash

This one may have you grinding your teeth since it belongs in all three categories. It can be hard to spell correctly and hard to pronounce correctly, as well as be a problem while reading.

3. Sword

This one is messed up so often, even people born in English-speaking households often mispronounce it. The “w” is silent.

Difficult Words | Infographic

Most Difficult Words In the English Language

Difficult WordsPin

4 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Anna Coutsomitelli
Anna Coutsomitelli
3 years ago

Lovely page

Anton Leslie
Anton Leslie
3 years ago

It’s really fantastic

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x