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17 Words You've Been Pronouncing Wrong For Years

Answers taken from this Quora thread.

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3. Dour


What it means: Silent and gloomy.

How you may have pronounced it: Maybe you thought it sounded like the word "sour"?

How it's actually pronounced: It rhymes with "tour."

Note: both pronunciations are acceptable, however, the pronunciation of dour rhyming with tour is more acceptable in American English.

5. Hegemony


What it means: Influence or control over another country, a group of people, etc.

How you may have pronounced it: Hedge-Eh-Mony.

How it's actually pronounced:he-JEH-muh-nee.

6. Grand Prix


What it means: The highest level of international equestrian competition' one of a series of international formula car races.

How you may have pronounced it: Grand Pricks.

How it's actually pronounced: Gran Pree. The D is silent.

7. Voilà


What it means: To express satisfaction or approval, or to suggest an appearance as if by magic.

How you may have pronounced it: Vwa-La.

How it's actually pronounced: fwah-LA.


13. Forte


What it means: One's strong point.

How you may have pronounced it: For-Tay (Only pronounced this way if you're talking about music).

How it's actually pronounced: Fort.

Note: The preferred pronunciation is for-tay, though.

14. Segue

The CW

What it means: Proceed to what follows without pause — used as a direction in music.

How you may have pronounced it: Say-Gyu.

How it's actually pronounced: sayg-way.

16. Facade

Walt Disney Pictures

What it means: A way of behaving or appearing that gives other people a false idea of your true feelings or situation.

How you may have pronounced it: Fuh-cade.

How it's actually pronounced: Fuh-SAHD.

17. Aught

What it means: The earlier period of a decade.

How you may have pronounced it: Ought.

How it's actually pronounced: Ought.

Note: This is actually the correct way of saying it. No changes there.


This post has been updated to reflect more accurate pronunciations for several of the words listed.


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