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What are some words commonly mispronounced? (Not by elision/reduction (like ה׳‎→אדְני‎) or assimilation (like תזכרו‎→תשׂכרו‎), but rather words that are pronounced wrong simply because that's how people think they should be pronounced.) I'm excluding from this request errors in stress (emphasis), as those are, alas, too numerous to list. I'm including, however, words mispronounced in a person's own dialect (הברה), though others would consider them correctly pronounced. And I mean any "Jewish" word: a word relevant to, and mispronounced in, Jewish life, be it Hebrew, Yiddish, Aramaic, or other.

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closed as not a real question by msh210 Feb 5 '12 at 16:38

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I'm not clear on exactly what you mean by "pronounced wrong simply because that's how people think they should be pronounced". Are you specifying that the mistakes have to be due to whim or that they have to be due to conviction? Does it matter if people have divergent convictions depending on context? (The first divergence that comes to mind is between colloquialism and Torah reading of the "same" word.) – WAF Feb 21 '11 at 19:16
@AviD, I don't know why you're saying havara Ashk'nazis is incorrect, but, in any event, yes, I mean to exclude things that are correct in havara Ashk'nazis and used therein. – msh210 May 15 '11 at 3:46

37 Answers 37

There is another issue is with shva nah, it is commonly incorrectly pronounced in Shma.

Like "behol levovho uvhol nafsheho uvhol meodeho" instead of "uv*e*hol nafsheno uv*e*hol meodeho"

Also it sohuld be "sh*e*ma" instead of "shma"

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jutky, whether it is uvchol or uv'chol is a machlokes and either are acceptable. As for the rest, they're usually pronounced incorrectly by those who move the shva as well, as most who do so create a new syllable. Which way is better, I do not know. Btw, many people use an "h" to transliterate a "ches" which is a throat letter, but I have not seen it done for a "chaf" which is a palate letter. – YDK Mar 6 '11 at 23:53

I'm surprised no one has said this (maybe someone did and I missed it...): In An'im Zmirot, I hear a lot of people say Vayashvucha - וַיָשְוּוּךָ (they will compare you) instead of Vayshavucha - וַיְשַוּוּךָ(they will imagine you)

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I hear people say "Zachor et yom haShabbat l'kodsho" instead of "l'kadd'sho." לקדשו with a kamatz instead of a patach.

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"Shalashudes" to represent Seudah Shlishis. (I know it's supposed to be a form of "Shalosh Seudos", but firstly, it doesn't sound anything like, and secondly, it's the third meal, not 3 meals!)

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The bracha on spices is 'borei minei Vesamim' not 'besamim'.

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אור Can be one of two words: "ohr" meaning light, or "ur" (or "eer" in hasidic havarah) meaning fire. These two meanings are different words and are pronounce differently, yet almost everyone I know always pronounces it "ohr", even when referring to fire.

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nagah, thanks for this great answer, and welcome to the site: I hope you stick around end enjoy it. – msh210 Jan 1 '12 at 7:34

This is a bit off, but sometimes discussing the case of "Toveling a Toister"

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I would add the conventional usage of " tovel" as a transitive verb in general. I "tovel", but I "matbil" a toaster. – WAF Jul 18 '11 at 12:15

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