I know how to pronounce euphemism, which I ask NOT about. Yet I only encountered its antonym dysphemism today. Though I still don`t understand phonetic symbols (see here), am I right that the root -phemism must be pronounced identically in both words? I see that the prefixes differ.

If so, is ODO's audible pronunciation clip wrong? I hear an additional NUH sound between fe and mism, which I would try to transcribe as: diss-phe-NUH-mism.

Footnote: I'm using Firefox and tried to link to that pronunciation clip for your convenience, but I can't extract a link. Please advise or edit this if you can.

  • 4
    You hear it correctly, and it is spoken incorrectly. Commented Mar 24, 2015 at 18:46
  • PH in English is almost always pronounced as the English pronounce F, though the language is somewhat haphazard. Phenolphthalein is a good test for the pH. Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 0:20
  • 2
    (Native AmE) I also hear the ODO's British pronunciation of dysphemism as dĭs'-fĭn''-ə-mĭz''-m, which is wrong and doesn't match the indicated pronunciation. Good job spotting the error! I see that TRomano has already reported it to them.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 22:16
  • @BenKovitz Thank you for your continuously helpful input! I didn't realise that you could report errors to the ODO; I would've if I had known, but I'm happy that user TRomano did.
    – user8712
    Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 15:03

1 Answer 1


You are correct. There seems to be some mistake in ODO's audio clip. However, the phonetic symbols have been listed down correct.

Euphemism : /ˈjuːfəmɪz(ə)m/
Dysphemism : /ˈdɪsfɪmɪz(ə)m/

For the correct pronunciation, you can refer to this link

  • 1
    It appears that ODO has now corrected the pronunciation.
    – AndyB
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 5:34

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