Just for clarification, I'm more uncertain of the way the vowel after /b/ is pronounced in the two words and if it's the same in both words, rather than the ending consonant(s), although I would appreciate it if you also let me know for sure if the last consonant in 'butt' is a silent T? (ie the kind of /t/'s you almost don't pronounce in American accent).

  • 1
    They are pronounced very differently. Vowel quality and duration differ, as does the final dental. butt -- voiceless (but audible) dental. bud--voiced dental. Butt--short vowel. Bud--longer vowel. Butt: vowel further front. Bud -- vowel further back.
    – TimR
    May 27, 2016 at 12:57
  • Stomach cramps: the vowel in "bud". migraine headache: the vowel in "butt". :) [in my neck of the woods, Central Atlantic]
    – TimR
    May 27, 2016 at 13:02
  • In my dialect (New York City), the vowel sound is almost identical, but the final consonant is distinctly different. Technically I guess bud uses a "voiced dental stop" and butt uses a "voiceless denti-alveolar stop", but the point is that they're different. The Merriam-Webster pronunciation examples for bud and butt sound pretty good to me.
    – stangdon
    May 27, 2016 at 14:26
  • 1
    The vowel sound is the same, except that the vowel in bud is slightly longer because /d/ is a voiced consonant. May 28, 2016 at 11:14

1 Answer 1


The b in both words is the same.

The t sound is not usually silent.

However, the t sound can be unreleased or not pronounced in normal conversational speed in certain sound contexts.

So, they are pronounced differently. Just find an online dictionary that offers pronunciation you can listen to such as Merriam Webster.

Or if the problem is your inability to distinguish different sounds, then try listening to the words in different phrases on Forvo.

Bud on Forvo.

Butt on Forvo.

But on Forvo.

Notice the actual individual word is pronounced multiple times, and you can access those multiple links by clicking on the individual word in each of the links above. Also, not all pronunciations will be by speakers of American English; but it's I educational to hear how different speakers of different dialects pronounce a word.

Note: butt sounds the same as unreduced but, which explains the word play in the lyric:

They do respect her , but
they love to watch her strut.

which can also be heard/sung as

They do respect her butt
they love to watch her strut.

Hear it: "Her Strut" by Bob Segar (See on YouTube

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