35 Medical Words You Always Mispronounce

5847a20f08.jpgMarissa LaliberteAug 08

Never fear making a fool out of yourself at the doctor’s office again.

Tinnitus

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Say: “TIN-it-us.” That’s how doctors say it, but they’re used to hearing “ti-nite-us” too. These are the medical words you should never get confused.

Ophthalmologist

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Say: “off-thull-MAH-luh-just.” Your eye doctor will want you to take a closer look at all the letters: There’s an H after the P, so it should make an F sound. And don’t forget the first L!

Diabetes

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Say: “die-uh-BEE-teez.” Not: “die-uh-bee-tuss.”

Alzheimer’s disease

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Say: “ALTS-hy-murz.” The Z isn’t hard like you might think it is. And definitely don’t make the mistake of calling it “old timer’s disease.”

Kegel exercises

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Say: “KAY-gull.” Not “kee-gull.”

Otolaryngologist

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Say: “oh-toe-lar-en-GAH-luh-jist.” This is the outrageous hospital lingo doctors and nurses use behind your back. 

Acid reflux

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Say: “A-sid REE-flux.” Not: “acid reflex.”

Dilate

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Say: “DIE-late.” No need to make it three syllables by saying “die-uh-late.”

Prescription

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Say: “pri-SKRIP-shun.” Not “per-skrip-shun.” By the way:

Diphtheria

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Say: “dif-THEER-ee-uh.” The “ph” sounds like an F, not a P. Here are the healthcare terms everyone needs to know. 

Mastectomy

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Say: “mass-TEK-toe-mee.” Don’t skip over the first T.

Oophorectomy

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Say: “oh-uh-fuh-WRECK-tuh-mee.” It’s not an “oof” sound like it looks like.

Anesthetist

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Say: “an-ES-thi-tist.” Unlike “anesthesia,” it has a short E sound. These are the secrets your health insurance company is keeping from you. 

Prostate

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Say: “PRAH-state.” Not to be confused with prostrate, meaning to lie flat on the ground.

Diarrhea

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Say: “die-uh-REE-uh.” Not “die-ree” or “die-uh-rear.” Check out what your stomach pain means here.

Febrile

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Say: “FEB-rile.” Not “feeb-roll.” These are clear signs you’re getting sick.

Colonoscopy

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Say: “koe-lun-AH-skuh-pee.”

Endoscopy

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Say: “end-AH-skuh-pee.” But don’t get confused—“endoscope” is pronounced “end-UH-scope.”

Scoliosis

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Say: “skoh-lee-OH-sis.” Not: “score-lee-oh-sis” or “skuh-lee-oh-sis.” The Alexander technique could fight pain and improve posture.

Psoriasis

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Say: “suh-RYE-uh-sis.” If you’ve never seen it written out, you might be surprised by the silent P. Here’s why you should never confuse psoriasis and eczema, and other medical terms.

Electrocardiograph

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Say: “ill-eck-troh-CAR-dee-uh-graf.” This is what heart doctors do to protect their own hearts.

Periodontitis

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Say: “pay-ree-oh-don-TIE-tiss.” Check out these disease signs your teeth can reveal.

Pica

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Say: “PIKE-uh.” It doesn’t sound like a nickname for Pikachu. Pica is one silent sign of anemia—find more here.

Gastroenterologist

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Say: “gas-troh-en-ter-AH-luh-jist.” These are the things your doctor is thinking but won’t say to your face. 

Cochlea

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Say: “COKE-lee-uh.” That’s the preferred pronunciation, though “KAHK-lee-uh” is also accepted.

Fissure

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Say: “FISH-ur.” Just like someone who catches seafood.

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