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Silent H

Posted by Word Wizard on October 20, 2002

In Reply to: Silent H posted by R. Berg on October 20, 2002

: : : : Why isn't the 'h' pronounced in these words? Just wondering because a Greek friend was prounouncing the 'h' today and it struck me as odd. Are there other words that do this?

: : phthisic, for one. It's pronounced tiz-ik, which probably makes it the hardest word to sight-read in English.

: Scheme, scherzo, schedule, chlorine, chorus, Christ, chiton, chiropractor. All or most of these have Greek roots that contain chi. That doesn't explain the silent H in th- words, though.

Ever since Victorian times and the invention of mains drainage the silent 'p' in batph has been dropped as being no longer necessary. It is noticeable that it still occurred in some of the poorer parts of the country up to the end of WW1.

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