In this dictionary slashes (/../) bracket phonetic pronunciations of words not found in a standard English dictionary. The notation, and many of the pronunciations, were adapted from the Hacker's Jargon File.
Syllables are separated by dash or followed single quote or back quote. Single quote means the preceding syllable is stressed (louder), back quote follows a syllable with intermediate stress (slightly louder), otherwise all syllables are equally stressed.
Consonants are pronounced as in English but note:
ch soft, as in "church"
g hard, as in "got"
gh aspirated g+h of "bughouse" or "ragheap"
j voiced, as in "judge"
kh guttural of "loch" or "l'chaim"
s unvoiced, as in "pass"
zh as "s" in "pleasure"
Uppercase letters are pronounced as their English letter names; thus (for example) /H-L-L/ is equivalent to /aych el el/. /Z/ is pronounced /zee/ in the US and /zed/ in the UK (elsewhere?).
Vowels are represented as follows:
a back, that
ah father, palm (see note)
ar far, mark
aw flaw, caught
ay bake, rain
e less, men
ee easy, ski
eir their, software
i trip, hit
i: life, sky
o block, stock (see note)
oh flow, sew
oo loot, through
or more, door
ow out, how
oy boy, coin
uh but, some
u put, foot
*r fur, insert (only in stressed
syllables; otherwise use just "r")
y yet, young
yoo few, chew
[y]oo /oo/ with optional fronting as
in `news' (/nooz/ or /nyooz/)
A /*/ is used for the `schwa' sound of unstressed or occluded vowels (often written with an upside-down `e'). The schwa vowel is omitted in unstressed syllables containing vocalic l, m, n or r; that is, "kitten" and "colour" would be rendered /kit'n/ and /kuhl'r/, not /kit'*n/ and /kuhl'*r/.
The above table reflects mainly distinctions found in standard American English (that is, the neutral dialect spoken by TV network announcers and typical of educated speech in the Upper Midwest, Chicago, Minneapolis/St.Paul and Philadelphia). However, we separate /o/ from /ah/, which tend to merge in standard American. This may help readers accustomed to accents resembling British Received Pronunciation.
Entries with a pronunciation of `//' are written-only.