Improve Your Spelling: The Hardest Words, Part 2

In Part 1 of the Hardest Words Word Lists, we presented you with a top 200 of hard words to spell. But you knew there were more than a mere 200 tough words, didn't you? Here are some more to learn how to spell!


Tip: If you are serious about improving your spelling, then Troy and I highly recommend you try the popular spelling-improvement program, Ultimate Spelling. Click Ultimate Spelling for further information.*


Many of these words have come fairly directly from other languages, with French words often having the most confusing spelling. Silent letters and unusual combinations of letters (especially vowels) make things extra hard. 

For words where there are variant spellings, the British spelling is on the left, and the American spelling is on the right.

abbreviate
absorbent
abstinence
abysmal 
acoustic 
acquiesce 
acrylic  
adjacent
aegis
aerial  
aisle
algae
aneurysm/aneurism
anomalous  
arctic     
asterisk  
asymmetric   
bankruptcy   
baroque     
beige
benign
bizarre
bologna
bouillon 
boulevard   
boutique  
boycott
brogue 
brusque 
buoyant 
champagne 
charisma 
chassis
chenille
cloisonné 
coercion 
cognac 
communiqué
Connecticut 
continuum 
counterfeit 
debris 
decision
derriere 
desiccation 
dichotomy 
dilemma   
dissertation  
drought 
dungeon 
eerie   
ennui 
enough
entrepreneur   
estuary  
etymology   
euthanasia 
exaggerate 
excerpt 
exhilarate 
facetious   
February 
feign 
feud
fiancée 
finesse 
fluoride 
forty  
genealogy 
geyser 
ghastly 
ghetto  
gingham
glycerin
gnarled  
grotesque 
guarantee   
heinous 
heist 
heuristic 
hiatus 
homogeneity 
hydraulics
hymn
idiosyncrasy 
illegitimate  
immense
impasse
indict
inferable 
ingenue 
inoculate 
interference 
invocation 
isthmus 
jaguar 
jealousy 
jeopardise — jeopardize 
judgment 
kaleidoscope 
ketchup 
kibbutz 
kiosk 
knife 
knowledgeable  
labyrinth 
lambaste    
legionnaire  
leprechaun 
leukaemia — leukemia
lieu 
likelihood 
llama
manoeuver — maneuver
marquee
masochist    
mnemonic
mortgage 
mustache 
myrrh 
mystery 
mystique 
naivete 
necessarily 
niche 
nostalgia 
nuance 
nuisance 
nymph 
obelisk 
onomatopoeia 
opaque 
oscilloscope 
overwhelm 
paraphernalia    
parfait
parliament
parquet
penitentiary
peripheral  
phonetic  
pirouette 
pneumatic 
poignant 
pterodactyl 
queue 
receipt 
recipe
reindeer 
reminisce 
rendezvous 
renege 
rhapsody 
rheumatic 
ricochet     
scenario  
segue 
seismology   
souvenir   
sphagnum 
stochastic 
subpoena 
subtle  
syllable  
thirtieth 
torque 
tortellini 
toucan 
tragic 
triptych 
troglodyte
trudging 
truly 
Tuesday
unanimous 
upholstery 
valet
variegated 
vehement 
vehicle 
verbatim 
vermilion 
vicious 
vignette 
vinaigrette 
vinyl 
virtue 
vitiate 
vulnerable 
weird 
wherever 
whisper 
whistle 
wondrous 
wrestle 
writable 
xylophone 
yacht 
yarmulke 
zinc

One way to learn these hard words is to break them up into smaller bits and come up with a funny pronunciation for a word that more clearly reveals its spelling — for example, for GROTEQSUE, I pronounce it as "Gro-tes-kwee" (rather than "Gro-tesk") when I need to spell it.

Doing word puzzles that use the words you're trying to learn is a good method of practising them as well. There are several that features the words on this list in the Puzzles and Games section of this site. You simply download the PDF and print it out.

Another method for improving your spelling is by using spelling mnemonics, which are devices to help you improve your memory.

But even easier than these ploys is using some special spelling software to help you. You can create a custom spelling list in the popular spelling-improvement software, Ultimate Spelling; just copy and paste the list I have provided you in this article! Then you can use the program's flash cards and other great Spelling Drill features to help you learn these extra tricky words.


*Troy and I recommend only products that we have tried and tested. These include Ultimate Spelling. We have agreed to receive a commission from some sales of Ultimate Spelling software because we are happy to endorse that software.

 

Last modified on Friday, 27 November 2015 23:43
English Language Skills (Denise)

English Language Skills (Denise)

I'm a syndicated puzzle writer, with 8 puzzle books to my name, including Word Searches for Dummies and Cracking Codes and Cryptograms for Dummies (with Mark Koltko-Rivera). I have a background in science and graphic design, and am a trained indexer. My favourite puzzles are cryptic crosswords. and my favourite books are murder mysteries and cookbooks. I am also a very keen knitter.

I write a blog all about puzzles, called Puzzling.

Website: sutherland-studios.com.au E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
You are here: Spell Better Improve Your Spelling: The Hardest Words, Part 2
BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS