How Do You Pronounce Misophonia?

by | Mar 4, 2020 | Articles | 4 comments

How do you pronounce misophonia?

It’s one of the great unsolved mysteries…

Forget the Voynich Manuscript, quantum entanglement or Prince Harry’s living arrangements…

How on earth do you pronounce misophonia?

“Is it meee-so-phonia, mizz-o-phonia… or miss-oh-phonia?”

I’ve spoken to a number of psychologists, researchers and neuroscientists – people who possess more University degrees between them than I have braincells – and at the start of each conversation there’s often a bit of a stumble over the pronunciation of ‘misophonia’.

For a while I thought that there were two ways of saying it. Mizz-o-phonia was the American pronunciation and miss-oh-phonia the UK English one. The old “you say tom-ay-toe, I say tom-ah-toe” phenomenon alive and kicking.

But we can do better than that. Misophonia is an international disorder so if we’re going to be purist about it (as we should be), that’s where we should start with our investigation.

We know that the term misophonia was coined by the audiologists Pawel and Margaret Jastreboff in the year 2000.

It’s derived from two Greek words: “miso”, meaning hatred, and “phonia”, meaning sound.

So if we are using Greek words to describe our disorder then it it makes sense for us to use the Greek pronunciation.

I just so happen to have a very good friend who’s Greek. An ACUTAL GREEK. He’s so Greek in fact he even lives in Greece. If he can’t help us out on this one then no one can.

I put the question to him and here’s what he came back to me with:

“Tom, thank you for coming to me with this. I must admit, random questions are part of the reason I am here on this earth.

1. Miso – meaning hate (also meaning half – but not in this case) is pronounced meeso with the accent over the o. mee-SO. strong ’s’ sound as well, not like a ‘z’.

2. Phonia – meaning sound/noise/voice id is pronounced fonia, with the accent over the ‘i’, i.e. fon-Ia. When conjoining the words your first option meesofonIa is correct. The accent would be over the i, the rest of the syllables would be short.”

So there we have it.

The correct pronunciation of misophonia is: mee-So-fonia

I’m going to have entangle years of saying it slightly wrong…

How do you say misophonia?

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  1. Allergic to Sound

    I’ll kick this off. My partner used to call it “Mistafeenia”. On second thoughts I think she still does actually.

    • Beverly

      So will we also say meesogynist and meesanthrope, as well as all the other words that begin with the Greek root of hate?

  2. Regina green

    My spouse burps as if it is part of his breathing even without something that triggers a burp, he say it is acid reflux, that sound drives me crazy now I can put a name to it

  3. Mia Anstiss

    So good to know I am not alone! My housemates noisy eating is so bad that I usually leave the room when he eats. If I didn’t leave, I think I would scream at him?


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