The short answer is that most words that begin with a silent P in English come from Greek, where the initial /p/ sound was pronounced. For instance, the Greek word that “psalm” derives from began with the Greek letter psi, which in Classical Greek was pronounced with a /ps/ sound.
Whats the purpose of a silent P?
The ‘p’, usually a popping sound made at the front of the mouth, is silenced when it precedes an ‘s’. Most of these words with silent ‘p’s are to do with the mind or the medicine of the mind: Psychology, psychiatry, psyche, psychological, psychotic or pseudo.
Do you pronounce the P in psalm?
A psalm is a sacred song or text used in worship. … Both the “P” and the “S” in psalm are both silent. The “a” psalm is elongated and pronounced with a short “a”, which means it is pronounced with an “ah” sound. However, the “ah” is pronounced in a much more open manner, like the word “palm”.
What is the silent letter in psalm?
A silent letter is a letter that does not make any sound in the word’s pronunciation. For example; letter ‘b’ is silent in ‘climb’, letter ‘k’ is silent in ‘knife’, letter ‘t’ is silent in ‘castle’, and letters ‘p’ and ‘l’ are silent in ‘psalm’.
Why is the P in receipt silent?
1 Answer. “Receipt” is pretty much just an exceptional case. The word is pronounced without a /p/ sound because it comes from French receite/recete. It is spelled with a P based on its etymology from Latin receptus.
Why is there a silent P in pterodactyl?
Everyone knows how to say “Tyrannosaurus rex,” but pterosaur names are not as familiar as those of their dinosaur cousins. Even the word “pterosaur” (TER-o-soar) can trip up readers with its silent “p” (the word originates from the Greek pteron, for wing, and sauros, for lizard).
Why is the p silent in pneumonia?
The word pneumatic begins with the prefix pneumo-, p-n-e-u-m-o, which relates to air or the lungs, and is pronounced with a silent p. In fact, almost all of the words that begin with the letters pn- use the pneumo- prefix. The most common pn- words are pneumatic and pneumonia.
Does Psalm have a silent P?
[Note that that initial ps- was/is a single letter in Greek.] While the initial ‘p’ in psalm and psychology are now silent, that of pterodactyl (Greek: wing + finger) is sometimes present, although heard mostly only when a vowel ends the word preceding it.
What words start with silent P?
Why do they put silent letters in words?
Since their spellings were fixed, some letters became silent when pronounced in English. … For example, silent letters help to distinguish between homophones (words with the same sound but different spellings and meanings) in writing. Thanks to silent letters, you can know the difference between two, to, and too!
What is the silent letter in answer?
Silent W. In words that begin with ‘wr’ such as ‘write’, do not pronounce the ‘w’. The letter is also silent in words like ‘answer’ and ‘two’.
Why is there AK in knife?
The Germanic and Scandinavian languages pronounce the ‘k’ before an ‘n’. Knife was a fairly common word, so it’s spelling became fairly standardized among those who could write, even after the non-writing speakers of English slowly changed the way the word was spoken. This has happened for a number of words.
Which letter is silent in handsome?
Silent D: The letter D is silent when it comes just before the letters N and G. Examples: Wednesday, pledge, grudge, cadge. The letter D is also not pronounced in the following common words: handsome, handkerchief, sandwich. Silent E: When the letter E comes at the end of words it is usually not pronounced.
Which letter is silent in Island?
Island was long written with different spellings which didn’t include ‘s’, so it has presumably always been pronounced without /s/. (The derivation is not from Latin insula but from various Germanic forms, which also had no ‘s’.)