Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

Why the W in Sword is silent?

I wonder why the w in sword is silent.

15 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    As a word is commonly used, its pronunciation, usage, and conjugation begin to change over time. For instance, be conjugates to such things as "am" and "been" because it is a very commonly used words. The word sword comes from Old English (sweord) and has been used for hundreds of years. Over time, people got lazy and contracted it to its current pronunciation. "Can't" was brought about by people getting lazy while saying "cannot". Think of "sword" kind of in the same manner.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It is..!!!! Maybe in some cases it depends on the accent.

    Merriam-Webster's Dictionary:

    lord = pronunciation: 'lòrd

    sword = pronunciation: 'sòrd

    lord = (lôrd)

    sword = (sôrd)

    lord = lord

    sword = sord

    Using different phonetic alphabets, they all agree that 'lord' and 'sword' have exactly the same sound.

    Finding a reason why words in English are pronounced the way they are is almost impossible.

    Can you say why "live" is pronounced different in these two sentences?

    I "LIVE" in the US

    a "LIVE" TV program


    Source(s): linguist
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    no W sound. Maybe it was meant to be pronounced (as in the related German word Schwert--'shvert'), but it is not pronounced today. Did she also pronounce the W in two? The word knight was once pronounced closer to k-ni(short i)-(ch as in German) t, and we now only pronounce the n-i (long i)-t. English pronounciation and spelling are not very closely related!

  • FUNdie
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Because, originally, it wasn't silent. A British accent tends to slightly pronounce the "w", like "soo-ord". Only the American accent totally dropped this and says "sord".

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It is indeed silent, and that's because spoken language evolves faster than written language. In Old English, the "w" was definitely pronounced. It's like the "gh" endings in enough and through. Originally they were pronounced (enough in German is genug, and both g's are pronounced; from this we can see that English lost not only the final g sound, but also the initial one). In short, languages evolve.

  • Judy
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    sometimes we'll have to aacept things as they are [seeing that they're grammatical rules]

    unlike the words:' write- wreck, etc....' thw 'w' IS silent , however; in 'sword' it is pronounced but lightly, as i said because it is one of Eng's grammatical rules that we have to accept.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes, it is!.. I don't think there's a real reason.. it's just the way people started pronouncing it.

    onetwothree's answer was very informative.


    Source(s): Ling.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    it is! you dont pronounce the w therefore its silent. But i cant tell u why, i just felt the need to argue =]

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It's kinda silent like the "p" in swimming.

  • 1 decade ago

    it wasn't back in the day, accents changed it

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