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This week enjoy a smorgasbord of words which open with a consonant cluster that's difficult to get your mouth around. Not just any cluster either: you needn't gnaw on familiar bonbons which everyone knows. (But enjoy them in this song.) Nor on ones with simple silent starter sounds (such as mnemonic, pneumonia or pterodactyl). We'll be far more exotic.

dhimmi – a non-Muslim living with limited rights under Muslim rule
I can find no indication how this is pronounced in English. In the Arabic world the pronunciation seems to depend on location: the dh- is z- in some places, th- in others.
    Christian leaders in the [captured] Syrian city of Raqqa [were] recently given three options: to convert to Islam; to remain Christian but pledge submission to Islam; or to "face the sword." They opted for the second of those choices, known as dhimmitude. [In] the dhimma treaty, the Christians agreed to abstain from renovating churches; not to display crosses in public; not to read scripture indoors loud enough for Muslims standing outside to hear; not to carry out any religious ceremonies outside the church; to respect Islam and Muslims and say nothing offensive about them; to pay the jizya tax for each adult Christian; to refrain from drinking alcohol in public; and to dress modestly.
    ­­– Times of Israel online, Feb. 27, 2014 (ellipses omitted)
 
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Originally posted by wordcrafter:

I can find no indication how this is pronounced in English. In the Arabic world the pronunciation seems to depend on location: the dh- is z- in some places, th- in others.


In standard Arabic it's /ð/ as in that.
 
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Welcome back, Wordcrafter!
 
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Hooray! You're back! Big Grin
 
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phthsisismedicine , archaic: pulmonary tuberculosis or a similar progressive systemic disease
Five consonants at the start! The cluster is pronounced either t- or th.
    This is not an extravagant estimate, as very nearly one third of the deaths of adults in Boston last year were from phthisis.
    – Oliver Wendell Holmes (1895)

    Princess Volupine extends
    A meagre, blue-nailed, phthisic hand
    To climb the waterstair.
    – T.S. Eliot (1920)
 
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phthisis.

Sounds more like a urinary infection.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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I thought it was what you had to write to earn a Master's degree.
 
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Originally posted by wordcrafter:

Five consonants at the start!


Phthisis: four consonant letters, 2 consonant sounds. Cognate with khapra
 
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You have a really great blog, goofy.
 
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Originally posted by Kalleh:
You have a really great blog, goofy.


Thanks. I usually tell people that the posts are about Indo-European etymology, but at least they're short.
 
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