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How To Pronounce Meme

How To Pronounce Meme

Memes have taken over the Internet. On the Internet, the term meme generally means something along the lines of some sort of media, like an image or a video, that is shared and spread widely. While people are often more or less familiar with the idea of a meme, how to pronounce it is commonly less clear. Are there two syllables, or one? Which vowels are in it? Let's dive into the pronunciation of

.

First (and Only) Syllable

There is only one syllable in the word

. Many people assume there are two syllables, and common mispronunciations include
or
. As noted on the site Today I Found Out's discussion of the word meme, the word was coined by Richard Dawkins back in 1976, who wanted to create a term that "conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation". He derived this word from the Greek word mimeme, but wanted it to be pronounced so that it rhymes with
, a word with one syllable. The Greek word mimeme means "something imitated", and a similar Greek word is the source of English words
and
.

The first sound in

is , the voiced bilabial nasal. When you make this sound, push your lips together until they touch, and blow air through your nose as your vocal cords vibrate. The sound is very common in many languages so even if American English isn't your first language, you're likely making this sound correctly.

The second sound in the word meme is , a high front vowel. Make your that your tongue is lifted to the front of your mouth, your jaw is raised, and your lips are spread wide when you pronounce this sound. Additionally, this is one of the longer vowels in American English, so make sure to hold it for a bit before moving on to the next sound.

The third second is meme is , and the instructions for pronouncing it are the same as for the first in "meme". Since it is a voiced bilabial nasal, push your lips together until they touch, blow air through your nose, and vibrate your vocal cords.

Rhyming with Meme

As mentioned above, Richard Dawkins specifically indicated that he wanted this new word he created,

, to rhyme with
. Generally words that end in -eam are going to rhyme with
:

,
,
,

Along with words that end in -eem:

,
,

Words that end in -eme generally rhyme with

, and are pronounced with only one syllable:

,
,
.

Summary

When pronouncing

, remember that
is only one syllable -- avoid saying
or
! There are three sounds in
: , , and .


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