Ok, let check this word "badminton".

In online Cambridge dictionary, it is pronounced as /ˈbæd.mɪn.tən/ Source

In online Merrian-Webster dictionary, it is pronounced as /ˈbædˌmɪtn̩/ Source

When hearing the sound of /ˈbædˌmɪtn̩/, you can hear a glottal stop at /t/. That means, you hold there for a few milliseconds then you throw the air through your nose in order to make the /n/ sound. This is similar to "button" /ˈbʌtn̩/ Source.

Which one of the following is the standard American accent of the word "badminton": "/ˈbædˌmɪtn̩/" "/ˈbæd.mɪn.tən/" ?

Which one is used more?

  • 2
    You seem to be under the delusion that we Americans all speak alike. We don't. People from California, Iowa, New York, Georgia, Maryland, and Minnesota all speak different. Can you tell me which one is "standard"? And there's also a third possibility: /ˈbæd.mɪn.ʔn̩/ with two /n/s and a glottal stop (like mountain). Nov 24, 2015 at 3:18
  • Merriam-Webster is an American produced dictionary and has American pronunciations. The 't' in /ˈbædˌmɪtn̩/ is not a glottal stop in most varieties of AmE, but really a 'lateral flap'(like the 't' in 'writer'). In New England, I hear sometimes lateral flaps as glottal stops: instead of /ˈbʌtn̩/ I hear /ˈbʌ?n̩/. Also I think your description of a glottal stop is not one I've seen before. Can you check your source for that again?
    – Mitch
    Dec 11, 2015 at 4:33
  • This is one word that I have heard pronounced at least a half-dozen different ways in the US. I would say that "bad-mitten" is the most common pronunciation, but have heard such things as "bed" instead of "bad" and several variations on "mint-un", etc.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 29, 2015 at 16:51
  • @Mitch: the use of glottal stops for the /t/ in words that end in /Vtən/ or /Vntən/ like button, kitten, and mountain, is very common in several regions of the U.S. I don't think you can say "most varieties" unless you've done a thorough survey. See this question. Dec 29, 2015 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


To preface my response: I'd prefer to leave this as a comment, but since my reputation is less than 50, I have to post it as an answer, as I do not have the ability to comment until I've acquired additional points. That being said, it definitely is not a complete answer by any means.

As the prior comments state, the pronunciation varies by region. I'm originally from Minnesota, where we're known for prolonged vowel sounds, particularly when a word contains an "o". Yet many call centers open here as a result of our accent being perceived as one of the most neutral and easy to understand in the country. Which I only mention as a means of highlighting how ambiguous the concept of "correct pronunciation" is in the U.S.

That being said, at least in the portion of the Midwest I'm from, it's pronounced like "bad" + "mitten".

  • Actually, the perception came first. The "Upper Midwestern" pronunciation is regularly regarded as the "standard" for, eg, TV announcers and the like. (Though one does have to stay away from the Iron Range and several areas of Wisconsin.)
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 29, 2015 at 16:54

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