nipple has a double p. tripod and triangle are pronounced tr/I/

  • 'Nipple' has double P because P is a part of stressed syllable. 'Tripod' has a single P because P is a part of unstressed syllable. Apr 27, 2020 at 11:13
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    @herisson, These are just spelling irregularities in English. Apr 27, 2020 at 11:17
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    Because English!
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 27, 2020 at 12:50
  • As noted, this is a random variation in English spelling. There are a lot of them, because English spelling does not represent English pronunciation. Therefore, you can't count on spelling being consistent with pronunciation. That's why you should learn spellings and pronunciation independently. Apr 27, 2020 at 14:05

1 Answer 1


Plenty of English words have a non-doubled consonant letter after a short vowel. The only time when you can expect consonant doubling to systematically apply after a short vowel is before certain suffixes (such as -ing, -ed, -er, -est, -ist).

But in a non-suffixed word like triple, there isn't an easy way to predict the spelling from the pronunciation or vice versa. The spelling "tripple" was used in the past; it happened to not survive up to the present in standard written English. When English spelling became more fixed, a lot of relatively unpredictable quirks like this became frozen (the spellings used in Samuel Johnson's dictionary were often adhered to by later writers). The fact that the French and Latin etymological sources, triple and triplex, have only a single P was possibly a factor.

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    And the wags' trippple never caught on. Apr 27, 2020 at 11:31
  • There is a difference between trifle and a word like triffid, though. (Cf triple and tripping.)
    – Andrew Leach
    Apr 27, 2020 at 11:43

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