Is there a term for words that are spelled the same way they are pronounced? If so, is there a list of them somewhere?

For example, I have thought of:

  • "a" spelled A pronounced "A"

  • "I" spelled I pronounced "I"

  • "ok" spelled O-K pronounced "O"-"K"

  • "Io" (Jupiter's moon) spelled I-O pronounced "I"-"O"

More explicitly, words whose spelling is pronounced the same as how the word itself is pronounced.

  • 3
    I once asked if there's a term for words which were coined due to looking like their physical typographical representation (such as the new word "uwu") - so I can't complain :)
    – Fattie
    Dec 31, 2020 at 4:02
  • 1
    I apologize for the behavior of some of my colleagues. I've upvoted to compensate.
    – Ricky
    Dec 31, 2020 at 4:23
  • 2
    As for your actual question, no, I don't think there's a term for words that are phonetically spelled. Oh, and Io was an Argive princess before she was a moon.
    – Ricky
    Dec 31, 2020 at 4:32
  • 1
    @Ricky, thank you. Do you know if there may be a list somewhere for these? I've only thought of these few and I'm afraid the list may be short but surely there must be a few more.
    – ryan
    Dec 31, 2020 at 5:32
  • 4
    A, I , O and K are simply names of letters; I'd hardly classify them as words whose spelling was of any significance. Dec 31, 2020 at 9:09

2 Answers 2


The phrase phonemic orthography seems to describes spelling phonetically1


of or relating to the phoneme(smallest unit of sound which is significant in a language)


a writing system

spelling considered to be correct

the principles underlying spelling

Can't find a list of words spelled the same way they are pronounced.

1 https://www.dictionary.com/e/phonetic-spelling/ and https://qr.ae/pGJxel

  • 1
    Good point that, in a language that employs phonemic orthography, assuming that each phoneme's "name" is the same as its "sound," then every word would meet the OP's description. But modern English (the topic of this SE and assumed context of the question) does not. Oct 6, 2021 at 18:03

Onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeic. Actually it means the worded is spelled to imitate the actual sound made by the word. eg Shatter.

  • 1
    None of the examples are onomatopoeias.
    – Laurel
    Apr 17, 2022 at 1:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.