Objectively, the hardest word to spell might be the unabridged chemical name for a human protein commonly known as titin. With a total of 189,819 letters, the term would take you upwards of three hours just to say aloud.
The list of tough-to-spell scientific terms is endless. But they don’t give people much trouble for one very simple reason: Not many of us are trying to spell them.
Following that line of thinking, you could argue that the hardest word to spell is the one that people Google how to spell more than any other word. And by that metric, restaurant is the biggest doozy of all.
The intel comes from unscrambled-words.com, a site that identifies all the words you can make with a certain group of letters. It’s a handy tool for Scrabble and other word games, though you might want to check with your fellow players before you take advantage of its capabilities. The site’s data crunchers researched Google search volumes from the past year and found that restaurant pulls an estimated 95,000 spelling-related queries per month. It’s no mystery why the word is such a stumper: Based on pronunciation alone, you’d think the word would end in -aunt, not -ant. (And while we’re here, we might as well mention that restaurateur doesn’t have an n in it at all.)
Tricky vowel combinations are a strong trend throughout the top 10, especially i’s and e’s. As the saying goes: i before e, except after c, or when sounding like ay, as in neighbor and weigh. Although there are plenty of exceptions to that rule, the two relevant examples from these findings don’t deviate from it: niece and receipt.
Receipt isn’t the only word with a silent p that gives people grief. See the other one—and the rest of the top 10—below.
Monthly Search Volume