Is it diatomacious earth or diatamaceous earth? Both are wrong, actually. How it's actually spelled is diatomaceous. It's an unusual word, and it can be difficult to try and write or pronounce. We've seen a lot of misspellings and these seem to be the most common ones:
- diatomatious earth
- diatamacious earth
- diatemaceous earth
- diotomaceous earth
People also mispronounce diatomaceous earth all the time, often one of these:
- diatomicus earth
- diatenaceous earth
- diattamatious earth
- deatameous earth
- diatenameous earth
Now let's break down this outrageous word to see how it's pronounced: Di-a-to-ma-ceous. If you want to sound it out, try this: die-uh-tuh-may-shuss. Think "diet tomato." :)
One trick you can use to remember how it's spelled and pronounced is thinking of the root word "diatom." The rest of the word is a Latin suffix that means "made of." So the phrase "diatomaceous earth" literally means "earth made of diatoms."
Still, find all of this confusing? Don't worry! It's not easy, but like they say, "practice makes perfect."
If you would like to learn more about what diatomaceous earth is and what it does, check out our A-Z Guide.