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IR words

The third most common way to spell "er" -- IR

"er" is the most common, "ur" comes in second; "ir" is relatively uncommon. Many of these words are related to roundness: circle, twirl, skirt, girdle, for example. Multisyllable words with IR often derive from words from which you can hear the "I" sound - admiration (from admire), perspiration (from perspire), expiration (expire), inspiration (inspire). The "circ" words can also be used together: circle, circular, circumference, encircle, circumstance, circumvent, circus, circuit (note that the "u" in circuit is there to protect the C from sounding like an S), circumlocution, circumnavigation, circadian...

This list contains words which only use closed, open, vce and r-controlled syllables.

irk third flirt
sir birch smirk
fir mirth squirm
whir shirk squirt
girl whirl first
firm birth circus
bird girth skirmish
dirt skirt confirm
chirp swirl circumvent
shirt twirl birthmark
directly stir stirrup

These words include schwa sounds and patterns such as -tion

perspiration admiration expiration
inspiration aspiration direction
girdle circle circular
circulation circulatory circumstance
circumference circumlocute circumvent
encircle aspirin admiral
virtual virgin piranha
nirvana squirrel sirloin
infirmary whirligig



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