From Teflpedia

Ghoti (/fɪʃ/) is an oft-cited parody of English's irregular spelling[1], erroneously attributed to George Bernard Shaw[2] is the spelling for "fish" could quite easily be "ghoti" according to the following "rules":

  • gh, pronounced /f/ as in tough /tʌf/;
  • o, pronounced /ɪ/ as in women /ˈwɪmɪn/; and
  • ti, pronounced /ʃ/ as in nation /ˈneɪʃən/.

To spoil all the fun, the problem with this is that the digraph "gh" is only pronounced /f/ at the ends of syllables, never at the beginning. Also "ti" is not a recognised English digraph and only can only be pronounced /ʃ/ before -tion -tian, -tious -tient, -tiate, i.e. never at the end of a word.


  2. Zimmer, Ben, "Ghoti" before Shaw. Retrieved 25th September 2012.<