Wednesday 18 April 2018


The phonetician Jack Windsor Lewis has written to ask the following:

“… I’ve been exposed to quite a bit of medical terminology and found the need to guess at various pronunciations. Just one is irritatingly difficult to decide on: how is ‘bisoprolol’ to be pronounced? Could you please put me out of that misery?”

Here is my answer:

My Oxford Dictionary of Nursing (2014, 6th edition; OUP) offers ‘by-soh-proh-lol’ (p. 61), IPA ˌbaɪsəʊˈprəʊlɒl. This seems to be the pronunciation preferred by health care professionals in Britain. In AmE, however, other variants are used, among which you find bɪˈsoʊproʊlɑːl, bɪˈsoʊproʊlɔːl and bɪˈsoʊproʊloʊl, or — less commonly — ˌbɪsoʊˈproʊlɑːl, ˌbɪsoʊˈproʊlɔːl and ˌbɪsoʊˈproʊloʊl. Have a look at these videos here.

The pronunciation of bisoprolol is comparable to that of metaprolol/metoprolol, that you can read about in this blog of mine here